- I get subscribed to an email list by someone using my iCloud account (misremembering their email address). Note that they may have subscribed me under @me.com or @mac.com; it’s not always possible to tell which.
- I write the offending company, berating them for not confirming email addresses. Only receive an automated response. (I did cc abuse@)
- I get more emails from said company.
- I write the abuse address at their upstream.
- The upstream abuse support agent misspells my email address in the email. In more than one different way. Charming.
- Naturally, offending company can’t find the email address in their system.
- In their delayed response to email I sent directly to them, however, they remove my email address.
- Other chatter occurs that I’m cc’ed on.
Here’s the kicker. I’m cc’ed on an email from the CTO that says:
Just wanted to follow-up and say that the email says “from: Kim (redacted)” — This indicates to me that we didn’t send the email but was probably forwarded by Kim. If Deirdre/Deidre does not know this person, perhaps Kim’s account has been hacked or spoofed and sent email unknowingly — Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about that.
- Kim is the author of the recipe in the email offending company sent. Their CTO doesn’t even know what email they’ve been sending out as a part of their brand. Nor has she bothered to check. Proof:
Let’s Talk Best Practices
- Do not ever ever ever subscribe someone to an email list without their confirmation. Just. Don’t.
- If you run a hosting company and handle abuse@ complaints, please ensure that you spell the email address very carefully — and not, oh, three different ways that aren’t the way the account name is spelled.
- If you receive an abuse@ complaint from someone you’ve subscribed to a list, make sure you have a technological method for adding them to a “hold all promotional email” process. That way, they don’t receive further spam from you before you sort things out. In the offending company’s case, what they responded to was my fourth complaint.
- Always respond to the first complaint.
- Do not blame the victim.
- Do. Your. Research. Your non-customer should not have to do it for you.
Department of Shame
Offending company: justapinch.com
Upstream hosting provider: peakwebhosting.com
Note that I redacted Kim’s surname in text because she’s probably innocent here. I added the pic because I’m sending a link to this to the offending company’s CTO.