Freegle Mailbox Guidelines

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Adopted by the Board on 25th February 2015. addresses are allocated to named role holders and used as contact addresses for the public on the website. Communications relating to those roles and conversations initiated at the contact addresses should take place via those email addresses and be archived in the mailboxes.

Maintain efficient and appropriate communication

  • Answer or forward (with acknowledgement) all new issues within 48 hours.
  • Coordinate time off with others who use the same mailbox to ensure it can be checked at least every 48 hours; notify the Board in advance if this is not possible.
  • Follow up outstanding or unresolved enquiries in a timely manner.
  • The allocated address should only be used for correspondence relating to that role.
  • Respond politely, objectively and with integrity to all enquiries.
  • Adhere to the principles of the Freegle Equality and Diversity Policy.
  • Remain neutral in any issues involving political and religious views.
  • Refer to other free reuse networks and any other organisations in a neutral manner.
  • Remember that Freegle communities are autonomous and centrally Freegle cannot speak on their specific behalf.
  • Forward or copy as much as possible directly to the community owner address in question to deal with, or an organisational Freegle Team where appropriate, informing the enquirer that this is being done.
  • Be mindful that all emails are sent on behalf of Freegle as a central organisation, not on behalf of individual communities or private individuals.
  • Ask the advice of the Board if unsure of the appropriate response.

Maintain an organised mailbox

  • Archive all messages once resolved or passed on.
  • Use the Gmail folder facility to label messages meaningfully, so conversations can be found easily and similar subjects are grouped together in folders.
  • Delete spam only, nothing else.
  • If forwarding incoming mail is enabled to a private email address, a copy of the incoming message and reply must be kept in the mailbox by cc-ing the mailbox address in every response to messages.
  • If forwarding, disable spam filters in mailbox to ensure that all messages are forwarded (see Filtering Emails).

Maintain confidentiality

  • Do not divulge the mailbox password to anyone except those authorised by the Board to have access
  • There must be at least two authorised people with access to each allocated email address at all times
  • Change the mailbox password when an authorised person who has access to it steps down and ensure the following are notified of the new password:
    • Other authorised users of that email address or account
    • One member of the Geeks and Board
  • Be mindful of the activity on the mailbox account; gives good advice, including signing out other sessions/users.

For complaints and sensitive issues

  • Be mindful of sensitive issues and respect the confidentiality of emails when forwarding or copying others on emails.
  • Refer to and act in accordance with the Complaints Procedure where appropriate, which would usually entail forwarding issues to the info@ central mailbox to be dealt with.
    • info@ mailbox should give any local community the chance to deal fully with any complaints, but seek permission from the person complaining before their email is shared with the moderating team.
    • Where permission is not given, file away the complaint unless the complaint is about items or actions not being Free and Legal. In this case, the Board should be informed for their consideration.
    • If the complaint is about one of the communities or a member of these teams, send it to one other person from the relevant team instead.
  • The Board should be notified if a community receives 3 or more complaints about a community for which permission to refer back to the community is not given, or if the nature of the complaint appears to be sufficiently concerning.
  • Ensure that a complaint is not dealt with by a member of the mailbox who is also a moderator for any community or role concerned.