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Selective 'out of office' reply?

worcsdave
Grafter
Posts: 72
Registered: 15-08-2007

Selective 'out of office' reply?

I'm about to go on holiday (yay!). And I want to set up an automated 'I'm away until xxxx' reply to emails that come into my plusnet mailbox while I'm away.

a) How do I do this?

b) Is it possible (unlikely, but worth asking!) to have replies sent only to mail which has not been identified as spam. Or is that asking too much?

Cheers
11 REPLIES
LiamM
Grafter
Posts: 5,636
Registered: 12-08-2007

Selective 'out of office' reply?

Unfortunately you're apparently asking to much having replies sent to anyone.

It's not possible to setup auto-replies on Plusnet's mail system. It is an idea that has been raised a number of times and has either been rejected, or is not at the top of the pile.

I remember reading a thread from 2003 requesting it.
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Selective 'out of office' reply?

may seem like a long-winded way of doing it, but if you have Outlook 2003 and have trained it's spam filter enough AND you can leave your machine on while you are away then you could setup an Out Of office for accepted mail that way.
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Selective 'out of office' reply?

well actually ..... Reading this thread I have just set up an autoresponder using a short php script I found after googling quite a while. It works perfectly Cheesy It connects to the POP3 server, and auto-responds to the unread contents of your inbox. and best of all it doesnt delete the messages (unless you want it too, there is an option to). Upload it to your ccgi space, set up a cron job and your set!

You have to register to the PHP-Classes site before you can download it. Here is the link

http://www.phpclasses.org/browse/package/1997.html

EDIT: When setting it up. only edit the reply_mails.php file. If you need any help or anything feel free to ask.
worcsdave
Grafter
Posts: 72
Registered: 15-08-2007

Selective 'out of office' reply?

This last suggestion looks great! I will definitely download the file and experiment. Thanks a lot.
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Selective 'out of office' reply?

there are a few errors in the reply_mails.php file which are just missing semi-colons. Works perfectly though.
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Selective 'out of office' reply?

Lets see you want everyone to know your away does this include Burglars, conmen etc?
You want all spam to be told there is a live address?

Its not a good idea to set these things up as it can be a security risk
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Selective 'out of office' reply?

Are burglars emailing people these days to check whether they're in?

Quote
Dear Sir/Madam

We'll be in your area next weekend and were wondering if you could give us an indication of a suitable time to pop round and nick yer telly. If you could kindly send us details of the make/model, and perhaps the location of any valuable jewellery, we can make sure than Bent Bill down the Dog'n'Duck has the right buyers lined up.

Kind regards,

Burglars plc


If you're worried about that, just put "our systems will be down for maintenance, but your message will be stored and actioned once everything's working" or some such.
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Selective 'out of office' reply?

Quote
Lets see you want everyone to know your away does this include Burglars, conmen etc?
You want all spam to be told there is a live address?

Its not a good idea to set these things up as it can be a security risk


So the OP's statement
Quote

Is it possible (unlikely, but worth asking!) to have replies sent only to mail which has not been identified as spam. Or is that asking too much?

slipped past you?

Assuming a reasonably trained spam filter (or better only set the auto responder to respond to your known contacts) an auto responder isn't too much of a risk (albeit mine just says 'I'm busy and will respond when I get time').

Some people for work reasons etc have to use auto responders... not all auto responders are a security risk.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

Selective 'out of office' reply?

Out of office agents can play there part in reducing spam.

In the past I used an e-mail address that simple replied to every e-mail with an out of office agent giving a live address. I could then freely publish that address even using it plain on usenet. All the spam just received a copy of my out of office message.

If any e-mails had been sent from genuine senders they would receive the polite message asking them to forward the message `a` live address.

As I said the live address was replyed to the spammers, but they never picked up on it. When I moved across to Plus.Net I had been using the same address to 12 months and was receiving about over 100 spams a day. Into the spam trap. Only one made ever it to the live address.


The original plan had been to change the spam trap e-mail and live address every so often, but that was not necessary.

I should also add that I did not use my main e-mail address for the live account.

In hindsight I am not sure that, ethically it’s the best process as it does cause a large volume of unnecessary e-mails, in all those out of office reply’s.

Come on Plus.Net, if NTL can provide out of office, why can’t you!!!

Chilly
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Selective 'out of office' reply?

well, that script i said above works great.
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Selective 'out of office' reply?

Quote
Out of office agents can play there part in reducing spam.

Assuming you don't regard these as spam themselves.

A friend of mine replies with forged send headers so that it appears the out of office agent has sent the mesage. It can then reply to itself until the cows come home.