This post is somewhat off-topic for my blog, being less about business and more about technology. However, it is being written in the context of my forming a corporation for a new client, and it discusses an issue that I find interesting, so here it is. When I noted that the client and I were having trouble communicating effectively online, he commented that some of my e-mails were “weird”.
I had never encountered these sorts of problems before. The client sent screen shots and a description of his actions. I then saw the source of the problem: I use Outlook, while my client uses Gmail.
The most extreme example occurred when I attached to a new e-mail an old e-mail that, itself, included three attached files. Here is why he found that e-mail confusing:
- It appeared that the body of the attached e-mail was collapsed – something that normally happens only after an e-mail is read (which he had not done).
- However, the body really was in an attachment – but it was called “noname”, and it didn’t have an image of a paperclip, which is what attachments normally have.
- When he clicked on “noname”, it opened (on his Mac) as a Apple Mail message.
- Finally, he was able to read the attached e-mail and open its three attached files.
I should note that Gmail’s ability to handle the attached e-mail at all is a tribute to (a) the ubiquity of Outlook among businesses (and lawyers) and (b) Gmail’s technical underpinnings (Yahoo! mail, for example, does nothing useful with an attached e-mail).
So we agreed that, in the future, I will keep my e-mails as simple as possible, avoiding e-mails attached to e-mails – and my client will get back to me right away if it appears that what he received differs from what the e-mail says I sent.
Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law? +1 510 547-0545? dana [at] danashultz [dot] com
This blog does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer directly.