Auto Responders Are Good, Yes?

I recently had a very simple task – I wanted to get one of my brokers to send my daily account mails to a different email account.

That should be straight forward enough, right? Click the subscription information link, enter a new address, and on with my day?

Wooah Nelly, slow down there.

Some immediate problems:

  1. The email is completely blank, with a large attached pdf. That’s all, which means:
  2. No href links of ANY kind in the email, oh and:
  3. The one url in the pdf doesn’t match the ‘from’ domain
  4. This is a long dormant account, at a company that has been bought out three times since I last used it – so I have no phone contact information for them either (yes, I have tried to get them to only send me the monthly update, but they insist on their 30 identical dailies – but that’s a post for another time)

So, try the obvious – hit reply & request a change.

After two weeks of trying that, time for a new tack. I go to the website listed – a completely different company (it looks like they’ve outsourced their email blasting, which might explain their lack of flexibility) – pick the most likely looking email address I can find, and write a polite email.

A week later, still no response. Still getting these more or less useless (but oversized) emails to the wrong account.

So, time for a more aggressive approach. I go to the whois registry & get tech & biz contacts. I go to all the related websites. I get EVERY public email address I can find, and mail them all.

There’s seventeen of them.

I am polite – I explain that I realise I’m probably (after all, ONE of them may be the right one so I can’t be 100% certain) emailing the wrong person, but if they could please forward it on.. yadda yadda yadda.

I may have also *cough*accidentally*cough* mentioned that the CAN-Spam Act 2003 (yes, it’s an American company) makes it a legal requirement that there be working unsubscribe links available.

The fact that I’m emailing vice presidents & CEO’s in five countries I’m less concerned with – if they don’t hear about it, how will this ridiculously trivial problem ever get corrected? I don’t play golf with any of these guys.

Frankly I’m amazed that any company has public (& clickable, ie mailto) email addresses on the web considering how bad spam is these days – let alone vaguely high level people, but hey.

I get 7 responses, one justifiably aggrieved at being distracted from their Very Important Job. Mostly helpful, one super helpful who finally gets the job done.

And three bounces.

The only thing worse than posting email addresses publically is posting dead email addresses. Way to misunderestimate the web, guys.

But then, I’m guessing if they really ‘got’ the internet, they’d also have an auto-responder by now.


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November 20th, 2008 | Web |