Unexpected behavior with forwarded email in Conversations Inbox

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Occasional Contributor

We have set up a Conversations Inbox so that all of our incoming emails can be managed from HubSpot. It has worked well except for one issue: if a contact forwards us an email, HubSpot registers that in our Conversations Inbox as an email from the person who sent the original email (that the contact then forwarded). There's no indication that we've received an email from our contact (which is an issue)

 

A small example:

 

1. Person1 emails Contact1

2. Contact1 forwards that email to us, adding some info

3.  Our Conversations Inbox shows an email received from Person1, which includes the text that Contact1 added when forwarding the email but doesn't register the sender as Contact1.

 

Oddly, the "to" field shows "support@ourdomain.com (via Contact1email@domain.com.com)

 

In other words, Contact1's email is showing up in the "to" field as the "via" party. I know that HubSpot has functionality around forwarding email and associating with contacts, but I this is a distinct issue, and I don't think this should be the intended behavior for the Conversations Inbox. Is this a bug that the Conversations Inbox team is working on? 

 

19 Replies 19
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Community Manager

Hi @galenweber,

 

Thank you for your feedback. I have connected with the product team on this matter and the functionality of the email being associated with the original email sender is working as designed. 

 

I will share your feedback and use case with the team. 

 

Thank you,

Jenny


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Occasional Contributor

Hi Jenny,

 

Thanks for your response. If this is functioning as designed, then I really think the design doesn't make sense. Think about how any standard email inbox works: if Rando1 emails Friend1, and Friend1 forwards that email to me, my inbox shows an email from Friend1, not Rando1.

 

Is there any other email inbox that functions like this? If no other inbox works like this, isn't it fair to say that it's going to be unexpected behavior for HubSpot users?

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Top Contributor

As a workaround, is there a way to prevent the Conversations Inbox from recognizing a forwarded email so it can correctly associate the email with the person who sent it?

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Community Manager

Hi @theScott

 

This functionality has been updated so that forwarded messages will be associated with the original sender and not the user who forwarded the email. 

 

For more information, I wanted to share this resource.

 

Thank you,
Jenny


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Top Contributor

Right, I want to stop that from happening. Is there a way to automatically associate it with the person who forwarded the message and not the original sender?

 

We have an internal support team who services other departments, and those departments in turn are working on issues that our customers email about. Sometimes our customer service teams need our internal support team to do something to fix a customer issue, so they forward the customer's email to help explain what's going on. In these cases, the forwarded emails get associated with the customer, which is incorrect. We need it associated with the employee who forwarded the email since that is who our support team is working with. We actually don't have any situation where a forwarded email should be assoicated with the original sender.

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Community Manager

Hi @theScott,

 

There is currently to way to alter the functionality to associate the emails with the forwarding email. 


I would recommend editing the emails, or starting new emails, to ensure the content is correctly associated with the proper contact.

 

Thank you,
Jenny


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New Contributor

This is even worse if you have auto responses on. The person who forwarded the message, i.e. the person that actually deals with our support team, doesn;t get notified about a ticket creation, but the message originator does. 

This seems like a data breach waiting to happen, and a very odd "feature" for hubspot to have and not be able to turn off / alter settings of.

 

We have had to change our autoresponse messages becasue of relaizling this is what happens. as we cannot have infomation going to people that are directly in contact with us, we don;t know if they should have the info or not.

 

I would have though a possible way to have both is to use your own email address domain, or in fact a set of emails addresses wher this is the behavour. I can see this may be useful in sales or marketing, but it very unhelpful in operating a support desk.

 

Please please look at this soon.

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Occasional Contributor

There's only one situation I can think of where this makes sense - if a customer emails a member of staff directly and the staff member wants it to be passed over to the help desk (i.e. HubSpot), they forward the email and it gets logged against the customer rather than the staff member. I've seen other systems do this, but only where the email is forwarded in a special way.

 

In a situation where person 1 sends and email to person 2 and that prompts them to contact you, it's madness to log the ticket against person 1. The best example of this I can think of is where a company has a specific person (or help desk) who is responsible for logging issues us, so they forward on the email and it's them we need to be dealing with, not their customer.

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Regular Contributor

We are new Hubspot users and I have encountered this and approached support as I was convinced there was a set-up issue. I was astounded to learn that the currnet way of operating was actually by design.

 

I dont consider this to be a problem, I consider it to be a fundamental design flaw. I was pointed to this thread by support, which is good to see that there is traction and a number of users seeking a resolution, however what is alarming is that this has been flagged as far back as December 2018. 

 

It remains to be seen but this coudl turn out to be a reason to ditch HubSpot, which would be extremely dissapointing for me as a lot of time and money has already been invested.

 

A turn on/off function to this would I assume be a relatively straight forward solution for now.

 

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Occasional Contributor

SWilsonA4u,

 

All I can say is keep pushing them. We came very close to abandoning our roll-out due to this 'feature', but after a lot pushing and escalating, they were able to make a change for us.

 

What annoyed me most was that they kept referring to our 'use case' as if we were doing something odd. Despite asking many times, they never explained to me why this was considered correct behaviour.

 

We did some testing and found that this odd behaviour is triggered by simply having an email subject that starts with FW:, Fwd: or Forward: (possibly others). If that's detected, it then looks in the email body for a From: tag and reads the email address after that to determine the 'sender'. Try it youself - just create a new email with your mailbox address, set the subject to "Fw: Test", write some nonsense in the body, then create a line that says soemthing like "From: fakeemail@example.com", add more nonsense and then hit send. You'll get a new inbox message from fakeemail@example.com!

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Regular Contributor

@GavWillis Appreciate the feedback and heads up. Will push as we are seeing more and more issues with this, particularly when they are intra-department.

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Occasional Contributor

@jennysowyrda 

 

Hubspot needs to fix this immediately.  We are part of a rapidly growing partnerhsip.  However the risk this creates is immense.

 

This is not a nice to have feature request....this is Hubspot resolving a security risk.

 

Please update me/us.

 

Brad Ward

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New Contributor

Brad,

 

Have the support rep push this request to the product team and they will resolve it quickly.  I had to reference others' mentions of being able to get this fixed.  This issue has been resolved for us.

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New Contributor

It'd be great if the team will work on this strange behavior of HubSpot. Normally, we reply to the person who forwarded the email to us. With this current behavior of HubSpot, we  often missed to respond to the person who forwarded the email to us, since it's not recognising their email address. 

 

Hope the HubSpot team can fix this issue for improvement.

 

Thanks,

Grace

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Regular Contributor

I agree with the users on this thread.

 

My understanding was that if the forward text was at the top of the email thread it would associate it with the forwarded (rather than the forwarder).  It would be great if this feature would act differently (ie attach to forwarder rather than forwarded) if there is text above the forward line.

 

Forwarding is used as a way to share exising information-- since it's the only way to share images and documents without the sender having to re-download and attach as reference. Most times the original sender is not included in the forward and should not be communicated with directly, as it was not a reply all.

 

Hope the HubSpot team sees value in mimicing how users use email and help us communicate only with the indended audience. 

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New Contributor

This is causing the same issues for us.  I would like to see it addressed.

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Occasional Contributor

I have experienced minor repercussions from this issue - I thought I was responding to my colleague, however my message went through to our customer.

Thankfully I'm of a mindset that you never put in an internal email anything you wouldn't want a customer to see if they are part of the chain, so the damage wasn't too bad (and they are a close, friendly customer so my relaxed tone wasn't a big issue - but it could have been, other colleagues might not be so careful, etc).

 

I did however encounter a situation that could have had TERRIBLE consequences if it wasn't caught; we are a wholesaler, providing wholesale pricing to our distributors. One such distributor forwarded an email from his client asking them to provide pricing for the listed items. On replying, I realised the email was going directly to his client - they would have seen his pricing! This could have been catastrophic for us and for our distributor.

I would suggest Hubspot rethink their design if this is how the system is intended to function - it looks like an email client, it walks like an email client, it talks like an email client - it should function like an email client. Replying should go to whoever sent the message, not whoever originated the first message.

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Occasional Contributor

To Hubspot: why not simply have an option per email address to toggle on/off this behaviour? I get it's useful sometimes, but other times totally inappropriate. Give users the choice!

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Occasional Contributor

Looks like they've released a new feature to disable this?

 

Follow these steps per connected inbox:

  1. Settings
  2. Conversations
  3. Inboxes
  4. Under 'Connected Channels' hover over inbox name and select 'Edit'
  5. Toggle off 'Choose original sender of email forwards'