Best way to set up auto response to external email address's in exchange\outlook 2003?

We have an Exchange 2003 environment with a number of generic email accounts e.g 'customerservice@example.com'

I have put a server based rule on that replies with a template email to mail 'sent to me' (on these generic accounts), this rule works on internal accounts (I get the auto response) but not when testing from external webmail account

I don't want to use OOO (have had issues with this)
Don't want to enable 'allow auto replies' on Exchange global settings
Have seen some comments advising using a rule on a public folder, we currently don't use public folders but may consider it as long as emails sent to generic accounts actually arrive in their inbox, not in public folder.

Can anyone advise on best solution for me here?

Thank you

NTechnologyAsked:
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MesthaCommented:
If you don't want to enable allow automatic replies in global settings then you cannot use an autoresponder.
Thats it.

Even a public folder wouldn't help because it is still an auto response.

Therefore you have two choices.

1. No autoresponse to the internet.
2. Enable the feature and allow automatic replies to the internet for all users.

Simon.
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NTechnologyAuthor Commented:
Hi Simon.

Thanks for comment

We recently went over from Notes to Exchange so it's a bit of a learning curve for us.

Originally we gave our staff mail box rights to the generic accounts but the problem is the sent messages save to their own sent folder not the shared one, it seems the only way to get around this is to use a separate profile or 3rd party software which automatically puts the sent email in the shared sent box, not keen on using 3rd party software.

We then had users accessing the accounts via webmail access as this means sent messages go to the correct sent folder, I then put a rule on to auto acknowledge emails sent to these accounts, but as detailed in original call this doesn't work to internet unless changing global settings

I think the best solution is for our users to have multiple profiles for their own and generic accounts and switch between them, I will have to use out of office and a rule within it to send auto acknowledgements to customers, the only issue with that is that every time you login to the profile it prompts you 'do you want to switch off out of office' if users do by mistake it stops the auto acknowledgement from working

Is there a way to switch off the prompt when login into Outlook? Anyone VB script to do the job maybe?
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MesthaCommented:
You cannot turn off the OOTO prompt, because the whole point is that the OOTO message is only enabled when you are not there.

Simon.
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NTechnologyAuthor Commented:
We released the reason the auto acknowledgements stopped working was because as a part of the Notes to exchange migration we had temporary routing from exchange via Domino (Notes) to internet, this meant domino was happy to pass the acknowledgements to the Internet, when we switched to Exchange to internet direct routing Exchange stopped passing the acknowledgements to the internet, therefore we have had to enable 'allow auto responses' and 'allow out of office' on the Exchange global settings, auto acknowledgments now seem to be working again, plus we don't need to use the OOO rule anymore, just a rule on incoming mail.
Thanks for help Simon
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