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Sending messages via Lost Cousins website

Discussion in 'Any questions?' started by Pauline, May 9, 2020.

  1. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    Is there any way to tell from the Lost Cousins website if a contact has sent a message via the site?

    The reason for asking is that I recently had a response from a new contact that I found some time ago. The person had not received any email notification of my request for contact but had eventually found it as an outstanding request when logging in to their account some time later. This person did not wish to disclose their email address, so I replied to their message via the website.

    I haven't heard any more, so now I am wondering - if they didn't receive the email notification of my initial request, then will they have received the email notification of my reply? And if they didn't, how will they know that I've replied?
  2. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Unfortunately if members use email services that neither deliver nor return some emails there is no way to communicate with them effectively. Of the well-known email providers Hotmail is the worst offender, and I recommend that anyone with a Hotmail address opens a Gmail account as this will reduce the chance of incoming email gong astray.

    Since Ancestry and Findmypast have a similar problem despite their vast resources it's clearly not a problem with a perfect solution.

    Fortunately there is no evidence that there is a problem with members receiving foll0w-up messages. This may be because these messages contain user-generated content - so look less like spam - or it may be because they look similar to other messages that have been successfully delivered previously.
  3. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    So am I right in thinking that you can't see from anywhere on the LC website if messages have been sent to you?

    I've sent a brief follow-up message to this contact asking her if she could let me know if she received my earlier one, even if she's not yet able to reply to it.
  4. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    That's right. I did suggest to the programmer back in 2004 that we kept copies of messages on the website (as they do at Ancestry) but he threw up his hands in horror.

    In this case the member concerned doesn't appear to have logged-in at the LostCousins site since your message was sent so even if there were a message on the site she wouldn't have seen it. Ultimately the LostCousins system relies on the member's email service.

    To date there hasn't been any reported case of a message sent through the website not arriving, but this could be the first time. However it's worth bearing in mind that for many family history necessarily comes a long way down on their list of priorities - we are in the middle of the biggest global crisis most of us have ever known..
  5. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    Many thanks!
    Of course - but she had just contacted me somewhat out of the blue and it seems not unreasonable to suppose she was expecting I might reply.
  6. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    These things happen - I was contacted out of the blue by one of my DNA matches at Ancestry (a very rare occurrence - it's usually me who initiates the contacts) and though I responded immediately, I haven't heard a dicky-bird since. It's now nearly three weeks, and still nothing although according to Ancestry she has logged-in this week.
  7. Robert1568

    Robert1568 New Member

    There has been a long term problem with Ancestry's system where some incoming messages are for some reason put in your sent box rather than your in box. Advice in the past has been to search your sent box regularly. I can still do that as I am on the old messaging system but apparently the new system that Ancestry is rolling out doesn't show you a sent box.
  8. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I've never seen that problem, though I did notice that under the old system some messages I had sent disappeared.

    The new system seems a lot better - so far.
  9. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    I've never had the problem either, I always use the link in the email that advises me I have a new message, it goes straight to the message so it doesn't matter where it is, or does it.
    I like the way I can read the message in the email before going to the message in my Message Centre.

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