More on the saga of signing up to receive free easy Italian news bulletins three times a week (which you can do by filling in the form in the sidebar of the website, where it says NEVER MISS ‘EASY ITALIAN NEWS’!)
I first mentioned that a very small minority of people were having issues with this last week in this article: Claire’s problem, thoughts from Leslie, and reminders!
And I touched on it again on Monday:
The one thing the various ‘easy news’ customer service issues have had in common, apart from the person’s understandable frustration, is that the ‘please confirm by clicking the link’ email has not arrived.
My theory is that this is only happening with smaller email providers – there are some in Australia that are particularly problematic, and some company systems also over-enthusiastically block ‘spam’.
If this is the case then a simple solution should be to use a free Gmail or Yahoo email account instead when you sign up for your thrice-weekly, free ‘easy Italian news’ bulletins.
You can always set up the lesser-used Gmail email account to forward incoming emails to the account that you use more regularly.
So, if you’ve not already done so, go visit the new site and add your email in the side bar, on the left-hand side of the page, more or less in the center.
With me so far? Great, so when I checked my emails in bed this morning at 07.30 there were two more installments in the saga – it’s like Netflix, this!
And yes, I know that reading customer service emails in bed isn’t healthy, but due to time zones this is a 24-hour-a-day business. I’ll sleep when I’m dead, as old rockers say.
So anyway, Jon emailed with this:
Your theory about the cause of problems with email sign up for easy Italian news is not right for me. I have a yahoo email address and have tried four times to sign up for the emails from different devices and browsers. Each time the site gives me a message saying to check my email for a confirmation but I haven’t received anything – have checked junk etc. I have not had a single other problem with emails coming to this account.
Of course you should assume that far more people have problems than contact you to tell you about them – your conclusion that the number having had problems is much smaller than the number of subscribers may not be correct. I find it a bit hard to believe that you wouldn’t get a large proportion of the people who are signed up to online Italian club signing up to the easy Italian news as it’s a nice service and one you should continue! That suggests there is a problem for loads of people.
Could there be a conflict with the distribution list for onlineItalianclub – ie your site is not adding anyone whose name is already on that list? (Perhaps it thinks the address is already subscribed??) When I sign up with my Gmail account (which I do not really use)which is not signed up for onlineItalianclub I get the email fine but I do not really use this account and workarounds like forwarding emails are not solutions to whatever the problem at your end is.
The bolding is mine.
John is kind to say he thinks that large numbers of our over 11,000 OnlineItalianClub.com subscribers would want to sign up for easy Italian news, but the reality is that maybe only 30% or less regularly open my emails, so say 3,000, and 1213 of those HAVE already signed up for easy news.
People are busy.
Getting three thousand people, even three thousand people who love my stuff, to do anything rapidly is not going to happen (hence the nagging…)
I therefore think the number of signups achieved in just a month is a pretty strong indication that there’s nothing major wrong with the system.
Jon suggests that there might be a conflict with the ‘club’ emails. It’s a reasonable hypothesis, but nope, the easy news system is a different one, not connected at all to anything else we use. It’s also run by a major provider of this type of service and seems to be fast and effective.
But Jon himself has the answer, even though he assumes the problem is at our end as most people do: his Yahoo account didn’t get the emails BUT HIS GMAIL ACCOUNT DID.
He’s still not happy, because he doesn’t want to use his Gmail for this, but sorry, that does rather prove my theory that the problem is with the email provider at HIS end.
OK, I admit, I said I thought both Yahoo and Gmail would be good, reliable solutions, and now we have someone saying that Yahoo isn’t.
But we all know that Google is loaded with cash and engineers while Yahoo isn’t, so it’s unsurprising if Yahoo’s A.I. (artificical intelligence) algorithm is glitchier.
If email provider A works while email provider B doesn’t, the problem is not with sender C, but with email provider B, along with all the Australian ones of course, which are a law unto themselves…
Call me stubborn, Jon, but I do this sort of customer service for a living (actually, it’s a hobby, as it’s unpaid) and the problem is usually, though not always, with the user.
When someone writes to tell me that something is broken, I have to check, of course I do, but it invariably isn’t.
It’s like they say about plane crashes – most of the time the cause is ‘pilot error’.
Anyway, as if to reward me for being so smug, the next email I opened was from Claire!
I have worked out what went wrong. I had gone through steps 1 and 2 twice with 2 different email addresses, but had not received the return emails. In fact they were in my junk mail on my computer, and hadn’t even been sent on to my iPad, where I do my emailing. By the time I found them on the computer it was too late. Fortunately I have a third email address on my phone and when I received the return email it said “….ignore this message and we’ll never bother you again”
So by the time I found the junk mail, they had decided to never bother me again…… no wonder that when I tried to use those same email addresses yet again I got no response whatsoever.
Anyway all is well, though slightly more inconvenient.
But I’ve seen this before, and you know what it is?
Mobile devices – smartphones, tablets and so on – ‘synch’ your email between the different apps. So if you, say, read an email on your phone, then switch on your tablet thirty minutes later and check your email again, you should find the one you read earlier marked as ‘read’, rather than ‘to read’, if you see what I mean.
Suppose you have an email app on your computer, you’d expect it to get everything, given that it’s plugged into the wall and connected to your landline, so doesn’t have to ration power or connectivity.
But the same email app on your tablet or smartphone is designed to be more frugal – there are settings that you can modify which, for example, mean that your tablet email app will ‘synch’ incoming emails, which it assumes you’ll want to see, but will not waste power or data by synching the stuff in your spam folder.
Go check on a computer, as Claire did, and you might well see stuff which never got synched to your mobile device, including the email with the link you need to click to confirm you want to receive easy Italian news bulletins.
Good job Claire for figuring it out!
And thanks for letting me know – even we ‘non-artificial intelligence’ customer service staff can learn, given enough feedback…
So Jon, you now have a counter-hypothesis to test.
Were you using a mobile device? If so, check the spam in your Yahoo email on a computer to see what’s in there that your mobile device might not have shown you.
Fun, fun, fun, till Daddy took the iPad away.
Man, I hate those things.
‘Book of the Week’ reminder!
Don’t forget this week’s ‘Book of the Week’ offer, ‘Divorzio all’italiana’!
This is our easy-reader ebook re-telling of one of the most famous Italian movies from the 60’s, directed by Pietro Germi.
We’re in the south of Italy, back in the days when divorce was illegal, and the film’s protagonist is unhappily married, which presents a problem…
Read reviews here.
And do take a look at the free sample chapter (.pdf) to get an idea of the complexity and length of the material BEFORE you buy it.
‘Divorzio all’italiana’ is HALF PRICE this week, so just £3.99 rather than the usual ebook price of £7.99.
The offer ends on Sunday night.
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online at soundcloud.com)
- 8 chapters to read and listen to
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at B1 level and above
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
Your e-book will be emailed to you within 24 hours of your purchase.