The idea of "work, then get paid" has been deeply ingrained in our culture by employers who want to limit their risk. Well, I like to limit my risks also. I like to get paid before I do work. (Tony Lawrence)
First: email never was and never will be 100% reliable. However,
until very recently, you had every expectation that email would
arrive at its intended destination, probably with even more
reliability than a letter sent by postal mail.
That's changed. With all the spam, and all the spam filtering, I
am experiencing far too much unreliability: mail I never get from
people, and mail I send that never gets to them. Email is no longer
a safe method of communication.
Just this weekend, someone sent me seven separate emails, of
which only four reached me. I don't know where the others went to:
the worst part is that my own web server generated them, and I can
see in the web logs that they really were sent. But I only got
four, and the rest are not even in the spam folders. They are just
I sent email to my daughter, and got back a bounce "We don't
accept UCE" (that's Unsolicited Commercial Email). So her ISP
thinks my server is a spammer. Unfortunately, for a vendor I do
business with that's the only server I can use to send mail: they
think my other server is a spammer. They don't send bounce messages
either, and the recipient doesn't get told of that my mail to them
was silently deleted.
At the gym this morning, a friend asked why I hadn't responded
to his mail. I never got it. A customer complained that I wasn't
responding to his mail - I got no bounces, and finally had to call
him and read my response!