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Getting it so wrong

One of the things I notice is when vendors send me badly formatted emails. There’s one vendor of ours that gets it so wrong I find it offensive to receive their mails. Not only have they not managed to invoice or process payments correctly for months, but their billing emails come to me with one of the ugliest From: lines I’ve ever seen.
Now, I’ve seen Dave Crocker’s lectures on email address. I believe that technically this is a legal From: address. But, seriously? I’m amazed they ever get mail delivered.
“COMPANY <Firstname.Lastname”@company.com
Yes, I changed the name to protect the stupid.
I tried to reply to the email address and my mail client tells me “this does not appear to be a valid email address.” Well, no. No it doesn’t. But let’s try anyway.
And there’s the bounce. “Invalid address!!!”.
This vendor is sending out invoices with totally broken From: address. I wonder how many of their customers are not getting an actual invoice from them?
But, being the helpful person I am, I actually mailed the person and pointed out that their From: address was horribly broken and may be negatively impacting their delivery. I’m not expecting an answer, but at least I have done my good deed for the day.
As part of the deployment process of any new email system you should check to make sure the address is correct and people can reply to it. That single test “reply to mail” would have identified this problem 5 months ago and not taken one of their recipients to point it out to them.

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