Tag Archives: spam

Just… no

Started drafting this for the work blog, but I don’t think it’s really appropriate. But it amuses me, so I’ll put it here.

One of the side effects of our new website is that I’m getting a lot more email asking me to sponsor posts or trade links or have someone write a “special” post for our site. Sometimes I’ll ignore them, because they really do appear to be automatic mail and not actually written by anyone who has visited our site.

Also, the few times I’ve responded, I’ve had bad responses. Sometimes people try to argue with me about saying no. Yesterday was one that made me laugh, though. Someone wrote in to the contact address. The entire mail:

I was wondering — How would someone go about sponsoring or advertising on your website?

Thanks,

XXXXXXX

I was pretty sure this was just another spammer scraping addresses, but I responded with “You can’t.” Short, sweet, and to the point; much like his original email. Apparently Mr. Partnership Director didn’t like this response and sends me:

Smart of you to turn down $100,000.00 partnership

I have to admit, I laughed, a lot. Mr “oh so innocent inquiry about sponsorship” now turns into someone offering me a $100K partnership. Nice try. I don’t believe you. (Plus, anyone who was going to approach me with a partnership is going to send mail To Me rather than our generic contact address. In fact! THEY HAVE!)

If you approach someone out of the blue, you don’t get to dictate how they respond to you, and sometimes those responses aren’t going to be what you expected. Yes, I probably could have been more polite and spend time explaining that this is not an advertising supported blog and that we don’t accept sponsored posts. But I was running out the door to a meeting when I saw it, and it was pretty clear he hadn’t put much time into thinking about how he was approaching me. So why should I put time into thinking about how I was responding to him?

Sometimes I really wish spammers weren’t so damn stupid.

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Papa John’s sued for spamming

I suspect it’s all the election related statements by Papa John’s CEO that brought this suit against Papa John’s to the notice of the press.

Spam emails may cost Papa John’s $250M. I was kinda interested, but I don’t think I can blog about this on the work blog. It’s SMS spam, not email spam and rather outside my space there. But it’s kinda interesting and I posted a little about it on FB and decided to turn it into a blog post here.

According to the news and the couple court docs I read, the issue is that a SMS spammer convinced a number of Papa John’s Franchise owners that they could send text messages to customers without explicit permission. This appears to be counter to the TCPA and Papa John’s was taken to court.

As with many anti-spam cases, it’s been long an involved. The initial complaint was filed back in 2010 and has generated nearly 375 court documents in that time. Reading through the docket I see multiple motions on contempt, some motions on sanctions and just generally a lot of legal manuvering.

I grabbed an order or two to see if I could sort out what was going on. It appears the judge has had Just About Enough of this baloney. Order on Motion for Sanctions from September 2012 is one example of the judge’s waning patience.

The Court further takes this opportunity to emphasize that it is growing increasingly weary of the parties’ conduct in litigating this case, which includes the adoption of overly technical interpretation of obligations, the frequent failure to confer in good faith prior to making discovery motions, and the reliance in written documentation on misleading statements of fact and citations. There is enough blame to go around. However, the parties should anticipate that sanctions will be liberally imposed in the future where the high standard of professionalism that the judges of this District expect is not met.

Anyway, the class is certified and the case can proceed. I’ll probably forget to update it. But if the allegations are true, I think that the franchises that turned over customer data (and the SMS spammer) are probably on the hook for violations. Whether corporate is liable is an interesting question. But I’m getting that the judge is a bit annoyed.

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A brief segue into spam

I wrote this up as a rant post for the work blog, but I don’t think it really fits well over there. At the same time, I’m kinda pissed off about this whole situation. I mean, someone who claims she is a delivery professional, running a list named delivery professionals that can’t actually manage to stop sending mail to people who unsubscribe from her list?

So, yes, I did subscribe to the list many years ago. I unsubscribed after reading for a while and deciding it wasn’t a list I found valuable. At some point, for some reason, I started getting mail on the list again. Seriously? Fine. I unsubscribed again.

Today, that list started sending me mail again. I’m a little unsure of what to do to actually make the mail stop.

  1. Just unsubscribe again and wait for the apparently inevitable resubscription.
  2. Send a complaint to abuse@ the company, while knowing enough about the company to know that the person handling abuse@ is probably the same person who can’t run a mailing list.
  3. Send a complaint to abuse@ their upstream about failures to honor unsubscription and hope that abuse@ doesn’t give the company my name. See, I had a potential client ask me about this service in the past and I said out I was unaware of anyone using this particular company to make binary delivery decisions. About a week later there was a totally passive aggressive rant about me (not by name) losing them business by being honest on that company blog.
  4. Call out the company publicly and point out that it’s difficult to trust their services when they can’t get their own house in order.
  5. Just block the mail.

Of course, I already managed to annoy another group this month by telling them I was a little concerned about some of the rhetoric they were publishing. I didn’t mean to pick a fight, one of the board members actually told me to contact them with my concerns. So I did and it went ugly. I don’t need another one of those this month. But, how many times do I have to unsubscribe?

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Marketers. Pah.

Just a small hint to those marketers out there. If your social marketing strategy involves repeatedly barging into other people’s conversations on a social networking site in order to advertise whatever it is you’re selling then you’re doing it wrong!

I’ve dropped you from my twitter feed for doing this. I’ve blocked you from facebook for doing this. You continued. I’ve told you multiple times directly to quit it. You still continue. When are you going to stop inserting yourself in conversations that aren’t about your product? I don’t want to use your software, I’ve sent you detailed explanations of why. Still, you try and use me to sell your crap. I’m not interested in being a sales channel for you. You contribute NOTHING but advertising to any conversation. NOTHING.

Go Away.

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