I live in an apartment building with about 150 small apartments, owned by various private landlords. For these apartment buildings, there is often a house management company that is responsible for general work around the house, i.e. anything that is not directly related to a specific apartment.

I recently contacted the house management company via email concerning a sewage problem in the bathroom. They politely replied that they assumed the actual problem would be more within the apartment, so it's not their responsibility. I should contact my landlord.

Even though I disagreed, I decided to follow that suggestion. I now ask myself whether I should reply to their email once again - saying something like "Thanks for your answer, I'll do so and return to you if necessary."

There are certainly situations where another reply would be appropriate - e.g. if I had a similar conversation with a friend (via email). Also, you would never just leave wordlessly if it was face-to-face conversation.

But in the end, another answer would not contain any useful information - it's just politeness. And I wonder if a consultant in a company that might receive a considerable number of emails everyday would want to read such a "useless politeness" or might think "why is he wasting my time... :-/".

My question:

Should I reply to an email when it's not actually necessary and the other person would not receive any new (or only trivial) information from me - just to be polite? Does it make a difference if they refer to another contact or if they have solved my problem?

Assume that the contact person is company staff that is not personally known and where one would expect they're reading and writing a lot of emails.

If this is relevant due to culture: My location is Germany.

  • 2
    What would be your goal writing such an e-mail (you already enumerated many drawbacks yourself)? Do you hope they would feel better, be glad you received their e-mail or think highly of you? Jan 2 '18 at 19:00
  • There a a handful of votes to close your question so I wanted to give you some insight into what is likely to be the reason: Your question, as phrased, sounds pretty opinion based (Should I...). We can't help you make decisions, but we can definitely help you achieve a goal once you have made the decision.
    – Jess K.
    Jan 2 '18 at 20:30

Sounds good, thank you for the information!

should suffice and there is a high chance that they will respond with "You're welcome" or something to that effect.

Replying with "I'll do so and return to you if necessary" is redundant and makes it sound like you do not believe what they told you and they should expect additional unnecessary emails from you.

Quite frankly, sending nothing is more polite than "I'll do so and return to you if necessary".

I live in the US.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.