Sunday, September 07, 2008

Spam Spam Spam Spam (in the words of the song)

So once, about four years ago, I went to Confex to check out suppliers for clients, and by mistake - boy do I regret it now - I left my business card, with my email address, on a stand which supplied event management software.

It's a small company, with a couple of big public sector clients who don't mind that their package is expensive and doesn't really have benefits-clarity. I guess I've got used to the general good practice you see online - who wants to mail people who don't want it?

I run my own company, so I know no-one ever gets it totally right, but most people/organisations will fix a problem pretty quickly if someone's receiving unwanted mail. It's been interesting for me - people who signed up for our email, then later email and say they never requested it. There's a lot of mail. There's a lot of spam. You don't want to piss people off.

So when I got email in January from Simon, I was surprised:

Dear Sasha

I hope 2008 is a good year for you!

Please let me know if you would like.

1. Any more assistance with XXXXX, Europe's leading xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx?

2. Further information on our other products and services, for meeting planning and marketing?

Thank you.

Kind regards

P.S. We also have NEW prices for XXXX that reduce your costs by up to 40%.

James Brown
Skype: jamesbrown


I had a certain sense of deja vu, because after I went to this trade show, James Brown called me twice a week for months and just wouldn't go away. I didn't need his services, I made it very clear, but he just couldn't take no for an answer. Now, I admire persistence, but there's no point in trying to sell people something they neither need nor want.

And also, let's not forget that I've never made an inbound call to him. NEVER. So back in January I had some firm words with him, and he agreed to remove me entirely from his database. I felt a small sense of victory and inbox calmness.

So imagine my surprise when this week I get ANOTHER email from ANOTHER colleague selling me something I've neither been interested in or even vaguely wanted for five years.

I call the MD Friday. He still has that annoying salesy voice, and, by the sounds of it, a job. He remembers me. He doesn't apologise. He implies they were scraping the barrel for leads. He doesn't care that I told him never to mail me again and he promised same. He agreed to check into it and come back to me.

Like he will. Modernity. It can be very annoying.

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