invention #4: registered e-mail
Abstract: there is no such thing as registered mail for e-mail. Such a thing would be simple to set up though, and perhaps we’re beginning to need it?
I have to deal with an organisation these days that conveniently “fails” to receive important mail from me; so far they have done so twice in September. The organisation in question is part of the government, and as a result has an unhealthy amount of power over me. Failure to reach them has consequences.
The solution of course is to send every little note and memo I need to send them per registered mail. I just found out that the national mail monopolist charges approx. 7 euro for that privilege.
I am not going to break the monopoly, but isn’t it time for registered e-mail anyway?
Here’s how it would work: you’d send an e-mail to the organisation or person who absolutely has to receive your message, but you also cc the Registered E-mail Service (RES). The RES stores the copy of the mail on their servers, including a time stamp, and sends you back a copy so that you know the service received your message.
In the event you need to prove you actually tried to contact someone via e-mail, you contact the HES and ask them to send you a letter via real registered mail that contains a statement that the HES has received so and so e-mail on such and such date. You pay the HES a handsome amount for such a proof; maybe even more than what registered mail would cost. The difference would be that you would only pay for the proof, not for being registered. You could even have notarized proof.
Is this necessary? Mail clients have a function that allows you to verify an e-mail was received or read; however, the mail clients at the receiving end can be set up to deny such a confirmation message. Also, the idea is not so much to prove that the recipient received, but rather that the sender sent and delivered, just as with registered snail mail.
Will this work? The stumbling block is the address. It is hard to deny that you are located at a certain physical address, but e-mail addresses are made and discarded far more easily.