Ahhhh Unsend, UNSEND! Stories of Replyallpocalypse & Other Email Blunders

That dreaded Reply All button. If only there were some kind of app or plug-in that made people have to answer a challenging calculus problem in order to enable it. OK, maybe instead they should have to answer a series of questions, like "Do you really intend to send this message to the entire company?" followed by "Are you contributing anything of value to the other recipients on this listserv?" Don't get me wrong, Reply All has its uses, but it can also be terribly abused. Just look at how it's plaguing the inboxes of thousands of Time Inc. employees! And if you think it's just a workplace annoyance with no real harm, then these stories will make you think twice before sending your next email. We reached out to IT professionals and MSPs on Spiceworks, asking them to share their funniest and worst Replyallpocalypse moments, and they did not disappoint. Keep reading for some of our favorites!

1. Warnings for Repeat Offenders

If you have members of your team that are Reply All happy, you may consider penalizing offenders like this IT department did:

Reply All Response by Discipline
2. Blame Orville Redenbacher

This next anecdote may have been prevented had the company used separate listservs for each of their locations. But hey, all of this could have been avoided had they had a popcorn machine in their kitchen like some offices do! ;)

Reply All PopcornToo bad she didn't wait to send it on National Popcorn Day, a holiday I trust you all know was last week. 

3. An Interoffice Romance

Isn't this how Jim and Pam got together too?

Screen_Shot_2016-01-24_at_6.08.25_PM.png4. Are You There Chico? It's Me, Margaret

Funny Reply All Email StoryWhat causes a Reply All flub to snowball out of control is everybody else. Whether it's someone trying to get a rise out of people by sending a snarky meme or firing back a curt reply complaining about receiving so many emails, we all need to revisit Reply All etiquette. If you need a refresher course, check out this helpful article from The Huffington Post.

5. The One Reply All Case I'll Support

As someone who regularly volunteered at her area's SPCA and held the title of Small Dog Playgroup Supervisor at a dog boarding camp (yes, that's a real thing), I won't fault anyone whose Reply All actions resulted in a rescue animal finding a forever home. 

the only instance of reply all i support

6. A Photo Finish 

The most obvious consequences of being too liberal with your emailing are loss of reputation (and if bad enough, loss of job) for saying something damaging, internal conflict for saying something negative about a coworker and igniting an HR firestorm or simply annoying the bejesus out of everyone involved by contributing to a Reply All thread that's gotten out of hand. But as these last two cases prove, the integrity of your data may also be on the line.

too many reply all photos crash a server

In this case, a picture was certainly not worth a thousand emails.


7.  You Don't Have Mail

email blunder crashed a mail server

Maybe you and your staff would no better than to repeat that guy's actions, but would your clients? Do they have strict policies to run all software downloads by IT or has lack of awareness caused them to cast a Shadow IT on their networks?


And there you have it, the top 7 responses from MSPs and IT solutions providers regarding emails they - or someone they knew - wish they hadn't sent. Follow the ongoing conversation on Spiceworks here!

If you find Replyallpocalypse is an issue you repeatedly have to deal with or you've fallen for the Reply All trap, check out Gmail's undo send option. It's the answer to all of our prayers! Now, if only Outlook would get on board...

If you enjoyed this IT community post, chances are you'd like some of these:

Use these tips in your next email send...just hope they don't Reply All!