[Techtalk] Dealing with allegedly respectable company who send spam

Jan rathgild at gmail.com
Tue Dec 1 19:52:45 UTC 2009

On Tuesday 01 December 2009 14:10:47 Billie Erin Walsh wrote:
> Most modern e-mail programs either have a spam filter built in or one
> that can be added on. In a very short time they can be trained what you
> think is spam and what you want to see. My e-mail provider has one at
> their end and Thunderbird has a good one. For nineteen years I've used
> the same e-mail address. I get _TONS_ , _KILOTONS_ EVEN_ , of spam.
> Between the two spam filters almost none of it gets into my inbox. Maybe
> two or three a week. If it weren't for those filters my address would be
> unusable. So look for the spam filter settings and turn them on. That
> will help you a lot. If your e-mail doesn't have a spam filter, use
> something else that does.
> I look through my junk mail every so often in case something I want to
> see slips through into the wrong place. That way the filter learns what
> I want trashed and what I want to see.
> Make sure you have the "Add Address I Reply to My Address Book" turned
> off to. Spam filters use that to see if something should come through.
> Clean out your address book to get rid of all the old unneeded address's
> that have accumulated. If it's not someone you write to all the time you
> don't need it in your address book.
> Never NEVER _NEVER_  reply to one of those spam messages. _DO_NOT_ send
> the please stop letter. They know they have a live address if you do.
> They may "officially" stop sending you e-mails but they then give your
> live address to every other spam list in the world and your load doubles.
> The best place for spam is the junk file until it is checked, and then
> trash.

All very sound advise.  

Obviously I use gmail and I find that their spam filter is very good as a first 
run.   A few false positives, usually when someone is cross posting to a few 
mailing lists and also bizarrely the monthly mailman-owner post, but that's 
not a huge problem.  I'm currently using K-mail which downloads my gmail and 
runs through it's own spam filter (not sure what this is) which is a teensy tad 
zealous.  Everything that comes from a mailing list is marked as spam and I 
have a hard time changing that to ham.  However, if something comes from 
legitimate, listed companies i.e  Sky.com, Nintendo.com, Ferrari.it, Apple.com 
(don't get me started on Apple - grrrr!) etc , it accepts them as being okay 
no matter how many times I flag them as spam.  Granted I've only been using 
Kmail for a few weeks and I'm not going to spend ages on configuration when I'm 
not sure if I'll stick with it but that's a completely different issue.  

Normally when spam comes in it sits in the spam folder and once a month I scan 
through it for false positives before deleting the lot.  Which is fine for most 
spammers, but when you are dealing with legitimate businesses you would expect 
them to behave properly.  Jessops is the first company who have not had a clear 
means of  removing yourself from the mailing list and this was compounded by 
their Head Office staff not taking the complaint seriously and ignoring the 
removal request.  

Anyway having the right information pays dividends as can be seen by what 
happened today.  I called Head Office at 9am and politely but firmly told them 
they were in breach of UK Regulations/EU directive (thanks Adam) and that if 
they continued to send me spam I would refer them to the Data Commissioner.  I 
further said I would also register them with spamcop.com (thanks Tracey) which 
could result in a serious disruption to their business as their emails would 
most likely to be blocked. Nice chap took my details.  10 mins later another 
chap called me back to say that I shouldn't get any more mail but if I do call 
his direct line and he will personally deal with the issue.  


All the best


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