Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Time Warner Roadrunner epically fails once again

Roadrunner has rolled out a new web email client and in the process they may be blocking valuable mail from you to roadrunner clients. I have NO CONTROL over this, this is an information update to my followers

Ok, first some techy geek stuff in simple terms:
Roadrunner provides home email accounts to their clients. There are 3 ways to access these accounts:

  • Roadrunner web mail: https://webmail.rochester.rr.com/
  • POP mail (using an email client like Outlook or Outlook express) – by far the most common config
  • IMAP mail (using an email client) – not as commonly used

About 2 weeks ago Roadrunner made some sort of change. This change created in each person’s WEB MAIL account a new mailbox called Junk Mail, and they turned on a setting on the Roadrunner side that started to filter mail in the account into the new mailbox if Roadrunner thought it was junk. The problem with this is that POP users will never know their mail is being filtered – they’ll just start missing messages. Time Warner didn’t TELL anyone they were making the change they just did it (This is typical of Time Warner Cable). I found out because I sent mail home to myself and it turned up missing. Even IMAP users might not know unless they refreshed their folders to see the new junk mail folder. Only a web mail user will know that the setting has been turned on, and tons of potentially legitimate email is sitting in their junk mail folder (over 90% of the email in my “junk” folder was legitimate mail).

Due to the way this is implemented, the sender will not know that their mail is being blocked, and the receiver will not know that any mail was sent to a junk mail folder they don’t know is there.

You can turn this setting off by logging into your roadrunner web mail (if you remember what your password is) and going to the SETTINGS/JUNK MAIL and say DELIVER MAIL instead of SEND JUNK MAIL TO FOLDER. Most people will have no idea how to do this, and there is no explanation of it on the web site. For most people the junk mail filtering in their client is sufficient to label and eliminate mail. If the user REALLY wants to know what Roadrunner mail they think is junk they can have Roadrunner add a label of “SPAM” to the “junk mail” before putting it in your mailbox.

You have a roadrunner account if your email ends in Rochester.rr.com

I'd recommend strongly that everyone with a Roadrunner account take 2 actions:
  • Check your settings and be sure they reflect how you want your mail processed (check your junk mail to be sure there's not legit mail there)
  • Complain to Roadrunner LOULDY about the fact that they should not be making decisions for you about what mail you do and do not see, without informing you or giving you the option to set those defaults up front.
Having dealt with the spam-nazi's at Roadrunner before they block stuff for no particular reason.  90% of the stuff they block is legit, and it causes no end of headaches for people that host their own mail or use small carriers (and sometimes large carriers - they blocked hotmail for no reason last week).  We are the customers - it's up to us to let them know when they've overstepped their bounds.