Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

I really wish I could provide support via email or by allowing you to reply to the newsletter. There are too many problems with that approach, so I provide a simple form instead.

In short, because you'll stand a better chance of getting an answer faster if you use the ask-a-question form instead.

No, it's not a guarantee, but for various reasons (like the sheer volume of questions I get every day), questions that are emailed directly are the most likely to be lost or simply discarded. That's especially true if you simply reply to my newsletter. I'll explain why below.

The form is both easy and quick.

It's Faster

As I said, I get a lot of questions every day. More than I can process efficiently by myself.

When you use the ask-a-question form, your question is actually placed in a database that - unlike my email - is accessible by my assistants as well as myself. That's important because with their help, I can handle more questions, more quickly than I could alone.

It's so important and helpful that it's also how I process comments on the Ask Leo! website.

It's More Likely to be Seen

When the newsletter goes out, I'm flooded within minutes with out-of-office replies from those subscribers that happen to be away from their email for a period of time. It's just not practical for me to filter through all those looking for what might be a question amongst the flood of the automated responses.

Questions that are emailed to me by replying to the newsletter are often lost and never seen.

At the top of the newsletter, it does say "Don't hit reply!" and includes a link to the form.

Newsletter Subscribers Get A Special Link

If you're a newsletter subscriber, you get a slightly different link that places the question that you submit via the subscriber's ask-a-question form ahead of all comments and other questions.

That link is mentioned in every emailed newsletter, after my comments near the bottom.

Article C4772 - March 22, 2011 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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