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Warning !!!

Many email providers seem to regard OLO messages as spam !

Sending out 1100+ emails, one at a time, from a simple email programme is obviously (I hope !) out of the question for contacting OLO members. We have therefore used a system whereby an automated script can take a simple message, personalise it and send individually to each OLO member whilst your webmaster takes a break. This system has worked pretty well for the last ten years or more.

Alas, many email providers detect that messages have been created thus and leap to the (erroneous !) conclusion that they must therefore be spam. In most cases, they will simply warn you that the message might be spam and leave you to decide whether to read it or delete it. But a recent trend has been noticed whereby many email providers take it upon themselves to delete suspect messages without bothering to tell their customers they have done so.

Needless to say that is making things very difficult for distributing OLO emails ! But that is only part of the problem - it might mean that customers are missing out on receiving emails from other organisations too. Hard to credit I know, but some of those emails might be even more important than OLO messages !

What can we do about this ?

There isn't a great deal that I can do from this end.   I have provided an account that any OLO member can consult.

OLO members can use the account to see if they've missed any recent emails. For details of that account you need to log in or if you've lost your password you can request a reminder from the OLO index. If no PW reminder email is received, you are probably affected by the 'false spam problem'. Email OLOwebby for further assistance.

You might even consider opening a new email account (no need to close the old one) and registering that as your OLO contact address. I have a Gmail account; I've had it for many years and have been quite happy with it. It does occasionally shunt things I wanted into spam but they are at least accessible if you know how to find them. Anyone else can open a Gmail account free of charge. There are of course other email providers offering a service with similar results (my BTinternet account & accounts are very similar though I'm not so sure that they're available gratis to everyone) but I'm unable to recommend any of them (not maligning them - I just don't have enough relevant experience).

If you'd like to test whether you might have been affected by this problem, there are two things to try :-

(i) Request an OLO password reminder. When reading this page the link will probably be the bottom item in the left hand margin. If not, click on the (blue) area on the header bar marked OLO to display correct left hand margin index. After sending off the request, your reminder ought to arrive after a few seconds; if not, you will probably have problems receiving other automated emails from the OLO website.

(ii) Look at the anyOLO account email described above. If that's showing a newsletter that you never got then you do indeed have a problem.

For most email providers, you'll be able to recover any emails they've tagged as spam if you use their on-line webmail service (rather than a local client like 'Outlook') and look for a folder entitled 'spam' (maybe 'bulk' , 'malware' or something along those lines). Tagged files tend to stay there for only a month or so but if you're in time you may be able to re-tag one of ours as **Not Spam** in which case future emails ought not to end up there.

For a few email providers (examples last week included , , , and a few more really small ones) there seems to be no facility for finding the messages they've refused to forward. If you're paying them then you should threaten to sue them for breach of contract; if not, you can only threaten to leave. But the only way of guaranteeing future delivery of OLO emails will be to register a different email address with the OLO site. This is most easily done during the login process when all you need to do is to type in your alternative email address before proceeding to the main site.

This problem does of course mean that we really don't know just how many of our members actually receive OLO newsletters and how many are sitting at home wondering if the OLO is still extant ! To try and overcome this, all members have been sent an email containing a link which, if clicked, would take them to a page which updates a new database variable showing that they are indeed receiving OLO messages. Initially, only 500 of the 1100+ members acknowledged that message but following a couple of repeat messages that had risen to over 1000 by mid January 2017 - but of course that still leaves over 100 for whom there is doubt.

A new project has been launched to allow all members who visit the website to see a list of our 'possibly lost chums' and (hopefully) to help in the process of restoring their status. For details of this project, please click here