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Emails Auto Unconfirming when not sent anything!

Hi PHPList

I have a situation where I have undated an email address on a contact that was bouncing and reduced the bounce count back down to zero - but then when the cron processes bounces overnight, I get a message saying all the emails I’ve changed in this way have been marked unconfirmed, even though I’ve not sent them a message since changing the email! FYI the exact wording in the bounce message is:

1 bounces to reprocess

Below are users who have been marked unconfirmed. The number in () is the
number of consecutive bounces.

I have attached 2 screenshots showing:

  • The Auto Unsubscribe message in the Subscriptions Tab
  • The Details tab showing the bounce count at zero

Would appreciate if you could explain why this might be happening and how I can resolve the issue.

Many thanks


@phillegg This is a bit of a problem. The bounces that originally caused the subscriber to be unconfirmed still exist. When phplist processes bounces it finds them and makes the subscriber unconfirmed again.

You need to delete the bounces for that subscriber through the Subscriber profile page. Don’t use the delete functions on the view bounces page because they will not remove all of the bounce data.

Hi Duncan

Thanks for your email.

OK, seems I need to understand the bounce processes of phplist a bit better. I don’t remember ever having emails Auto Unsubscribing before! Is this since a particular software revision or have I just not noticed? Also I’ve never deleted bounces before, as I like to keep complete histories on everything for reference.

I’ve been under the impression that when you “decreased the bounce count” (by inputing a negative value) that would stop the 5 bounces threshold (or whatever that threshold is set to) being reached and hence the auto-unsubscribe is never reached for that subscriber. However, I presume now that you’re saying that’s not the case - and in fact I need to start deleting bounces on a subscriber in order to stop the system auto unconfirming them - is that correct? Or is there some way that I can keep all bounces incase I need to refer to them?

Also, I’m curious as to your comment about “not deleting bounces in the System > Manage Bounces page but instead doing it via the Subscriber Profile page, otherwise it won’t remove all the data!” . . . . On that comment: if someone has deleted bounces via the System > “Manage Bounces” page, is there a way of accessing the data which has not been removed,and then clear it out? - or is that lost in the depths of the MySQL database tables? Would be good to have an understanding of these 2 different ways to delete a bounce.

As always, many thanks for your help


@phillegg The bounce count on the subscriber profile is used only for deleting subscribers on the Reconcile Subscribers page. It is not used by the “consecutive bounces” processing which counts bounces on the user_message_bounce table.

When you delete a single bounce then records on both the bounce table and user_message_bounce table are deleted.
But the commands on the View Bounces page, delete all, delete > 2 months old, etc, delete from only the bounce table, which means the “consecutive bounces” processing still occurs using the user_message_bounce table.
That may well be a bug, I don’t know if it is meant to be like that or is an oversight.