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Kudos and Criticism

by David Dunham


This section features reader responses to Ambrosia's software & service. We will include the good with the bad, and address any problems brought to our attention. These are real people writing real letters about real issues. Feel free to drop us a line.

AOL Mail Controls filtering: Just say no

This month for Kudos and criticism, I am going to relate the saga of P. Meyer. P. Meyer first contacted me with a problem regarding our lean mean screen savin' machine, Eclipse 3. His email follows:
I had asked for you to resend me registration numbers for the various Ambrosia games and software I purchased. I received registration numbers and all has worked well, except Eclipse. I go thru registration process and put in my code:--------......it is accepted, but the next time I restart, Eclipse still asks me to register. Please help. This is annoying. I greatly appreciate your help in the past.
My response:
"Go into your system folder, and in the preferences folder you will find your Eclipse license file and your Eclipse prefs. Trash both of these, you will lose your Eclipe prefs so keep this in mind. Reboot your system and now try to register Eclipse. If you have any further problems let me know."
The only problem: my response was bounced back to me, with a kind message from the AOL postmaster. "This user is not accepting mail from this address."

P. Meyer had filtered my response. I tried to send it a couple of times with the same result. With many other tasks at hand I set this response onto my back burner. Five days later he is back:

I have received the registration number for Eclipse, and it accepts the number but at restart asks me to register......please help
A little more direct this time, his patience is wearing thin. My response is basically the same as previous. The result is the same, my respone is filtered at his end, "This user is not accepting mail from this address". By now it is getting aggravating for me, and I'm sure, for P. Meyer. After all it has been over a week since he wrote and as far as he is concerned I have been ignoring him.

Another week goes by - Another email from P. P. Meyer is a nice guy and, like all nice guys, he thinks I am one too. He gives me the benefit of the doubt, something must have happened to his first emails. So he writes this email as if he's writing for the first time.

Ever since updating to 8.0 I have not been able to register Eclipse...registration number is accepted, but the next time I restart I get request to register....when I try to register off the regisration notice it fails...I have to register off of the registration in the Eclipse folder. I have gone so far as to throw out entirety of eclipse....preferences, start-up folder and the eclipse folder with contents...I have then re-installed Eclipse....resulting in the same problem. help please.
My response:
Did you do a fresh download when you reinstalled? Try trashing everything again, reboot and get a new copy of the installer. Let me know if this helps any.
Guess what happened? Yep, ol' P. is still not accepting mail from this address.

Now I try to make sure I am sending to the correct address, kind of useless, but I want to try something:

I am looking for someone at this address who had problems with Eclipse. If I have reached this adress by mistake let me know. If this is the person I am looking for, your address has had much troubles lately. E-mail me back to let me know I can get through.
Bounced yet again. Now I go to the address conveniently given by the AOL postmaster to track down "lost members". Well if you have been to the site you know what I found. "This site is still under construction, try one of these sites to search for email addresses." So I went to one of the many search engines out there and tried to see if I could track down P. Meyer. Lots of P. Meyers, none of them are the one I'm looking for.

Once again, other matters take precedence, until P contacts me again.

Have requested help two times with no answer....are you all on vacation? I have mail controls on to help eliminate flood of junk mail, but if you respond as I have addressed this it should be no problem. I have entered code number into registration, it is accepted, but at next re-start Eclipse requests registration again. I have thrown out entire Eclipse folder and all Preferences several times in attempting to get registration done, to no avail. Please help.
I can only chuckle at this one, and then grit my teeth. But I try again just the same.

I answer your mail each time it comes in and each time I answer it, it comes back. You are not accepting mail from this address. I have tried to send your mail two or three times. Perhaps you should rethink your e-mail filter strategy. I would recommend a fresh install. Download a fresh copy of the installer and install from that. Let me know what happens.
OK a little testy but this is getting ridiculous. And then this one is bounced!!

So now I get a little more proactive. I can't contact an AOL member, so hey, try the AOL postmaster.

To whom it may concern: I am tech support here at Ambrosia Software. One of our customers is having a problem with one of our products. My problem is that all of my responses to his queries have been sent back with the message that he is "not accepting mail from this address". He, of course, e-mails me complaining that I am not answering his mail. In his correspondence he tells me that he is heavily filtering his mail for spam but that my answers should get through. His name is P. Meyer and his address is -. Any assistance in this matter would be appreciated.
I get a response (sorry, I didn't save this one) from the postmaster.
This message, "user is not accepting mail from this address", indicates that the user has blocked all mail from your address.
Glad I cleared that one up.

Finally, I get the bright idea (which I should have thought of sooner): if he is registered, I've got his snail mail address somewhere. I look him up and sure enough he is registered (another reason to support shareware ;-) So I wrote him a letter explaining our situation and giving a brief solution.

Finally, contact!! P. Meyer emails me back:

Thanks so much for your pursuit of my address. And for sending the snail mail. You really went above and beyond. I think my mail controls were messed up, but I did have this address on my 'receive from' list. I got Eclipse straightened out.....it took trashing the entire Eclipse, including preferences and the start-up icon in the start-up folder ( I had omitted this step a couple of times), restarting the computer (another step I left out), and then re-installing, in that order to get the license to work right. All is well now...thanks again for your effort and patience.
So I, thinking I have done my part (even though P. solved his own problem) and feeling a little bit cocky, write back.
No problem, It's what I am here for. I'm glad that you solved your Eclipse problem ;-)
And you know what? I got a response almost immediately.
Sorry, this user is not accepting mail from this address.
Paul M., if you see yourself here, please don't be mad, I'm just trying to make a point. Last week I missed some important messages because of overagressive filtering on my part. If you have written me and I haven't responded, keep in mind the tale of Paul M. and check your filtering schemes. You would be amazed how many times this happens.

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