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Not lazy, just annoyed

I don’t usually send in spam reports, but I submitted a couple in the last few weeks. Somehow an address of mine is on a bunch of rave / club lists in London. You want to know what is happening at London clubs this week? It’s all there in my spam folder.
This mail finally hit my annoyance threshold, so I’ve been submitting reports and complaints to the senders the last few weeks. The mail, with full headers, goes with an explanation that the address that received it was harvested off a website more than 5 years ago and never opted in to receive any mail.
One of the ISPs I sent the report to has a web form where the complainant and the customer can see the report and both can comment on it. The customer replied to my complaint on it.

Email compliant with best practice, lazy user. Have clicked the unsubscribe link for them

As you can imagine this annoyed me. I mean, I’m really happy they’re going to stop sending me spam advertising clubs a 12 hour plane flight away, but they could do that without claiming that I was a lazy user.
I replied to the complaint.

Despite what your customer says I am not a “lazy user.” The email was sent to an address harvested off a website more than 5 years ago. I never signed up for it, I never asked for it.
Your customer is a spammer.

To the ISP’s credit, they did take the complaint a lot more seriously than their customer.

Network access to server has been suspended

Boy, did that change the customer’s tune.

I will speak again to my customer and seek clarification from them as to the source of my email. My comment was in relation to email content such as headers and unsubscribe details

While I know it’s tempting to treat every complaint as a “lazy user” who just won’t unsubscribe, it can be a very bad idea. It’s not that I’m too lazy to hit the unsubscribe button, it’s that the sender is clearly a spammer, either buying or harvesting address lists. Why should I trust that spammer to actually honor an unsubscribe? I don’t. Thus, I send in a complaint.

2 comments

  1. Catherine Jefferson says

    An excellent example of what happens when a company or ESP feels entitled to send email to an email address until the owner opts out. :/ I’ve had a few similar experiences over the years, although rarely these days. I don’t sign up for much bulk marketing email, and I suspect that most ESPs know better than to email my personal email addresses. That’s why I started the MainSleaze blog: to document the problem of spam that isn’t sent by criminals, isn’t for goods and services of (shall we say) *questionable* value, and doesn’t try to hide its origin. Such spam is a tiny fraction of the spam that is sent, but is not a tiny fraction of the spam that ends up in inboxes and annoys users.

  2. Wow! People are Listening…. » MainSleaze says

    […] subject, Laura Atkins of Word to the Wise, a respected deliverability consultant, has posted an excellent blog describing her experience reporting spam from a mainsleaze spammer, whom she does not name directly. However, as I and anyone else who has complained about mainsleaze […]

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