Puzzling email problem

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mtnlover
Posts: 246
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:50 am

Puzzling email problem

Post by mtnlover »

Hi friends

I have now had a second occurrence of a baffling email problem.

On two occasions I have had emails to my gmail address that never arrived in my inbox, spam folder, or anywhere else I can find. Oddly enough these emails were both from senders related to travel arrangements. The first sender is a large, well-known tour operator whose promotional and billing communications are received without any problem. The expected email was a detailed itinerary. The second sender is a small mom-and-pop hotel in rural New York. The expected email was a reservation confirmation.

In both cases, at length I just gave them an old aol address that I still have, and the emails came through instantly.

Is there some incompatibility between gmail and some back office travel software? Is there some other place I should look in gmail? (I did do a mail search in each case as well) I can’t figure this out.
otinkyad
Posts: 362
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:35 pm

Re: Puzzling email problem

Post by otinkyad »

The most likely scenario is a glitch sending the emails. It is possible for GMail to completely drop messages from third parties that were sent on behalf of a domain with misconfigured SPF and DMARC records. I have also had GMail “lose” a message for a few hours, but not in the past ten years.
twh
Posts: 756
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:15 pm

Re: Puzzling email problem

Post by twh »

mtnlover wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 1:15 pm Hi friends

I have now had a second occurrence of a baffling email problem.

On two occasions I have had emails to my gmail address that never arrived in my inbox, spam folder, or anywhere else I can find. Oddly enough these emails were both from senders related to travel arrangements. The first sender is a large, well-known tour operator whose promotional and billing communications are received without any problem. The expected email was a detailed itinerary. The second sender is a small mom-and-pop hotel in rural New York. The expected email was a reservation confirmation.

In both cases, at length I just gave them an old aol address that I still have, and the emails came through instantly.

Is there some incompatibility between gmail and some back office travel software? Is there some other place I should look in gmail? (I did do a mail search in each case as well) I can’t figure this out.
You don't say if you are using the web Gmail client or another email client. Gmail, by default, has spam detection, so if you are using an email client on your computer, all the spam is not getting to the computer, but some is being weeded out by Gmail first. Go to the Gmail web client and look in the spam folder there -- it may also have auto delete after X days, I don't remember. For years, I had a rule on my Gmail to not weed out anything and send it all to my computer email client, but the spam level in the past year is out of control and I turned Gmail spam detection back on. I've had a number of emails flagged as spam and put in the Gmail spam folder by Gmail that were not spam.
Hebell
Posts: 606
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2020 1:56 am
Location: Boca Raton, FL

Re: Puzzling email problem

Post by Hebell »

Gmail is also penalizing those businesses that send out under a variety of email aliases or identities

So for example the email header will show as susie@mytravelcompany.com, when in fact the email is being sent out from corporate@mytravelcompany.com

Susie's email is simply an alias, and when you reply to Susie it actually goes to the corporate email box.

Gmail starting about 4 months has really started clamping down on this. Because I guess to them it's not much different from a pfishing attack.

I certainly had to stop doing this as too many of my emails were ending up as spam.
mhlambert
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:31 pm

Re: Puzzling email problem

Post by mhlambert »

otinkyad wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 1:36 pm The most likely scenario is a glitch sending the emails. It is possible for GMail to completely drop messages from third parties that were sent on behalf of a domain with misconfigured SPF and DMARC records. I have also had GMail “lose” a message for a few hours, but not in the past ten years.
I administer a domain that had this issue. For no reason I could determine, one day emails sent from the domain to Gmail just disappeared. Not delivered to spam or anywhere else. Configuring DMARC and SPF records for the domain immediately fixed the issue and emails to Gmail were delivered to the inbox as before.

Unfortunately this is beyond your control. The sending Domain's administrator needs to set this up.

You can check if there is a valid DMARC configured using free utilities online. For example https://mxtoolbox.com/DMARC.aspx.
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Bagels
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:08 am

Re: Puzzling email problem

Post by Bagels »

mtnlover wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 1:15 pm ...
On two occasions I have had emails to my gmail address that never arrived in my inbox, spam folder, or anywhere else I can find. Oddly enough these emails were both from senders related to travel arrangements. The first sender is a large, well-known tour operator whose promotional and billing communications are received without any problem. The expected email was a detailed itinerary.
...
I take it your travel details are also not showing up in google.com/travel -- is that right?

I'm asking because of this article:
https://skift.com/2021/10/18/does-googl ... -in-gmail/
If you are a Gmail user and you book a United Airlines flight, an Avis car rental, or an Expedia vacation package, Google adds a module to your confirmation emails with a link to your itinerary in Google Travel.
missing [b]madsinger[/b]’s monthly reports
JayB
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Joined: Sat May 28, 2022 9:57 am

Re: Puzzling email problem

Post by JayB »

mtnlover wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 1:15 pm Is there some incompatibility between gmail and some back office travel software? Is there some other place I should look in gmail? (I did do a mail search in each case as well) I can’t figure this out.
If you know the exact From email addresses of the senders, you might try placing those senders in your contacts list. This signals to the Gmail spam filter that the senders are legitimate. No guarantees, but this just may help.
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lthenderson
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Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Puzzling email problem

Post by lthenderson »

mtnlover wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 1:15 pm I have had emails to my gmail address that never arrived in my inbox, spam folder, or anywhere else I can find.
Did both places verify that they sent it to your exact gmail address without a typo or are you taking it on faith that they transcribed your email address correctly?
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Nate79
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:24 pm
Location: Delaware

Re: Puzzling email problem

Post by Nate79 »

My hotmail account has both a junk folder and a spam folder. Not sure if Gmail is the same.
armeliusc
Posts: 450
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:40 am

Re: Puzzling email problem

Post by armeliusc »

A likely cause is that the sender has a mis-configured email (SMTP) server. Gmail is fairly strict in enforcing DMARC authentication and SPF record. If they are not set up correctly Gmail would just drop the email; it won't even go the Spam folder, because the email is considered spoofed.

Unfortunately there is nothing you can do as a user. This is really their (the sender's) problem.

I've been on both side of these issues: fixing my SMTP server so that it gets accepted by Gmail. Thankfully the reply from Gmail servers of why email was dropped is fairly explicit. So if their system administrator is paying attention they would / should know what to do.
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