Important Email Delivery Changes Coming Soon

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19 comments

  • Avatar
    Barbara
    What does this mean if my email is via gmail.com? Do I need to do anything special?
  • Avatar
    Kevin

    I have no idea what to do or how to do it.  Where are specific instructions for clients using outlook?

    Where do I find the "whitelist."

    Do I even need to do this? 

    You send out our emails for reminders and confirmations from your servers don't you? 

  • Avatar
    Shawn Reiterman

    Hi Everyone, Thanks for your comments. Here are a few extra details that should help you determine whether or not you need to make changes on your end.

    We recommend updating your whitelist (if applicable) to make sure your internal staff receives the email notifications from AppointmentPlus. If you use a custom domain for your organization’s email, you most likely have spam filter settings that include the option to create a list of safe senders.For example, the email address KB@appointmentplus.com was created using the domain “appointmentplus.com” whereas the KB@hotmail.com does not use a custom domain.

    In most cases, if the name of your organization does not appear at the end of your email address, you do not have the option to whitelist IP addresses and will not need to make changes to your email settings.  

  • Avatar
    Roberto

    Hi Shawn, today a couple of my staff members reported that they were not receiving notification from appointments requested by customers. They just happened to "discover" them on the calendar.
    As I know that the notification emails used to work a couple of weeks ago when I last checked, I tried to create a few new appointments as a customer, and sure enough neither the staff member nor the admin received notifications. I double-checked all notification and email settings and everything looks fine. As I searched the Knowledge Base for clues, I discovered this trail that informs that there was a change in email delivery systems on your side starting on Feb. 4. 
    I wonder if that is the reason for my problem. 
    If the customer (not using a custom domain name) requests an appointment and the staff member uses a personal email (not a custom domain name) why should Whitelisting IP addresses at my company's (yes, using a custom domain) make any difference? Or does that mean that I would need to ask every customer and every staff member to contact their own email providers and have them whitelist the list of IPs you reported at the beginning?

    And as for my Company's domain name, it is hosted by GoDaddy. I checked with them but could not find a way to specify whitelists.
    This looks like a serious problem as I cannot rely on customers and staff members to regularly check their AP calendars, "just in case there is a new appointment to confirm".

    Thanks!

  • Avatar
    Shawn Reiterman

    Hi Roberto,

    I’m sorry to hear you’re still having issues with the delivery of email notifications. Unfortunately, there is a small chance some email notifications will be sent to a spam folder instead of your inbox. I recommend checking that right away if an expected  email does not show in your inbox. If it happens again, please let us know by adding a support ticket an including the Date and Time the email should have been sent, as well as the email address it was sent to.  

    Just to clarify, we recommend whitelisting the IP Addresses listed above if your staff uses a custom email domain to receive email notifications. If this is not done, there high probability the Staff Member email notifications will be blocked by a firewall or spam filter. The change we made on February 4th was designed to improve email delivery for everyone and help us maintain a positive sender reputation. You will only need to whitelist the IP Address list above for the custom email domains email notifications are sent to. It is unlikely your customers will need to contact their email providers to update their list of safe senders since they will be using their personal email address. 

  • Avatar
    Kevin

    What are the steps to Whitelist an IP address in Outlook?

  • Avatar
    Shawn Reiterman

    Hi Kevin,

    The steps to update your safe senders list can vary widely depending on the service and version of Outlook you’re using. I recommend contacting your domain administrator or getting in touch with the Microsoft Sender Support Team to get the correct information. 

  • Avatar
    Kevin

    OMG: Can you just tell me generally where to find this or how to do it.  Is it under Junk menu or advanced settings?  How about a hint?  I tried and can't find it.  We don't have a domain administrator, whatever that is.  Plus, getting in touch with the Microsoft Sender Support Team regarding an outlook question is totally impossible.

  • Avatar
    Shawn Reiterman

    Hi Kevin,

    Sorry for the confusion, if you do not have a domain administrator you most likely do not need to whitelist the IP addresses listed on this notice. However, if notifications sent from AppointmentPlus are going to your junk folder, you can add AppointmentPlus to your list of safe senders. Here is a short video I found that explains the process. https://support.office.com/en-US/article/Video-Manage-junk-email-with-the-Block-Senders-and-Safe-Senders-lists-ed960552-eac9-41e5-a9bf-e7e706fefa88

  • Shawn,

    To follow up on this, I still think something is wrong with AppointmentPlus. This morning I tested some emails both with a custom domain AND with a general domain (@gmail.com). Appointment cancellation emails are getting through as well as no-show notifications. However, appointment confirmations are not being sent, and they are not in the junk folder. I followed up with a ticket, but any help you can provide to speed along a resolution would be appreciated. Something has to have changed on the AP side because we've been getting all emails until recently.

    Thanks,

    --John

  • I hope your changes today help because my patients are still not receiving appointment reminder e-mails or text messages.  They are missing appointments and making me very unhappy with Appointments Plus!

     

  • Avatar
    Shawn Reiterman

    Hi John,

    Thanks for letting me know and adding a support ticket. It looks like the notification settings are correct in your account. As long as the “send appointment e-mail” boxes are checked when you’re creating appointments, the emails should be sent. Although we have seen an increase in the rate of successful email delivery since the update earlier this month, our IT team is investigating undelivered email notifications on a case-by-case basis. Please include a few extra details to the support ticket if possible. We will need the Date and Time the email should have been sent, as well as the destination email address for each undelivered email notification. 

  • Shawn,

    This was when I (as a student/customer) created an appointment so there is no box to uncheck send an appointment confirmation. Can you confirm you actually do get emails when you book appointments from the front-end interface? If so, what email address are these coming from?

  • Avatar
    Roberto

    Hi Shawn, based on your response to John I tested the system again. I had two appointments set up, one by Admin on behalf of a student, one by the student herself, with the same tutor. Both appointments show up correctly on the calendar ("scheduled") but none generated any email. Here is the data for debug:

    2/24 11:42 EST from malgorzatastys@gmail.com (admin)  to  sicconi@telelingo.net  (staff member) and to admin@telelingo.net (admin)

    2/24 11:55  EST from mstys@heliantus.pl (customer) to  sicconi@telelingo.net (staff member) and to admin@telelingo.net (admin)

    No sign of emails in Junk/Spam or Trash.

    But if I cancel the appointments (same staff member and admin email ids) emails do go out. If the email system were filtering @telelingo.net emails they should be filtered too, correct?  

    I am starting to get concern emails from both Students (customer) and Tutors (staff members) about the reliability of the email notification system.  

     

  • I finally got helpful feedback from support. I'm not sure why this wasn't mentioned earlier or why it wasn't communicated better. This has been a pretty frustrating, ongoing experience that I hope doesn't repeat. Here is what resolved the issue:

    ***

    Thank you for contacting AppointmentPlus. If you do not have an SPF Record set on your Exchange Server to allow AppointmentPlus to send on your behalf please take the following steps.

    Settings
    Emails
    11. Have the e-mail notifications come from the advisor associated with the appointment. If this is set to yes, it will only show their name and not any address or contact information for the location. Note that the "from" email address will be "no reply," but any replies to the email will go to the advisor's email address.
    No
    Click Update

     

     

  • Avatar
    Shawn Reiterman

    Hi John,

    That helps a lot, thank you so much for the update! It makes sense to me now that you wouldn’t receive the email notifications when they aren’t sent from noreply@appointment-plus.com. Emails Preferences #11 & #12 will cause the system to send notifications from one of the email addresses listed in your account. The DMARC changes most of the major email providers made will just about always make it difficult to send a large amount of email through their systems. 

  • Avatar
    Shawn Reiterman

    Roberto,

    I checked the settings in your account and I looks like you will want to disable Emails Preference #12 to resolve the issue. Go To: Settings tab > Emails > Make sure Preferences #11 and #12 are set to NO. This will make sure the email notifications are sent from noreply@appointment-plus.com and fully comply with the new DMARC rules. Please let us know if you continue to experience issues after making that change.

    Thanks,

    -Shawn

  • Shawn,

    You're welcome and I do appreciate at least you are responding on the forums here. However, I just want to reiterate my increasing frustration with Appointment Plus' continued lack of accurate and timely assistance/communication (this isn't the first time). If AP had known changing this setting would have addressed the issue it would have been good for them to at least place that information in this post or in the related article of "we are not receiving notifications?" Instead, we were told a number of times to "go whitelist the IP addresses" even when that wasn't a viable solution to this specific problem (it may have been for other people, but not this problem). Knowing this would have saved a couple of weeks of not getting emails since we would have taken a proactive step to fix the problem before it even occurred.

    It's another reason we continue to look for a replacement to AP. I recently got an email about a new beta version of AP. Assuming we stick around long enough to see it, I really hope some of these issues are addressed, though they are not technical issues, but communication/customer service issues. 

    Thanks again for your help.
    --John

  • Avatar
    Roberto

    Shawn,

    I truly appreciate you double-checking into my settings to find the reason for my email delivery issue. You are absolutely correct: setting Preference #12 to "no" (in addition to #11 already set to "no") has taken care of the missed delivery. 
    As the inline help mentions that the setting is important in case of multiple locations (I am only using one), I misunderstood the importance of this setting and ignored it, not knowing that it could affect the way the new email system works.

    All is well that ends well, as they say. I am testing the system with dummy appointments, but so far it looks back to normal. Many thanks!!!

    John mentions the invitation he received to participate to the new beta of the system. I realize that beta code comes with possible bugs, but I am very interested in getting on the list, if you are looking for beta testers. 

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