I recently had an unpleasant experience subscribing to a mailing list.
The list owner had configured the list to subscribe new users with a
variety of unusual settings. The welcome message mentioned some of
these settings, but not all, and it told how to change some of them, but
not all. Unfortunately, I wanted to change one of the settings that was
not adequately described, and trying to determine the correct format for
changing this setting was very difficult! The list owner's name and
email address (or list-owner alias) were not present in the welcome
letter, and the reply address for the welcome letter looked like it went
to the list *server* rather than to the list *owner* (although I later
learned that it did go to the owner). The list runs on a listserver
that I'm not familiar with, and trying to decipher the list server's
"help" messages was very frustrating. It took me over a dozen emails
back and forth with the list server and finally I had to go to a webpage
to get the list owner's email address to get help getting my
subscription properly configured to meet my needs.
The list owner claimed that there are no rules/standards/"laws" that
detail what should be included in the welcome message and thus no
obligation for the list owner to include the information I expected (how
to change the subscription to the "default" settings, how to contact the
list owner) in the welcome letter. I coulda swore I've seen list owner
standards outlined somewhere before! Am I confused? Is there a
standards document that outlines what should be in the welcome message
that is received when you subscribe to a list? Am I unreasonable to
expect that the welcome message at least include an email address (or
alias) for the list owner in the *body* of the message, or that the
message reply-to address clearly show that it goes to the owner (i.e.
listname-owner alias)? What about expecting clear instructions on how
to do something as basic as setting one's subscription to individual
emails instead of the list-default setting of mime-digest?