To Mail Providers: If You’re Going to Filter My Mail

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Please tell me why something got filtered. We nearly lost a customer this morning because an inbound request of theirs from earlier this week got rerouted to my Trash folder, and hence, ignored. I was very puzzled by an email that I did see, and the voicemail I got, until I talked to James and discovered that I’d completely missed the original thread. I’d have been pissed too.

Fortunately, all appears to be well as our client was gracious and forgiving, but if it happened once it can clearly happen again. Addressing the issue, however, is easier said than done. Because the emails were in the Trash folder rather than Junk, I can safely deduce that it’s not an overzealous Zimbra spam filter, but rather a custom rule that I’ve set up. These have been set up, in fact, because the Zimbra spam filter – or, perhaps, MACCIuS’ tuning of said filter – isn’t zealous enough.

I’ve created perhaps two dozen of these rules to handle the horde of junk mail we receive that isn’t caught by the anti-spam mechanisms. As it turns out, I’m not terribly interested in penny stocks, Rolexes, Viagra or any of the other items being peddled in such an offensive and debilitating fashion. One of these rules is clearly misbehaving, and intercepting mail that it shouldn’t be. But which one?

I just went through them again and I haven’t the foggiest. They all look fine to me – very specific, and the message headers don’t tell me why it was routed where it was. So the only sure answer would be to delete them all, every last one. But that’s not realistic; even with the two dozen rules active, I get at least a dozen or two spam messages daily. Without them, I’d be buried, and you’d never hear from me again (maybe that’d be a good thing ;). Damned if I do, damned if I don’t, then.

But it doesn’t have to be this way; all I’d need is a notification saying “Routed to Trash because of Rule X.” Then I could delete or correct the problem rule, and be on my way. Until then, however, I guess I’ll have to watch my Trash folder a bit more closely.

The point of this is not to indict Zimbra, as I’ve had similar issues with Exchange and Gmail in the past, but it’s an issue that needs to be addressed. Hopefully before I lose a customer.


  1. […] The month started off poorly, as we nearly lost a client due to spam issues and a resulting lack of responsiveness, and shortly thereafter bid a fond […]

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