Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
One of the casualties of the war against spam is reliable email deliverability. Sometimes mail simply never shows up. We'll look at what can be done.
This turns out to be a fairly common problem, and not just for Hotmail. Yahoo and other email services seem to suffer the same problem from time to time.
And no, I know of nothing you can do.
Strike that, I do know of one thing you can do, but you won't like it.
As you've described, the scenario is very, very simple:
Someone sends you an email
You don't get it
The sender doesn't get any indication that the mail wasn't delivered
It's the worst of all possible scenarios - you can't know what you didn't receive, and the sender has no indication that nothing was delivered. Neither of you realize that there's any problem until much, much later.
It's the most frustrating of all possible scenarios.
And to cover the stock recommendations:
Check your junk mail folder
Clear any filters you have set that might automatically act on incoming email
Add the sender's email address to your address book. On some email providers this acts as a kind of "whitelist", or at least increases the probability that email from that person will get delivered
Make sure that the sender isn't sending something that "looks like" spam. For example if his email is talking about enlarging body parts, then it's highly likely to get filtered as spam. Sadly it doesn't have to be that blatant - legitimate messages about breast cancer, free offers, business opportunities and more can often be confused with, and filtered as, spam
And it really is all about spam. Chances are that your email provider, Hotmail in this case, is simply being overly aggressive about filtering spam. (And unfortunately in doing so, there are actually reasonable arguments for not sending a bounce message - many spammers actually rely on bounce messages to either legitimize an email address, or to actually carry their spam message.)
So, what can you really do?
Aside from what I've listed so far, nothing.
I wish that email providers, particularly the free ones, gave you more direct control over what is, and is not, spam to you. Truly paying attention to your address book would go a long way to solving the issue, but as you can see that's not happening consistently.
So what's the one thing to do that I said you won't like?
Use a different email provider.
Stop using Hotmail.
Find an email provider that is more responsive to its customers needs. GMail currently appears to be the best of the free services, but email reliability is also worth paying for, if that's what it takes.
Comments on this entry are closed.
If you have a question, start by using the search box up at the top of the page - there's a very good chance that your question has already been answered on Ask Leo!.
If you don't find your answer, head out to http://askleo.com/ask to ask your question.