HELP! My mail stopped coming!

When list mail stops coming to you, it is usually for one of the following four reasons.

  1. Most common: Your mailbox has filled up or your server (the computer system that receives your mail (i.e. AOL, Erols, WebTV) has had problems. When that happens, your posts bounce (do not go into your mailbox and are returned to the sender). In the case of ATCA, two things might happen. We now have auto bounce control, so an account that bounces for five days is assumed to be an invalid account and is deleted. If this happens to you (you will know because your attempt to set yourself to MAIL will be returned with a message that you are not subscribed to ATCA), let the listowner know that your account is now functional and you will be added again.
    If your server uses a non-standard bounce, or sends an unusual code, the posts are returned to the listowner who is handling errors, and their mailbox fills up with copies of every post that is currently being bounced. The listowner then sets the account that is bouncing to NOMAIL. Once the member has cleaned out their mailbox, or their server has come back online, the member is able to set themselves back to MAIL by using the instructions in this FAQ (see Setting MAIL and NOMAIL below). If you are subscribed to several lists, and all have been stopped, chances are that your posts were bouncing left and right and you need to set yourself back to mail (after cleaning out your inbox).
  2. The server has gone offline temporarily but is still collecting your mail. This leads to a temporary lull in mail, and nothing will be received. Once the server is operational, all backed up mail is received at once.
  3. One of systems your mail passes through on its way to your server has gone down. Not too long ago, a major hub for the East Coast went down and mail was disrupted for almost everyone whose accounts were based here. Again, mail will be held until it can go through, then will be received all at once.
  4. The listserv has gone down. This isn’t a common occurrence, but it does happen. If you’ve attempted to set yourself to MAIL, or written to ATCA-REQUEST and did not receive any response, this may be what has happened. Please do not post to the list and ask if the listserv is down.

There is nothing that can be done about #2 , #3, and #4 but to wait. If you have tried to set yourself back to MAIL after emptying your full inbox and did not receive anything from the listserv, then chances are your mail is being held up somewhere along the way.

Listowners are able and willing to set you to MAIL and NOMAIL. But it is better for you to do it yourself so it can be done when you need it. None of us are on the list continuously — we’ve got families and lives, too — and it may take a while before we see and respond to your request.

If you’ve done all this, and are still having problems, write to¬†, instead of to the list. There is no need for mail problems to be posted publicly and be archived forever :-).