An Amusing Email Loop

Last week we were in Dallas. I was on a business trip, and I took the family with me so they could have a bit of recreation while I was working during the day.

Per company policy, I rented a car to drive down. I was given a Nissan Rogue, which is the first time I’ve driven one of those.

At some point, as is my usual practice, I connected my phone to the car using the cars Bluetooth. I get a lot of calls, and tend to take them in hands free mode.

Here’s where the amusing part comes in. My work email is set up to send me a text message when I receive a message. The text has enough of the message for me to determine how to prioritize answering the message. So I’m driving along, and I get an email in at work, which generates a text message. I check it out, not a priority.

Then I get another text message about 15 seconds later. Then another, then another… this went on for a couple minutes, and each of the messages were the same: “Sent from my car”. The rate sped up as I received about four messages in a five-minute span, so I was getting a LOT of texts. I turned off Bluetooth and it stopped the cycles.

So what happened: My work email would receive a message, and send me a text that I had a new email. The car radio would auto-reply back to my work email with a text-to-email gateway using my phone number with the “Sent from my car” message, which would arrive at work, and generate a text back to my phone. Naturally, my work email had a lot of these messages piled in my inbox.

I just left my phone disconnected from the Rogue Bluetooth (hah, sending “rogue messages!) for the remainder of the trip. I haven’t looked to see if there was a setting in the car to turn off the auto-generated reply.

One comment on that: the user interface into the Rogue display was very poor.

Perils of technology…

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