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It’s not marketing… it’s harassment

Many years ago, we bought a VMWare license to manage the various virtual machines running our business infrastructure. As part of our move to Dublin, we decommissioned our cabinet and moved all of services into various bits of the cloud. This meant that when our VMWare support contract came up for renewal we declined the renewal.

Despite no longer being customers and unsubscribing from email, I’ve had ongoing problems getting VMWare to leave me alone. They keep sending me email, despite unsubscribing through various channels. I’ve clicked on links, I’ve responded to emails. This is what my outgoing mailbox looks like when I search for @vmware.com:

What prompted the search was yet another email from VMWare this weekend:

The documentation of our refusal to renew our VMWare support contract was completed over the summer. VMWare was extremely persistent in their emails then, too. We were asked to fill out multiple pages of documents, to ‘prove’ we were no longer using VMWare software. Even after we provided written assurances we were not using VMWare software they continued to send mail, telling us that the mail was automated and there was no way for them to stop us from getting it. That’s OK, we can stop the mail, and the address doing the harassment was the first email address fully blocked on our mail server.

This mail from VMWare is no longer marketing. This is, in fact, harassment. I’ve asked repeatedly for VMWare to stop contacting me. I even have a note from June of 2013 marking I requested unsubscription from their lists on 6/24. I don’t record all of my unsubscribes, only the ones where it seems I’ve asked before and they won’t stop.

CAN SPAM, and many other laws, say that a company has to stop sending email when the recipient opts-out. I’ve opted-out, but continue to receive email with little recourse other than expanding the block to all mail from VMWare. I really hate doing that, but as they appear to be unable to accept an opt-out, we may have no other choice.

Trust me, if we decide to use VMWare for virtualisation I know how to reach them.

3 comments

  1. Paul Rydell says

    Last time I asked them to stop emailing me they said they couldn’t until I explained to them why I stopped using VMware! Good luck ever getting off their list!

    1. laura says

      I’m tempted to give them a custom rejection message: “550: stop spamming us. we’re not VMWare customers.” Problem is they’re using multiple pathways to send the spam, so the only recourse is to block anything with a @vmware.com in the 5321.from. That’s still not going to catch everything as they can use a different 5321.from. But it will get some. I hate going so specific on blocks in general. But I may make an exception in this particular case.

  2. Dave Warren says

    This is what got me looking into Virtual Server, back in the day, although Virtual Server wasn’t really there yet. Then we got Hyper-V which kicks the crap out of modern day VMware products.

    Thanks to VMware’s illegal marketing for helping me find better (and more cost effective) products.

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