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Techmail is not filtering a BCC reply and incident is updated
Answer ID 9769   |   Last Review Date 02/12/2020

Why aren't email replies from recipients in the BCC field of an incident response being filtered and sent an Assistance Request Denied message?

Environment:

Message Templates, Emails, Techmail
Oracle B2C Service

Issue:

Email replies sent from a recipient that was included in the BCC field on an incident response should not update incidents. When a BCC recipient replies, techmail should filter the message and the BCC recipient should receive an Assistance Request Denied message. For more information on techmail message filters see Answer ID 5670: Techmail message filters explained.

Resolution:

If an incident is being updated instead of an Assistance Request Denied message being sent, check the Message Templates for a blank space at the beginning of the subject field.

This can be done by navigating to Configuration > Site Configuration > Message Templates:

1.     Select the interface.
2.     On the ribbon, select Contact Emails and expand the sections for Incident and for Request Errors.
3.     One at a time, select Edit next to each message template that is active.
4.     Review the subject field in these message templates to look for a blank space at the beginning of the subject field.
5.     An easy way to do this is to select anywhere in this field with your mouse and using your keyboard, press Ctrl + A.
6.     Look for a black square at the start of the field that should look something like this:
        In the Subject field, a black square will appear at the start, almost like a background color.
7.     If a blank space exists, remove the space.
8.     Click Deploy on the ribbon.
         A message asks you to confirm your desicion to deploy.
9.     Click OK to continue
10.   The subtab or editor closes depending on whether you are working from a docked or undocked message.
11.    Click Save on the ribbon to commit your deployment.

For more information on deploying message templates, refer Deploying messages in current documentation.

Cause:

This behavior has been seen when the BCC recipient is a Gmail address. When an incident response is sent by Oracle B2C Service to the BCC recipient's email address, it contains a unique tracking string. This tracking string helps associate a response to an incident, and BCC information is encoded in this string. Answer ID 5331: Incident Update by Email  provides additional information on unique tracking strings.

The reason that BCC replies are updating an incident, and techmail is not filtering the reply and sending an Assistance Request Denied message, is because Gmail is stripping off this unique tracking string. This is caused by the space at the beginning of the subject line in the message template. This space is a non-breaking space character that actually converts to " ".   As an example, a message template with a space at the beginning of the subject field looks like this when the message is sent:

&#160;[<rn:merge field_name="incidents.ref_no" default="" label="Incident:" type="text">Incident Reference #</rn:merge>]&#160; <rn:merge field_name="incidents.subject">Subject</rn:merge>

Gmail does not handle this non-breaking space character well and the unique tracking string is being stripped off when the reply is sent. As a result, the return email arrives in techmail without a tracking string. When techmail then processes this email without this string, there is no way to detect that the message came from a BCC recipient. Techmail is unable to identify that the message should be filtered and that it should send an Assistance Request Denied message. However, the process is able to use other means, to match the email to the incident. This is why the incident is then updated.

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