When using Comcast webmail to send email, occasionally, a read receipt is requested even though the "Request read receipt" option is not selected in the compose window. This started happening in the fall, and it appears to happen randomly.
Since the fall, there have been at least 3 posts in this forum about the problem from multiple users, but with no resolution.
The request for a read receipt is made via the "Disposition-Notification-To:" line in the email header of the outgoing email. If you have not selected the "Request read receipt" option, this line should not be included, but occasionally, it is.
For example, none of the emails I sent earlier this week had this line. However, the two emails I sent yesterday (both to the same person/address, FWIW), did include it. The first one had "Disposition-Notification-To: false" while the second one had "Disposition-Notification-To: <my email address>". I got read receipts for both messages (even though in the first one, "false" is not a valid email address.) And in the two emails I sent today, the first one did not include the line (and I did not get a read receipt), but the second one did include the line with my email address (and I did get a read receipt). All of these emails were sent on the same computer (laptop running Debian) from the same browser tab (Chrome) and from the same Comcast webmail session. (I did not restart the computer or log out of my Comcast account or close the browser tab running webmail. However, I have rebooted the computer and logged out and back into my Comcast account multiple times since the problem first started occurring in the fall.)
Any help you can give to resolve this problem would be appreciated. Thanks.
Solved! Go to Solution.
Ahh, the human brain is an amazing thing... Previously, the read receipt thing had only been an occasional annoyance, but yesterday, it happend in three of my last four emails, so I spent some time looking into it and wrote the above post just before going to sleep. This morning, waking up with my eyes still closed, thinking about the day ahead and what I had been doing yesterday, I remembered the read receipt thing, and immediately, I realized the common thread in the emails that gotten read receipts...
How to reproduce the read receipt request problem
TL;DR: Re-editing a draft email (even if it is only in order to send it) triggers the addition of a read receipt request.
1. From your inbox, click "Compose".
2. Enter the "To" address, subject, and some text.
3. Click "Save".
4. Click "Discard" or click on the "X" in the upper right-hand corner of the compose window to close it.
5. Go to your "Drafts" folder" and click on the draft you just created to view it. (Note: At this point, "View source" does not show the "Disposition-Notification-To:" line.)
6. Click on "Edit".
7. Click on "Send" and wait for the email to be sent.
8. Go to your "Sent" folder and click on the email you just sent to view it. "View source" shows the line "Disposition-Notification-To: false" which indicates that a read receipt request was sent with the email.
If you save and re-edit the draft a second time, "View source" shows the line "X-OX-Notification: false" and when the email is sent, the "Disposition-Notification-To:" line has your email address instead of "false".
If you save and re-edit the draft a third time, the "X-OX-Notification:" line has your email address instead of "false" and when the email is sent, the "Disposition-Notification-To:" line has your email address.
I have reproduced this on my laptop running Linux (Debian Stretch) with an older version of Chrome, and on my desktop running Windows 10 (version 1809 build 17763.973 with the latest patches) with Edge.
(Note to Comcast: You can credit my bug bounty to my Comcast account. 8^)
How to work around the Comcast webmail read receipt request problem
1. Compose your email as normal.
2. If you have re-edited the draft from your drafts folder, don't send the email from that window. Instead, create a new compose window, copy the addresses, subject, and text of the email from the draft window to the new compose window and send it from there.
While this is interesting, it is not what happened to me. I just compsed 2 emails separately and sent them. This line... "Disposition-Notification-To: <false>" appears in both.
Just to be sure I understand, you created an email in a Compose window with the "Request read receipt" option not selected and you sent that email from that Compose window without saving it in your Drafts folder and sending it from there, and the sent email included the "Mail-Disposition-To: false" line. Is that correct?
That is correct, exactly what I did.
Just for testing, I also went through the exercise yesterday that I saw on the Forum where an email was written, saved without sending, and closing it whereby it went to my Draft Folder. I then brought it back up and clicked Edit and the Notification line was not there. I then sent it (to myself, not that it matters) and when I looked at the source of the sent message, the notification-false line was there.
I did not test the suggested workaround because I feel that Comcast needs to fix what is causing the problem and the workaround is cumbersome.
I never request a read receipt for my group emails. I went back and looked at the group emails I sent in the past and it was only the last one where the notification line appeared, it was not on any prior ones which is why I say it is a Comcast problem.
This happened to me for the first time yesterday on a group email I sent out. As shown above, I did save draft a couple of times and then edit before sending from the draft folder but I agree that this is a Comcast problem and not something I should have to do a workaround for. It also seems so random.
It has only just begun for me. When I sent my last group email I received some read receipts. I not only did not request them, I did not save as a draft and re-edit. I just composed two emails and sent them. I have not had a group email to send since but when I do I will check to see if the notification line is there in the source.
A while back I had a problem where Comcast was flagging some of my emails as spam but never letting me know that my email failed. A Comcast employee was monitoring the Forum and took steps to fix the issue which was on Comcast's side. I am hoping something similar happens this time as well.
It can be very frustrating dealing with them. The other day I got a phone call from Comcast on this Read Receipt issue but had my problem all wrong. They were under the impression that I could not send email at all. The Language barrier often complicates matters but thus one was really messed up.