Email Abuse

spam I have been experimenting with trying to find out why some valid businesses seem to be sending me emails that I have not requested. It’s not the blatant Viagra spam by some people in a small country. These are big local businesses sending me emails and I have never heard of them. As far as I can tell they are not partners of companies that I allow partners to contact me. If every business was this inconsiderate about email we would not be able to get to the email we want. Here are some of my interactions.

Magic

Subject: RE: Potential Privacy Policy Violation Check Mr. Bently, We have no record of your e-mail address in our database but we do apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. As a precaution, your e-mail has been permanently removed from our database Privacy Policy Administrator

It’s amazing that they could permanently remove my email address even though they have no record of my email address. I’m hoping they put it on a “do not email” list. I guess after that amazing feat I’m surprised they misspelled my name.

“Personal” invitation

From: Lisa Sent: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 To: Bentley Subject: Personal Invitation to [Conference] Dear Bentley, I wanted to extend a personal invitation for the [conference] Supply Chain Conference. This event is by invitation only and will play host to over 500 of the industry’s most influential executives for two days of networking, solutions research and educational sessions. I think you will get a lot of value if you can attend.[…]

This is interesting. I receive a personal invitation to a conference for supply chain managers. I don’t supply. I don’t chain. What did I do to deserve the honor of this personal invitation?

On May 18, 2011, at 12:07 PM, Bentley Davis wrote: Lisa, Where did you get my email address from

Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 2:13 PM Hi Bentley, We build our database from a myriad of different sources. It’s possible you’ve indicated interest in [conference] in the past, or work with one of our media partners, or are another mailing list that has made it’s way to our Rolodex. If you’d like to be removed from the list, I’m happy to do so. I’m also happy to answer any questions you might have about our conference. Based on your title, there stands to be a lot of partnership potential and networking opportunity available for you at [conference], so I hope you’ll take a moment to check it out. Please let me know if I can be of any more assistance. Best, Lisa

It is great to actually get an email back. Lisa apparently has not thought about what she is doing. They buy lists and email people regardless of interest. I guess I’m not so special as I thought and that this email was not a personal invitation. I will try and help her understand the impression her company is having on many people.

Sent: Friday, May 20, 2011 Lisa, Thank you for the response. I have already processed the request to be removed from the list. It is amazing the amount of companies that feel it is ethical to add someone to an email distribution without direct permission. If every company worked in this manner we would constantly have a full email box. To encourage business to have more ethical communication practices, I personally choose to not do business with companies that send out unsolicited emails. This email was also in violation of your terms of service of Constant Contact which you use and I have notified them. I will be adding your company to my public spammer list. If you can show that I requested to be on this distribution list then I will be happy to remove you off of my list and post an apology. I hope your company will review its communication practices, Bentley

I doubt it will have an effect but it’s an interesting experiment. I have not received a response back. I wonder if constant contact would like to know her response?

Sent: Friday, June 4, 2011 Constant Contact It looks like Lisa at [Event Company] admits to sending emails to people off of mailing lists. I am a software developer and this is a conference for supply management. I have never had an interest or a job that relates to supply management. I would appreciate any feedback or status you can provide me. Bentley Davis

I’ll let you know if I get a response. What has been your experience with email abuse?