How to avoid auto reply going in loop (back and forth) in outlook 2007 and exchange 2003

Posted on 2010-08-17
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
We have a rule on one of our accounts that sends an auto reply to every e-mail received. (its a support mail stating that "we will solve your answer within a day.. bla bla)

The problem however occurs when the person in the other end also has a automatic replay activated. Then the auto replays will go back and forth forever.

Is there a way for us to set this up so that the auto replay only send one mail to the same address each day?

We use outlook 2007 as the client and exchange 2003 as the server.
Question by:mintraas
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Expert Comment

ID: 33453763
LVL 53

Expert Comment

by:Will Szymkowski
ID: 33453778
I have run into this issue just the other day and unfortunately there is no mechanism that will do this from an auto reply. An Out of Office reply is the only way to do this and it will only send 1 auto reply per email.

What you can do is create "exceptions" in your auto reply rule. This only allows you to select individual contacts or distribution groups from the GAL in your environment. This is only an internal solution.

As I stated before we ran into this the other day with a customers email and the solution/work-a-round was to add the email address of the mailbox from the auto replys were coming from on the recipient's server and add it as a contact in our AD environment. Once you have added the recipients email address as a contact you can now add it to the exception list for your auto reply rule.

Once you do that you can then hide this contact from the GAL so that people don't ask why this email address is on your system.

Hope this helps~!
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 33453894
You can set up rules through Outlook. server side rule will definitely crate loop !
I had tried making a lab on this..
you can create a outlook rule. but for that you will have to keep the outlook open.
In short its a product limitation

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Accepted Solution

ghemstrom earned 250 total points
ID: 33453921
1. You could send the auto reply to reply to a nonexistent address which is rather simple but unelegant.
2. If the message you send back is constant, at least in part, you could add to the dispatching rule that you already have, a second condition  for it to be sent, namely  that part of or your whole message string does not  exist in the message received.
I hope I have been clear enough. /ghemstrom, Sweden
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 33454117
ghemstrom - its actually a good idea. i tried in my lab.. reply address to a non existing user ! in the rule. didnt work in my lab.. ! when i checked the header of the email bouncing - it showed no change !

- also if u try to add one more rule bases on the subject like .. lets say.. Auto rely - delete once comes in - doesnt work too.. !
let see if it works out for mintraas !


Expert Comment

ID: 33454169
@x-sam The second solution worked for me in a single user environment. Maybe Exchange server would treat rules differently.
My problem was that I wanted to reply to all mail that I got with an email address that I wanted to quit.... I sent a message with my correct address etc. and I got replies back that I did not want to reply to evidently.
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 33454265
Oh ok.. good ! Lets see if it works out for mintraas

Author Comment

ID: 33454420
OK. Thank you for all you answers. I think actually that the best solution for us is to add a new address that doesn`t allow inbound mail from outside our company.

Or to be more specific: Crate a address who takes care of the auto replays.
So it will be like this: costumer --> --> --> costumer.

I will test this tomorrow and let you know how it goes. Any thoughts on this so far?

Expert Comment

ID: 33479082
As I said, simple but inelegant!

Expert Comment

ID: 33858516
I object because my suggested solution is very close to the one the author suggests albeit it is more concretely described than the one I suggested

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