Cool Solutions

Workaround for Problem With Auto Replies


May 19, 2009 3:51 pm





Author: Tony Kelly

I recently found a problem with auto replies, there was no immediate fix – but I have worked out a workaround for now.

However let me explain the problem.

User A and User B.

User A shares an addressbook with User B. Ordinarily this works fine. However we discovered that if User B has an auto-reply switched on when the share is set up, then User A will get a reply. Unfortunately from that point onwards User A gets the auto-reply every time User B switches it on.

User A understandably is not happy.

I managed to replicate the problem on my own e-mail account, but interestingly I managed to get it to send the auto-reply every time I switched the rule off or on.

In my case User A was me, and User B was a test account I set up, so I could delete the test account no problem, however in this situation I had two established users, so deleting the accounts was not that simple.

If you remove access to shared the addressbook this does not fix the problem, if you delete the shared addressbook, then the rule still mails User A.

We noticed the reply User A gets says Re: Sharing of Addressbook ‘Schools’ (this was a test I was using).

I figured out that you can create two rules.

The first is that User B sets up a normal rule saying they are on vacation, the second is set up by User B for the benefit of User A.

I set up a rule called Schools, and set it as;

New Item. And new items are Received.

Item type – Mail.

Defined conditions. Subject contains Sharing of Addressbook ‘Schools’

Add Action I set to Move to Folder: Junk Mail and also Empty Item

When run I no longer got a message going to User A by default. But if I e-mail User B from User A and the contents of the subject line is not Sharing of Addressbook ‘Schools’, then User A gets an auto-reply saying User B is on vacation.

A strange problem that emphasises that though it is not obvious, having an auto-reply switched on when sharing resources is not a good idea!

I’ve yet to fathom how to stop this without using the above method I have suggested. Any other suggestions on how to fix this without deleting user accounts would be received with interest.

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