This morning it was reported to me by one of our staff members that enquiries that were made by buyers weeks ago on www.realestate.com.au have just been turning up in the mail.
Now in many offices it is not unusual for salespeople to be handling enquries days and even weeks later but that is not a problem we normally have. At first nobody noticed and we went about handling the enquiries as they came in. Then a couple of buyers complained that it had taken us to long to get back to them, but the problem was we had only had the enquiry turn up in some cases minutes before hand.
Checking the email and in the top left hand corner REA places the date of that enquiry and for the example of this I am going to use, the enquiry was made on the 8th of May yet was only delivered this morning at 8:01am on the 20th of June.
When this was brought to my attention I checked the email headers (which I will paste in full at the end) which reveals that the delay appears to be happening inside REA servers.
The first step in the process was server trea29.telstra.realestate.com.au receiving the email on Thu, 8 May 2008 22:14:01 +1000 (EST)
But server trea29.telstra.realestate.com.au did not send it to server mhub02.telstra.realestate.com.au until Fri, 20 Jun 2008 08:01:39 +1000 (EST) and the last delivery in the process which was to our server was done straight after that.
A quick check reveals we have been receiving these old emails for a few days now.
This raises a few questions:
Has anybody else experienced this problem?
I am no expert in mail transport, but have had some reasonable experience but can somebody go through the email headers below and confirm my suspicions?
How wide is the problem and who was effected?
When you unstick a mail queue the stalled emails should come flooding in within a very short time. Why are they trickling through now over several days? Is it to slowly introduce the emails into the normal stream of enquiries so as not to raise suspicions? It if was not for the date on the emails showing that the buyer filled it out 6 weeks ago I would never have even checked the email headers.
If I am correct why did REA not notice that emails had been stuck in internal mail queues? That seems like a gross oversight to have emails missing for 6 weeks. I will go through all the emails received over the past few days to see if there is a pattern.
Cut and Paste of Email Headers Below (enquirers email address has been xxxx’d out)
Microsoft Mail Internet Headers Version 2.0
Received: from mhub02.telstra.realestate.com.au ([184.108.40.206]) by nfnserver.NFN.local with Microsoft SMTPSVC(5.0.2195.6713);
Fri, 20 Jun 2008 08:01:29 +1000
Received: from trea29.telstra.realestate.com.au ([172.20.1.29])
by mhub02.telstra.realestate.com.au (8.12.11/8.12.11) with ESMTP id m5JM1K8Q076374
for <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Fri, 20 Jun 2008 08:01:39 +1000 (EST)
Received: by trea29.telstra.realestate.com.au (Postfix, from userid 105)
id 0B97737ACAD; Thu, 8 May 2008 22:14:01 +1000 (EST)
Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary=”_———-=_1210248841283681″
X-Mailer: MIME::Lite 3.01 (F2.74; B3.07; Q3.07)
Date: Thu, 8 May 2008 22:14:01 +1000
Subject: realestate.com.au Enquiry: 104869853 – 19 Mandarin Court NERANG 4211
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 19 Jun 2008 22:01:29.0890 (UTC) FILETIME=[07255020:01C8D258]
X-Spam-Status: NO, hits=3 required=5 tests=CTENGINE_UNKNOWN,DATE_IN_PAST_96_XX,DNS_AVAILABLE,FIRST_UNTRUSTED_NO_RDNS,FS_UNTRUSTED_2,HTML_MESSAGE,RDNS_NONE,FS_CLASS_SPAM_3