Dealing with complaints
There are a lot of people who abuse online services and use online services to abuse and harass other people. But handling complaints and handling the abuse are often afterthoughts for many new companies. They don’t think about how to accept and process complaints until they show up. Nor do they think about how bad people can abuse a system before hand.
But dealing with complaints is important and can be complicated. I’ve written many a complaint handling process document over the years, but even I was impressed with the Facebook flowchart that’s been passed around recently.
In the email space, though, all too many companies just shrug off complaints. They don’t really pay attention to what recipients are saying and treat complaints merely as unsubscribe requests. Their whole goal is to keep complaints below the threshold that gets them blocked at ISPs. To be fair, this isn’t as true with ESPs as it is with direct senders, many ESPs pay a lot of attention to complaints and will, in fact, initiate an investigation into a customer’s practice on a report from a trusted complainant.
There are a lot of legitimate email senders out there who value quantity over quality when it comes to complaints. But that doesn’t mean their lists are good or clean or they won’t see delivery problems or SBL listings at some point.