Date: Fri, Mar 3, 2000 10:15 AM
Subject: Telemarketing Review -- Comment. FTC File No. P994414
Telemarketing Review -- Comment. FTC File No. P994414
I would like to add another type of offending marketing to be held with the same regulations that Telemarketing currently is. It's called email spam. Spam from companies that don't even know me is annoying, but spam from companies that do know me is even more painful.
I have recently ran into problems with companies that send email messages representing companies that I have no affiliation or concern with. For example, alladvantage.com has sent me several emails advertising for third parties, something I was unaware was going to be the case when I signed up to use the viewbar.
They use a viewbar to help people that use the web to surf make money by looking at advertisements. The problem comes in when you consider the rest of the free advertising you are "forced" to look at by the emails they send. Unlike the viewbar, this advertising cannot be turned on/off, and the company is spamming their own customers. This is extremely ironic due to their supposed stance against spam.
I would appreciate it if the committee would look into companies like alladvantage.com on possible illegalities regarding privacy, business tactics, and policy abiding. Also, I have yet another problem dealing with the way that several companies, once again alladvantage.com comes to mind, that do not provide a clear way of being removed from an email list.
First off, *I* should not be required to do any more than say "Take me off the list" to a telemarketer. Thanks to legislation and changes in the way the government regulates, I can say just that and be taken off the list. I would appreciate it if emails sent by a company were required to have a return address in which one could say that exact same thing, in their own words, and have a human being on the other end take their name off the list.Automated email list handling is nice, but problems do occur. I think the best way that I have ever seen a company handle taking names off lists was when I was told that all I had to do to take my name off was to click the reply button, then click the send button. That is *so* easy. I wish alladvantage.com would have had something similar to that.
They did not, however, and that is why I am writing. In fact, they did not, and to this day they probably *still* do not have a way of getting a name taken off the list via email. Here's where the problem comes in. I was without Internet access for a considerable period of time. I could, however, still check my email. So when alladvantage had gotten to the point where 2 emails a week was bothering me, I sent a rude, insincere reply asking that my name be taken off the list. They didn't do it.
In fact, they refused to. They claimed that it was my responsibility to get the web to work, and then, as if to spite me, they put up a URL link to the webpage to do so. I have since left my previous email provider due to their spam tactics, and will continue to see irony in the fact that telemarketing is held to better standards than the fastest growing medium for business today. I would appreciate it if the burden would be put back on the spammer to make certain names are removed from the list.When I get time I will write up a better letter (this was spur of the moment) proofread it, check it for errors, and send to firstname.lastname@example.org, with CCs to the BBB, FTC, and possibly some anti-spam sites that would not be happy to know that a company is using their fight against spam to try and lure customers in.
I want retribution, and it is too bad that alladvantage has yet to even apologize.