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Logging actual time when mails arrive in Outlook

Posted on 2013-12-16
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Last Modified: 2015-03-02
Hi There

I have a number of different clients that would use Google Apps for Business and mostly there are no issues. However there is one company that keeps reporting mails arriving in late in to Outlook. This is actually only two users out of 26. They are actually the two busiest mail users in the company.

I have gone through a number of support tickets with Google for each of the users and every time it ends up being something on the local machine. However I keep getting reports from them saying that mails are arriving late (up to 18 hours).

I would like to be able to test one thing first before contacting Google again. And that is, are they just missing them coming in and when they eventually do see them in Outlook they presume the nails have just arrived.

They both have scores of rules in place so mails may never actually appear in the inbox, but are put immediately in to pre-determined company folders. They would both receive hundreds of mails a day and that is why I need to rule out human error.

So. Is there a way to time stamp mails as they arrive in to Outlook itself. For instance. If a mail is sent on a Saturday when the user is not working, and when the user comes in on the Monday all the mails arrive in to Outlook. Is there a way to see that Outlook first received the mail at 09.03 on the Monday and not the Saturday send time?

Or is there a way to see at what time each individual mail is pulled from the google mail server?

regards
Damien
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Question by:doey
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9 Comments
 
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Qlemo earned 250 total points
ID: 39724580
You should think the ReceivedTime of the corresponding Outlook MailItem object would hold that, but that's wrong - it is exactly what you see in Outlook, the time the mail was received by the server. If Outlook is pulling mails, or the mail server is no internal one, that does not help at all.
The LastModificationTime isn't reliable, as it is changed as soon as e.g. a category is added. But if they don't perform any action after the mail has been received (and sorted into the appropriate folder), that should do.

In any other case you'll have to apply an VBA event handler for the ItemAdd event of MailItem, writing information into the mail (in a user property you have to define). All changes/notes are only retained if you get the original mail item as an attachment, not just forwarded.
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by:regmigrant
regmigrant earned 250 total points
ID: 39731712
I fear the the 'modified time' (which you can add to the view) will be updated by the rules applied but its worth trying,

If you look at file-properties (for the email)  and examine the Internet Headers you should see the time it first hit your mail server - you will need to scroll through to identify the earliest acknowledgement.
For example I have some teams in India and received this at '2:52' according to my inbox:

X-OriginalArrivalTime: 16 Dec 2013 02:49:22.0736 (UTC)

However ymmv as not all email clients supply all data

If you take one or two of the more extreme examples and find a discrepancy this should help prove a case with Google without time stamping everything.
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 39731718
regmigrant,
That only reports the mail server timestamps. Outlook does not add anything to the header, so you do not know at which time Outlook received the mail.
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Expert Comment

by:regmigrant
ID: 39731735
agreed - but the perceived problem is with delivery from Google - if the timestamp at the server matches the timestamp at Outlook - with a small margin then the problem is outside this chain. If the server stamp is significantly different from Outlook then the problem is between the server and the client. I'm just suggesting a way to clarify so a proper conversation can be had with support.
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 39731753
There is no difference. As I elaborated on, the ReceivedTime of Outlook is nothing more than the timestamp visible in the header - when the last server in the chain received the mail, and that is Google.
If there is a local mail server, it's different.
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Expert Comment

by:regmigrant
ID: 39731915
Aha, I see what you mean.

I was assuming there *is* a local server and OP should look through the header chain to find when the first local server received it to compare that to Outlook - I don't see how Google would be able to (realistically) claim a client side issue if the servers are all theirs unless the senders are collaborating in some kind of scam :)
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Author Comment

by:doey
ID: 39732011
Just to let you know that google can only check their own servers and have always done so. However they have also checked all local logs on client's PC and they just made recommendations of what to do locally to help fix the issue.

I was asking this question to help rule out human error on the clients side. I hope to have access to the PCs this evening and I will run a few checks on it again then.
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Author Closing Comment

by:doey
ID: 40198774
Thank you guys. This went on for another couple of weeks and then a new machine was bought and put in place. Since this there has been little or no issues. So it looks like the bulk of the issue was on the client's PC.
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