Sometimes, E-mail is not as reliable as people assume it to be. In the past, I have responded to folks, only to find that they ask the same questions a couple of days later, while lamenting a lack of response. I have also heard complaints about no answers when emails are not received by us at all, as well as spent much time composing emails to people who give me non-functional return addresses, either due to typos in the address, or simply non-functional accounts. Things like this are bad for all involved.
Sometimes the problem is with our provider, and is usually very temporary. Other times, it is due to a flaky email service being used by the sender. Hotmail is terrible
. For some reason, our emails to this address have the poorest chances of being received, without us even knowing until the complaints come in.
The other thing to keep in mind is that we are a small company. There are no dedicated staff to perform these peripheral functions and our highest priorities are to get parts to folks who order, and to help resolve issues on the rare occasions when they occur. Technical support and pre-sales inquiries are next, and folks who ask very general questions, sometimes not even related specifically to our products, are a little lower on the priorities list.
That being said, I try to answer all
emails we receive. How quickly that happens is unfortunately based on our current order load, the number of inquiries we received that day (usually many) and the nature of the inquiry. As many can attest, It's not uncommon for a someone who sends us an e-mail at 3 am our time on a weekend to receive a response within a few minutes, but that's not something which I can always do.
If you don't receive a response, make sure that the return address provided is correct. Also, be persistent, in case there is a temporary issue somewhere. If that doesn't work, try sending from a different e-mail service. But above all, please try to make questions specific enough, and with enough information for me to actually answer the questions being asked. This includes the order number (where applicable) so I can see what parts were ordered to help determine what is tripping up the user. Questions which have simple answers, but require multiple emails to figure things out, are a time drain which isn't fair to others who are waiting.
In the case of Flynn's query, while it may have been sent on Friday, this is when the email actually made it to our server;
Sun, 12 May 2013 09:11:19
which is Sunday morning, the day we traveled 4 hours south to visit parents on Mother's Day
. And I'm not picking on Flynn, but that is the only
e-mail we have received from that address.
Which is one more thing to keep in mind; Don't assume that emails are transmitted instantaneously. There can be many relay points, spam filters, etc. between your servers and ours, and any glitch, overloaded server, etc. in-between can cause these delays, or even lack of receipt on our end. Due to the holiday weekend, it's not much of a leap to assume that the internet's mail systems got bogged down with more e-mailed greeting card and large photo attachments than usual.
This went long, but hopefully this will provide some insight into the issues we deal with daily and help folks to better get the answers they need.