Free But Faulty: Never Trust Gmail and Yahoo Mail
The Spam filters of these free email services are faulty, as they are not able to detect if an email is genuine or Spam.
By Rakesh Raman
I have been using free email services Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail for more than a decade and never thought that they could malfunction. A few days ago, however, I was shocked to find that the emails that I was sending were not reaching the recipients. Also, the emails sent to me never reached me or randomly went to my Spam box.
Since these were very important documents that I was trying to send through my Yahoo Mail account to a Gmail account or a dotcom email account, I was informed by different recipients that they are not receiving it. I tried it multiple times but the result was the same – the emails were not getting delivered.
Similarly, the emails sent from Gmail to Yahoo Mail would disappear in the transit or randomly land in the Spam box. I even tried to send emails from my official dotcom email, but I did not succeed.
In fact, when I marked “Not Spam” to an email which went wrongly to the Gmail Spam folder, Gmail flashed a message to inform me that in future the emails received from that email address will not be sent to Spam box. But it was a wrong message because the emails continued to go in the Spam folder.
Gmail and Yahoo Mail are equally notorious in their treatment of individual emails and group emails. I have not yet fully tested Hotmail, but I presume that it also has the same flaws.
I have been informing regularly about my painful experience to Gmail and Yahoo Mail. After multiple interactions, both these services shared some hyperlinks with me to get my problem resolved. However, the content under those hyperlinks is so convoluted that I almost collapsed while going through it.
I even sent the screenshots of my problem to Yahoo Customer Care, but during the past over a year, Yahoo could not solve the problem of missing emails. Similarly, I have been informing about the flaws to Gmail. You can click here to read my Twitter interaction with Gmail.
After testing, I have found that even genuine emails sent to Gmail are going to Spam box, as there is something drastically wrong with its Spam filtering algorithm. And in some cases, Yahoo puts a frightening red box to stamp a regular email as Spam mail.
While most users do not check their Spam boxes, the genuine emails continue to go to Spam – which effectively means: mail not delivered. The Spam filters of these free email services are faulty, as they are not able to detect if an email is genuine or Spam.
A solution to the problem would be to make the Spam filters very liberal and let the recipient mark an email Spam from their Inbox while all the emails should first go to the recipient’s Inbox without any restriction. If the recipient marks an email in the Inbox as Spam, the next time an email received from that email address should go to Spam.
The self-service support links provided by Gmail and Yahoo Mail do not work at all. For example, the online help of Yahoo Mail is too cumbersome to use and the troubleshooting options of Gmail are very complicated. Most interactive questions asked by Gmail are extremely technical.
You cannot expect a Gmail user to be a software expert. It should be very simple. Suggestion: Do not label any email as Spam mail until the recipient marks it Spam.
In other words, all the individual emails and group emails should be delivered smoothly to the recipient’s Inbox without any restriction. The recipient should be able to read all the emails. The filtering should not cause email blocking.
Moreover, the limit on the number of recipients in a group email should be removed. These are my observations and suggestions for the time being.
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By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and founder of the humanitarian organization RMN Foundation. He has been running the global technology news site RMN Digital for the past 12 years. Earlier, he was writing an exclusive edit-page tech business column (named Technophile) regularly for The Financial Express, which is a daily business newspaper of The Indian Express Group.
He had also been associated with the United Nations (UN) through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert to help businesses use technology for brand marketing and business development. You can click here to know more about him and his work.