General Question

zanguest's avatar

If you don't get a response from an email, what do you do?

Asked by zanguest (10 points ) October 28th, 2009

I didn’t get a response from an email address that I knew was correct. I was trying to do business with this person, and they had given their email address to me personally. I called the persons manager and said “I’m not sure if I have the right email address, because I haven’t gotten a response.” Is that considered a lie? Or is it good business etiquette?

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12 Answers

jlm11f's avatar

I think what you did is perfectly okay and a good way to give a friendly reminder to reply to your email. People are all so busy that it happens to everyone once in a while that you mean to reply but just completely forget.

gussnarp's avatar

It may be a lie, but sometimes using a harmless lie in order to be polite is appropriate. Besides, it’s always a possibility that you don’t have the right address. It’s better than saying: “Is he avoiding me?”

My approach would be to send a second email, with a read receipt request, saying: “we’ve been having some email server problems and I wanted to make sure you got my email”. Which, conveniently, is relatively true.

Judi's avatar

I don’t think I would call their boss. I would just call them directly.
I

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I think you did the right thing. If you don’t get a response in another day or so, I’d call their boss again.

Skippy's avatar

Perfect business etiquette. However, after a few days, I would follow up with either a call or forward of my original email to the superior in that office.
No execuse other than being off sick, what with all the flu going around”

RedPowerLady's avatar

I think that is the most appropriate next step. You aren’t putting the person to blame, you are blaming yourself for not having the right address.

PapaLeo's avatar

You called this person’s manager?!! After he didn’t response to one email? Why? Are you trying on purpose to piss him off? No, I don’t find that good business etiquette at all (much less “perfect”).

First of all, you didn’t say how much time went by between the time you sent the email and you didn’t get a response. A day? A week? A month? Let me suggest something to you: perhaps doing business with you right this minute isn’t the most important thing on this person’s agenda right now.

Personally, I don’t think you stand a snowball’s chance in hell of ever doing business with this person, so for the next time, I’d do the following:
– email
– if no response after a couple of days, a second email (still friendly in tone)
– if still no response, a direct phone call (not to his superior)
– assuming your relationship with this person is still positive, a follow up email to the phone call.
– if still no response, consider this a lost cause, and consider that perhaps something needs to change with your value proposition.

Val123's avatar

@PapaLeo But we don’t know the nature of the email. It could have been rather urgent! But yeah, I would like to hear why they called the manager rather than the person directly.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

If you are trying to do business with someone that is not a client, then you have no recourse. If it is a client, then you should pick up the phone and call the person directly. If someone e-mailed me about doing business, and I didn’t respond, my manager would be upset with the vendor who contacted her, not me. I am hired to do actual work, and if I don’t answer an e-mail, it’s because I’m busy with real work, I am trying to keep my existing vendor relationships working, or my budget is cut.

jlm11f's avatar

I just got back to this Q and re-read it since I am actually on my computer now. I agree with those that said that they wouldn’t call that person’s boss. I missed that bit when I first read the Q on my phone. I thought you had just called the individual itself and told them that. I don’t see the need to bring the boss into the picture.

Chatfe's avatar

It sounds like a polite way to handle the situation. Sometimes people are busy or not sure how to respond. Calling with a friendly reminder or question like you suggest is fine.

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