“You are approaching quota” – Steps to take

Important: If you get this notification (see “notification sequence” below), you have roughly 48 hours to take some kind of action. I’m sorry that it’s that short, but if your account actually reaches quota the server starts bouncing emailĀ  that can have a negative impact on everyone else’s accounts and deliverability. If it’s not enough time, then at least let me know quickly and I’ll see what we can do.

I try to keep an eye on accounts that are approaching their 50MB quota. If you appear to be reaching it I’ll first bump you to 100MB, since we do get so much spam. Once you cross the 80MB barrier I’ll send out the warning that brought you here.

When an account reaches its quota, I delete it so as to prevent “mailbox full” bounce messages that would result. Unfortunately many email services take those bounces as signs of spam and it thus negatively impacts our servers reputation and in turn our ability to send legitimate email. (Ironically bouncing with “no such account” apparently does not affect our reputation.)

If I send a warning and I hear nothing back within a couple of days I can only assume the account’s no longer in use, and that’s the reason for email simply accumulating on the server.

If you do get a warning I recommend the following steps:

  1. Ensure that you are regularly (my recommendation: daily) downloading your exmsft.com email using a POP3 client. Make sure that it’s not configured to “leave messages on server”.
  2. Log in to exmsft.com webmail and check any additional folders for excessive spam. The spam filter on the server will deflect some spam into folders which are not accessed by POP3. While those folders are emptied nightly of spam older than two-weeks, I have seen some folks get spam at an excessively high rate. If you find spam that adds up to something approaching the 50MB quota, and it’s all less than two weeks old, contact me and we’ll work something out.

Remember, exmsft.com email was never really intended to be a full-featured primary email service. Issues with spam have severely impacted our ability to be flexible about what services we can and cannot offer.

Thanks, as always, for your patience and understanding.

Leo (who’s really, really, REALLY, tired of spammers)

Notification Sequence

Typically you’ll actually be notified several times that your quota is about to become an issue. The series includes:

  • If your current quota is 50MB, it’s automatically increased to 100MB when I notice that you’re approaching it. (No notification is sent.)
  • 80% full: the system sends you an automated message.
  • Over 80%, but less than 90%: I send you a note with a link to this page.
  • 90%: the system sends you an automated message.
  • Over 90%: I send you a note with a link to this page, again.
  • Over 90% but less than 95%: Depending on how rapidly you’re approaching quota, at some point I’ll disable your ability to login to the account (to get your attention), but the account can still receive email.
  • Over 95%: Depending on how rapidly you’re approaching 100%, at some point I delete your account.

The sequence above has you being notified at least four times before your account is deleted. If you haven’t responded to any of those notifications I can only assume your account has been abandoned.