Bug in Block/Unblock Sender
Problem reported by WebControl GmbH - March 17, 2016 at 9:45 AM
Locked
Resolved
Hello SmarterMail team and community,
 
i've found an uncommon behaviour in SmarterMail Version 14.5.5871. It relates to the Block/Unblock Sender function. In general it works fine. But if I change the action from "Delete Message" to "Move message" it is no longer possible to unblock a sender. The blocked mail address stays in the list. When I switch back to the default setting "Delete Message" everything works fine again.
 
Can you please look into it? It would be great, if the Block/Unblock function will work with every action.
 
 
Thanks and kind regards,
Viktor

10 Replies

Reply to Thread
0
Andrea Rogers Replied
Employee Post
Can you provide more information on where you're finding these settings, or perhaps a screenshot?

Andrea Rogers
Communications Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278

www.smartertools.com

0
WebControl GmbH Replied
Sorry, if my explanation was not clear. I mean the possibility to block / unblock a sender by right-clicking on a mail and choose "Block Sender" or "Unblock Sender". When I block a sender for the first time, SmarterMail creates a rule under "Settings" -> "Filtering" -> "Content Filtering" called "Internal Blocked Senders".

The default settings of this rule are (=> Click Edit):

1) From specific addresses
2) From Address. From specific addresses (one per line) matches
3) Delete Message

With these default settings everything works fine. I block an address and it will appear in the list (2). When I unblock the same address again, it disappears from the list (2).

But here comes the bug:

Our customer don't want messages to be deleted from blocked addresses. He wants that this messages are moved to a specific folder. So I edited the rule "Internal Blocked Senders" and chose the action "Move Message" instead of "Delete Message"
When I now block a sender by right-clicking one a mail and chose "Block Sender" everything works fine. The mail address appears in the list of the rule.

But when I unblock the same sender again, the address still stays in the list of the rule.
2
Andrea Rogers Replied
Employee Post
Thank you for the clarification! I understand what's happening now and from my testing, it does look to be buggy for me too. I found that while you can still ADD blocked senders to the modified filter (by right clicking on the message), they aren't removed when you click Unblock. 

Andrea Rogers
Communications Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278

www.smartertools.com

3
Andrea Rogers Replied
Employee Post
Aha! I think I've figured it out...
 
So it looks like the bug in this case may actually be the ability to edit that filter. Since it's one internally-created by SmarterMail and linked to the "Block/Unblock" command, I can see why it would not be restricted from modification. 
 
If you click on an email address in the message header and block the sender here, it gets added to the Internal Blocked Senders list. If you block a user this way though, the filter conditions and actions cannot be adjusted - only the email address list of blocked users can be changed. However, when you right-click on an email address and choose Block Sender here, you CAN modify the filter's actions (Caveat: you can only edit this filter from the right-click shortcut if you blocked your very first user this way. If a Internal Blocked Senders filter is already there from using the message header shortcut, it'll be added to that unchangeable filter.) 
 
In short, it looks like the two links to block a user from an email (right click shortcut and header shortcut) are using two different functions when they should share the same functionality. If you delete all Internal Blocked Senders filters (copy the email addresses first) and block a user from the message header instead, you'll see how this option should be functioning. 

Andrea Rogers
Communications Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278

www.smartertools.com

6
kevind Replied
How about just removing the block/unblock sender from the menu completely? This 'feature' might have been useful at one time but is now out-of-date (spammers never re-use addresses) and it causes endless confusion for users:
 
 
Blocking a sender does no good as messages are gone forever (sender doesn't get a bounce, message doesn't go to trash). Choices should be 1) unsubscribe, 2) mark as spam, or 3) manually create a filter to move these messages into Trash (requires a user who knows what he/she is doing which is good).
0
WebControl GmbH Replied
Thanks for looking into it Andrea! I also could reproduce your testing results with the block/unblock from the header and context menu.
0
WebControl GmbH Replied
What do you think about a solution that is more flexible? Instead of "Block" and "Unblock" in the context menu, there could be a "Add to rule" and "Remove from rule" function.
0
kevind Replied
Nice! It reminds me of Gmail's "Filter messages like these" menu option and it would help everyone:

Novice users - can't do something stupid with 1 click
Normal users - won't do anything at all
Power users - convenience to do whatever they want
2
kevind Replied
Here's a friendly request to see if Block Sender could be fixed up for the next minor. The way it works today is way too complicated (just read the above thread). Here are some simple changes that would probably take less then an hour.
 
1) It shouldn't delete messages, just move them to spam (or block outright in SMTP?).
 
2) Give the user a friendly dialog box that tells what's going to happen (see how Gmail does it in this thread).
 
3) Is 'Unblock Sender' really needed? They way the system currently works, you will never see another message from the person, so why have Unblock?
 
Thanks,
Kevin
0
Andrea Rogers Replied
Employee Post
With the removal of Bayesian filtering in SmarterMail 17.x (BETA), 16.x and 15.x, we are discussing modifications to the Block Sender / Mark Spam functionality in SmarterMail and the ability for a user to manage spam in their Inbox. However, because there are many posts relating to these topics throughout this Community, we are going to lock these threads and continue the discussion on one centralized thread: 
 
DISCUSSION: Block Sender / Mark Spam Functionality
 
Please join the discussion here or Subscribe for updates.

Andrea Rogers
Communications Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278

www.smartertools.com