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Replies to mailer-daemon@
Hello list,

I'm having a rather legitimate request from my users:

An order confirmation is being generated by a web app,  having the
sender webshop@example.com.

The customer might need some more info and hits reply to the email
above. Only the webshop's mailbox happens to be full, so the customer
eventually gets the following bounce from my mail server, with the
sender set as mailer-daemon@example.com:

A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its
recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:

webshop@example.com
mailbox is full: retry timeout exceeded

And here comes my problem:

The customer doesn't actually read the error message, he/she just hits
reply one more time, again requesting some data about his order.

But since the recipient is actually the postmaster, his second email
never has a chance and all it does is annoy the postmaster, who has no
involvement in managing the webshop, nor does he care about what people
order online. As a matter of fact he'd be more happy without this piece
of info...

There are obvious solutions to my problem:

I could increase the quotas, but as we all know this would be just
another arms race.

I might try to educate the webshop owners, but most of the times it
yields no results.

Is there a way I can make exim differentiate between "legit" bounces to
postmaster and these gratuitous replies ? Maybe look for empty return
path before accepting emails to postmaster ? Is this within the canons ?

How would you guys handle this situations ?

Thank you for your thoughts,
Marius



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Re: Replies to mailer-daemon@ [ In reply to ]
On 04/12/2018 07:48, Marius Stan via Exim-users wrote:
> The customer might need some more info and hits reply to the email
> above. Only the webshop's mailbox happens to be full, so the customer
> eventually gets the following bounce from my mail server, with the
> sender set as mailer-daemon@example.com:

If by "sender" you mean the envelope from, you're doing it wrong.

However, if (as is probable) you mean the header From:
(and there's no header Reply-To:) there is very little you can do
about stupid customer MUAs or stupid customers.
--
Cheers,
Jeremy

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Re: Replies to mailer-daemon@ [ In reply to ]
Surely a webshop that doesn't read its email has a big business problem ?

This is not a technical problem; it is an internal social/political
problem of example.com.
Whether the person who wears the postmaster hat is an employee of
example.com or their email provider, their job description includes
getting people to take responsibility for their email.

Step 1 Talk to webshop@example.com

Step 2 Quietly pass such messages on to webshop@example.com

Step 3 Talk to webshop's manager and/or *your* customer.

Step 4 Quietly pass such messages on to webshop's manager
and/or to your customer.

(you have probably already done everything up to here)

Step 5 Get the customer to agree that these messages are not important to
example.com *and* that you have permission to implement a technical
solution to ignore these emails.

Many companies have a noreply@ address which is dropped, but postmasters
endlessly discuss problems with such approaches.

Bottom line, push the webshop to take responsibility.

On Tue, 4 Dec 2018, Marius Stan via Exim-users wrote:

> Hello list,
>
> I'm having a rather legitimate request from my users:
>
> An order confirmation is being generated by a web app,? having the sender
> webshop@example.com.
>
> The customer might need some more info and hits reply to the email above.
> Only the webshop's mailbox happens to be full, so the customer eventually
> gets the following bounce from my mail server, with the sender set as
> mailer-daemon@example.com:
>
> A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its
> recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:
>
> webshop@example.com
> mailbox is full: retry timeout exceeded
>
> And here comes my problem:
>
> The customer doesn't actually read the error message, he/she just hits reply
> one more time, again requesting some data about his order.
>
> But since the recipient is actually the postmaster, his second email never
> has a chance and all it does is annoy the postmaster, who has no involvement
> in managing the webshop, nor does he care about what people order online. As
> a matter of fact he'd be more happy without this piece of info...
>
> There are obvious solutions to my problem:
>
> I could increase the quotas, but as we all know this would be just another
> arms race.
>
> I might try to educate the webshop owners, but most of the times it yields no
> results.
>
> Is there a way I can make exim differentiate between "legit" bounces to
> postmaster and these gratuitous replies ? Maybe look for empty return path
> before accepting emails to postmaster ? Is this within the canons ?
>
> How would you guys handle this situations ?
>
> Thank you for your thoughts,
> Marius
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Re: Replies to mailer-daemon@ [ In reply to ]
On 2018-12-04, Marius Stan via Exim-users <exim-users@exim.org> wrote:
> Hello list,
>
> I'm having a rather legitimate request from my users:
>
> An order confirmation is being generated by a web app,  having the
> sender webshop@example.com.
>
> The customer might need some more info and hits reply to the email
> above. Only the webshop's mailbox happens to be full, so the customer
> eventually gets the following bounce from my mail server, with the
> sender set as mailer-daemon@example.com:

That would be the From: header, the envelope sender will be empty.

> A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its
> recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:
>
> webshop@example.com
> mailbox is full: retry timeout exceeded
>
> And here comes my problem:
>
> The customer doesn't actually read the error message, he/she just hits
> reply one more time, again requesting some data about his order.

install a bot to respond to mail sent to mailer-daemon. it could be
"vacation" or something more elaborate.

> Is there a way I can make exim differentiate between "legit" bounces to
> postmaster and these gratuitous replies ? Maybe look for empty return
> path before accepting emails to postmaster ? Is this within the canons ?

no. don't - the bad mail is addressed to mailer-daemon adjust your
/etc/aliases file so that it doesn't reach postmaster.

> How would you guys handle this situations ?

Another option is just not to accept email to that address, postmaster
is required by SMTP. mailer-daemon is not. It sometimes gets useful
customer feedback but mostly it gets noise.

--
When I tried casting out nines I made a hash of it.

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