I just received a spam from Gevalia coffee (PDF here) – courtesy of spammer Optinrealbig, who tells me that I receive that message because I somehow have registered for it. I have never registered to receive junk mail about coffee, of course (in fact, I have never registered that email address for anything).
But how to get rid of this problem? I can, of course, follow the link to opt out of something I have never opted in for. But I think we need to simply hit back. As long as advertisers pay spammers, spam will proliferate. So here is my suggestion: Boycott any identifiable company that use email marketing, opt-in, opt-out or not.
So please, fellow bloggers and Internet users:
DO NOT BUY GEVALIA COFFEE!
Their seemingly legal use of email marketing encourages pollution of inboxes all over Internet. Just get some other coffee. It’s easy….just spread the word!
Update Aug. 8 2006: Before you start posting comments here, note the date of the initial entry – and read Will’s comment of Aug. 8 2006.
Update: Here is their email, and my answer:
Subject: Re: Spam from Gevalia <>
Date: Wed, 26 May 2004 15:27:25 GMT
Dear Gevalia® Customer;
Please accept our apologies for the unsolicited e-mail you received. We do our best to confirm the legitimate opt-in nature of all lists that we work with, and we take complaints such as yours very seriously.
Gevalia does partner with a number of opt-in e-mail list companies to distribute our offer to consumers who we believe might be interested in joining the Gevalia program. All of these partners have been reviewed by Gevalia to insure that they enforce opt-in enrollment in their lists, allow for easy opt-out in all of their outgoing emails, and have accessible privacy policies in place. The ability for you to easily opt-out of receiving additional offers from this list should be included in the original email, but we also stand ready to help resolve any issues you have with removing your address from the list.
Because many of the partners we work with manage a number of lists, it is possible for an email address to be inappropriately added to our mailings. However, we take this breach of contract very seriously and should we determine that the opt-in was not legitimate, we will discontinue our relationship with the mailer.
We will contact the list manager involved and request their records on the acquisition of your e-mail address as well as asking them that your name be removed from their list.
Again, we apologize for the inappropriate use of your email address. Should you require any additional information, please feel free to contact us.
Thank you for your quick reply. I can assure you that the opt-in was in no way legitimate, and look forward to receiving both an explanation of how this happend as well as confirmation of the termination of your relationship with Optinrealbig, as specified below. Until so confirmed, my notice at http://www.espen.com/weblog/archives/000076.html will stand.
Thank you very much,
Update May 27: I have now received 5 more of these spams, from various forged addresses, a conseqence of allowing them through Mozilla’s very capable “Bayesian” spam filter.
I just can’t understand the mindset of the marketing people in a company that uses those tactics – is it idiocy or cynicism? Or are there enough grandmothers out there that respond to spam no matter what, making it worthwhile?