Apple's email service reportedly auto-deleting messages from bulk 'mail mergers'

Posted:
in iCloud edited May 2014
A report on Thursday claims Apple's email service, which includes @icloud.com, @me.com and @mac.com addresses, contains a "glitch" that prevents users from receiving correspondence sent through so-called "mail merge" services.



According to a reader on Apple blog TUAW, Apple's email service is incorrectly filtering or actively deleting mail from bulk mail mergers like Constant Contact, Direct Mail and MaxBulk Mailer, among others. This means users who have signed up to receive newsletters or other promotional email blasts may never receive the mailings.

With the reported bug, emails sent through mail merger services are not bounced back and appear to be lost or deleted entirely without the knowledge of either sender or recipient. Curiously, the issue seemingly affects only HTML documents, leaving plain text messages untouched.

The publication says the problem has been ongoing for "at least a couple of weeks" and notes email headers may be to blame for the auto-deletion, suggesting the issue is on the server end.

While mail mergers can be used to create and send out spam, many companies rely on such services to dish out weekly newsletters, special promotional deals and other information opt-in subscribers may be interested in. Without a bounce back notice, legitimate vendors have no way of being notified that its customers are not receiving the mailings.

The alleged server-side handling issue adds to Apple's email-related woes. Since the release of OS X 10.9 Mavericks in October, Apple's Mail app has been plagued with problems seemingly tied to specific services like Google's Gmail. The company tried to fix Mail with December's OS X 10.9.1 maintenance update, but many users continued to complain of unreceived messages.

A standalone patch was released in February, while OS X 10.9.2 reportedly further improved Mail stability later that month. It appears that Mail is still not completely fixed, however, as the app remains as one of the few focus areas in the latest OS X 10.9.3 betas.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



     Without a bounce back notice, legitimate vendors have no way of being notified that its customers are not receiving the mailings.

    Aren't legitimate mass mailings such as Constant Contact usually sent from a no-reply address? I don't see how bounce back would help. If a message is being labeled as spam nobody is going to bounce it. It would just clog up the internet. 

  • Reply 2 of 13
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,638member

    I guess I don't really see this as a problem. I spend more time unsubscribing from companies using this type of service than I do reading good email. If it means anything, I still get my daily assortment of bulk email so it doesn't appear to be affecting my email address.

     

    I would really like to see bulk emails from Amazon and Costco reduced but that will never happen as long as I have an Amazon and Costco account.

  • Reply 3 of 13
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,689member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

     

    I would really like to see bulk emails from Amazon and Costco reduced but that will never happen as long as I have an Amazon and Costco account.


     

    I am a semi-heavy Amazon Prime user and I don't ever receive any bulk mail from Amazon, ever. You should check your account preferences.

  • Reply 4 of 13
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 909member
    fine with me.
  • Reply 5 of 13

    This should be considered a feature of Mail, not a "glitch".;)

  • Reply 6 of 13
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,638member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fastasleep View Post

     

     

    I am a semi-heavy Amazon Prime user and I don't ever receive any bulk mail from Amazon, ever. You should check your account preferences.


    I checked and I don't have any subscriptions. These emails come from the [email protected] account. I can unsubscribe from them within the email (showed up as General Offers) so I said unsubscribe from them all and it unsubscribed me from four bulk mailings. The resulting email talked about going to the Amazon Communications page, which isn't listed in my account preferences. So much for making it easy to control their mailings. There are 42 individual mailings I can subscribe to. Talk about overload.

  • Reply 7 of 13
    papad57papad57 Posts: 3member
    No one likes junk/spam emails, but this is not limited to that type of emails. It says this in the article: "many companies rely on such services to dish out weekly newsletters, special promotional deals and other information opt-in subscribers may be interested in."

    I operate a company that uses Constant Contact to send DAILY EMAILS to an OPT-IN list of over 120,000 subscribers and relies on the income that they produce. These 120,000 people WANT our daily emails... and with this problem, many Apple users are not receiving them.

    So while it may be a blessing to some of you, it's not quite as good for others like my company.
  • Reply 8 of 13
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,689member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

     

    I checked and I don't have any subscriptions. These emails come from the [email protected] account. I can unsubscribe from them within the email (showed up as General Offers) so I said unsubscribe from them all and it unsubscribed me from four bulk mailings. The resulting email talked about going to the Amazon Communications page, which isn't listed in my account preferences. So much for making it easy to control their mailings. There are 42 individual mailings I can subscribe to. Talk about overload.


     

    Huh, dunno then. I just went to Your Account > Email Preferences & Notifications and I have two main options: [   ] Send me marking email from the following categories (with the 42 options) or [ X ] Do not send me marketing e-mail. If you had that checked and you were still receiving marketing emails, it must've been a glitch. Maybe select "Send me..." then switch back to "Do not send..." and see if that fixes it, if they don't stop.

  • Reply 9 of 13
    papad57papad57 Posts: 3member
    No one likes junk/spam emails, but this is not limited to that type of emails. It says this in the article: "many companies rely on such services to dish out weekly newsletters, special promotional deals and other information opt-in subscribers may be interested in."

    I operate a company that uses Constant Contact to send DAILY EMAILS to an OPT-IN list of over 120,000 subscribers and relies on the income that they produce. These 120,000 people WANT our daily emails... and with this problem, many Apple users are not receiving them.

    So while it may be a blessing to some of you, it's not quite as good for others like my company.
  • Reply 10 of 13
    papad57papad57 Posts: 3member

    No one likes junk/spam emails, but this is not limited to that type of emails. It says this in the article: "many companies rely on such services to dish out weekly newsletters, special promotional deals and other information opt-in subscribers may be interested in."

     

    I operate a company that uses Constant Contact to send DAILY EMAILS to an OPT-IN list of over 120,000 subscribers and relies on the income that the emails produce. These 120,000 people WANT our daily emails... and with this problem, many Apple users are not receiving them. 

     

    So while it may be a blessing to some of you, it's not quite as good for others like my company.

    cmdunn1972
  • Reply 11 of 13
    For what it's worth, I'm an iOS developer and our service uses Mandrill/Mailchimp to deliver our emails and we're having no issues getting messages into iCloud and into mailboxes. I just tried with my own account and a HTML message from Mandrill went through fine and according to the message headers scored really low spam wise by iCloud.
  • Reply 12 of 13
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member

    Somehow off topic:

     

    Isn't it about time to streamline the various mail extensions: @mac, @me, @icloud? ;

     

    I have to use two different Apple email addresses - @mac and @me - to update my apps on my computer.

  • Reply 13 of 13
    I realize this article is old, but it explains why some newsletters I subscribe to go straight to trash rather than staying in my inbox. I've taken to regularly checking my Trash for newsletters and putting them in a sub folder, where iCloud won't bother them.

    That said, this glitch, if intended to reduce actual spam, isn't doing so, as spam often uses special characters to bypass filters.
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