Have you ever used the “Reply: All” function with your email provider? Perhaps, someone had a question, and instead of asking one person, they sent the question to multiple people in order to get a response quicker, and YOU happened to be one of those people. Now, if you know the answer, it would be quick and easy to email the person back, or you could instant message them if available, or you could even call them on the phone depending on the urgency of the request and the complexity of the question. But, if you did one of those things, the other recipients of the original email might think the question was never answered, and therefore might try to answer it again. So, you decide to hit “Reply: All” in order to make sure everyone else knows that question has been answered, and they would only need to respond if they had something to add or correct to your excellent answer.
The previous has been an example of how to properly use “Reply: All”
The following occurred at my office on November 16th, 2015, and is an example of exactly what “Reply: All” should not be used for.