Issue processing reply-by-email for deleted tickets

We have been having this problem for awhile, but I wanted to go ahead and report it.

We use the email service (managed by a program from TD named "E-Mail Service Configuration Utility") that sends/receives emails associated with tickets. The problem we have is that if a customer replies to a ticket that no longer exists (usually as a result of merging tickets), that email winds up in the "Unsuccessful" folder of the Team Dynamix mailbox. We try to check these folders regularly, but there can sometimes be a couple days between when the email is received and when we find it - resulting in delayed service and frustrated customers.

Would it be feasible to change this behavior and have the e-mail service generate a new ticket in this circumstance rather than error out and move the e-mail to the unsuccessful folder?

Tags itsm ticket deleted
Asked by Arlen Strader on Tue 9/9/14 5:28 PM
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Answer (1)

Matt Sayers Tue 9/9/14 5:29 PM

This is working as intended. The problem with "forwarding" email replies to the ticket it was merged into is that the old ticket is deleted when two tickets are merged. There isn't a forwarding address left.

What is the process that is causing these replies to be left hanging? What kinds of tickets do you usually merge? Would it be possible to contain these tickets in a larger problem/change ticket instead of merging?

I understand that it would be near impossible to add the new message to the old merged/deleted one. But, couldn’t the new message simply generate a new ticket in the event that the old one can’t be found? Rather, than simply dumping into the “Unsuccessful” folder of the feed mailbox?

The common reason for merging tickets is when a customer submits two tickets for the same problem. (They forget they already submitted one, or they think we didn’t get the first one, etc.) Or, possibly when a staff member creates a ticket as the result of a phone call and then the customer submits their own.

The reply to a merged ticket often takes place at a much later time. (We had an incident last week where the customer found a 6 month old ticket in their email and replied to that in order to report a new problem.)

I don’t know what you mean by added the tickets to a “larger problem/change ticket instead of merging.” Is there a better way to handle duplicate tickets rather than merging them?

Duplicate tickets (users creating multiple tickets for the same exact problem) can be merged, we just make sure to notify the user on the merged ticket to give them a valid reply point to the ticket.

Emails using reply-by-email are no longer valid after 60 days. If a user tries to reply to a notification email that is older than 60 days, the reply token will have gone out of date and the email service will not know where the reply is supposed to go and will just drop the email.

You can add incidents as "children" to problem and change tickets. We use these to conglomerate separate reports of the same problem without having to merge them all into one ticket. For example, three separate users - or even one user - send in separate tickets reporting the same problem. We would wrap these up under a problem ticket, put the work and tasks on the overarching problem ticket, and notify the individual users on the incidents when work has been completed. 

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