Companies that spam or sell your address!

General discussion re sg.

Verizon sells your email address to Cheetahmail

Postby SysKoll » Sat Feb 12, 2005 9:57 pm

Verizon seemed to have a clue. They successfully defended the anonymity of their customers against the RIAA's vutures.

And yet, today, I had to admit the sad truth.

VERIZON SUCKS. VERIZON SPAMS.

Let me explains.

Verizon is my ISP. I have a verizon address that I never EVER give to anyone. The only people who have it is this site (one sg account uses it as a protected address).

Yet today, I saw in my Verizon mailbox a message signed by Verizon, with their copyright, babbling about Grammys coverage. Aggravating factor, this message wasn't sent by Verizon, but by Chtah.com (aka CheetahMail), a subsidiary of Experian, who is well known for selling your credit info to any idiot with a few dollars.

Needless to say, CheetaMail will protect this email address the way they protect my financial info, and oh by the way, I get about 20 credit card offers a week.

And here is the subject of their spam:

Catch Live GRAMMY?s All Access Coverage from Verizon Online


Yep, that's right, no ADV tag, this breaks the CAN-SPAM act. Josh, you're the lawyer, what do you think? Do you have a colleague that wants a chunk of Verizon's spare change?

Finally, I double-checked that my account preference in the Verizon IE-only web site are indeed saying "No, don't spam me".

Conclusion: I am really, really PISSED at Verizon. I am looking at other ISPs. Cable is dirt-cheap in my area, so Verizon might kiss me and my money good-bye.
-- SysKoll
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http://www.pvps4free.com/

Postby trashpicker » Mon Feb 14, 2005 4:10 pm

http://www.pvps4free.com/

despite their FAQ:

Are you going to spam me?

NO. We use your email address and shipping information for the sole purpose of communicating with you regarding your progress, and shipping your free gift. We know your privacy is very important to you. In fact, we don't even ask for your address until it's time for you to place your order, unlike other "free gift" sites which ask for this up front so they can sell it to mailing list companies.

We have a strong reputation for respecting the privacy of our members and maintaining this reputation is worth is worth more to us than selling your personal information for a little extra income...


A unique SG email soon has spams rolling in after signing up on the behest of a friend of mine. I always assume these deals are bogus, and he later confirmed that he had been disqualified for the offer by some obscure rule. He responded by setting up http://www.pvps4freescam.com/ which is fairly amusing reading.
trashpicker
 

Postby theq » Mon May 02, 2005 5:45 pm

800Flowers.com repurposed my address as well.. probably an "affiliate" sending viagra cspam

kuow.org (sad - I must believe they were hacked)
theq
 

Postby SysKoll » Mon May 02, 2005 6:28 pm

kuow.org (sad - I must believe they were hacked)


According to netcraft.com, this domain is hosted by the University of Washington on a Microsoft-IIS/6.0 server running under Windows Server 2003.

So your hypothesis is very likely. kuow.org are not necessarily a bunch of hainous spammers. They could very well simply be uninformed, careless people who think Windows servers are a good idea (or just don't even know enough to avoid this pitfall).
-- SysKoll
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Re: Verizon sells your email address to Cheetahmail

Postby VZEMPL » Fri Jun 03, 2005 8:46 pm

I would like to reply to the comment below. As someone who works on Verizon emails to our customer base, I know that we take spam complaints very seriously and review all our emails carefully before mailing. We do not spam, or sell or share personal information outside of Verizon except where we subcontract work, and then we have strict contracts with our vendors about how our customer information can and cannot be used.

In the case of the Grammy email mentioned below, this email was not selling any service and was considered a customer service email, not an advertisement, which is why there was no ADV tag. We felt that the exclusive content we were providing around the grammy's event was an exclusive entertainment opportunity that we were making available to our customer base. We did not profit in whether customers went to our Grammy site or not. Verizon periodically shares exclusive content with our DSL customer base as a benefit of the services.

As for Cheetahmail being the mailer, we sometimes use email vendors to do our customer service mailings, including notices of service changes, account issues, newsletters, etc. We use them because they provide expertise in reporting, database management, maintenance of opt-in preferences and also provide us expert guidance on ensuring that we are NOT spamming people. Again, this is something we take very seriously.

I hope this has assuaged some of your concerns.


SysKoll wrote:Verizon seemed to have a clue. They successfully defended the anonymity of their customers against the RIAA's vutures.

And yet, today, I had to admit the sad truth.

VERIZON SUCKS. VERIZON SPAMS.

Let me explains.

Verizon is my ISP. I have a verizon address that I never EVER give to anyone. The only people who have it is this site (one sg account uses it as a protected address).

Yet today, I saw in my Verizon mailbox a message signed by Verizon, with their copyright, babbling about Grammys coverage. Aggravating factor, this message wasn't sent by Verizon, but by Chtah.com (aka CheetahMail), a subsidiary of Experian, who is well known for selling your credit info to any idiot with a few dollars.

Needless to say, CheetaMail will protect this email address the way they protect my financial info, and oh by the way, I get about 20 credit card offers a week.

And here is the subject of their spam:

Catch Live GRAMMY?s All Access Coverage from Verizon Online


Yep, that's right, no ADV tag, this breaks the CAN-SPAM act. Josh, you're the lawyer, what do you think? Do you have a colleague that wants a chunk of Verizon's spare change?

Finally, I double-checked that my account preference in the Verizon IE-only web site are indeed saying "No, don't spam me".

Conclusion: I am really, really PISSED at Verizon. I am looking at other ISPs. Cable is dirt-cheap in my area, so Verizon might kiss me and my money good-bye.
VZEMPL
 
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Postby SysKoll » Fri Jun 03, 2005 9:52 pm

VZEmpl,

Thank you for you explanation.

I do feel irritated and somewhat cheated by Verizon's periodic emails providing all kind of useless information, such as:
  • telling me how to protect myself from Trojans (I don't run Windows and I don't execute random programs)
  • informing me of various hip-media events (that I am not the least interested in)
  • offering well-meaning but useless advice for "safe computing" (I didn't wait for you, guys)
  • proposing me things that cannot be run or used in my computing environment.


So let's see. It's email. It's coming directly to my mailbox. It's messages that I didn't sollicitate. It's useless to me. I don't want it. And I cannot find any way to get it to stop.

Yup, it's spam. Sorry. You call it customer service emails, but you have to admit that it fits this definition of spam... Even if it's legal messages based on pre-existing relationships and whatnot.

I appreciate your assurances that you aren't selling your customers info to bulk mailers.

So kudos to Verizon for monitoring dissatisfaction on the Web (how did you find this page, BTW?). But really, guys, if you'd just provide a working way to unsubscribe from these useless mailings, I'd go so far as remove this post.

Please provide an unsubscribe link!

Deal?

Thank you.
-- SysKoll
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Verizon & spam

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 07, 2005 1:27 am

AMEN! I don't use my Verizon address for ANYTHING. I have my own email provider, thank you.

But I still get the Verizon spam. It's just plain RUDE to send junk your customers don't want, and not provide a way to opt out.

The only thing I want to see from Verizon is mail directed to me about my account.

Period.



BTW, DSL beats cable when you live 200 yards from the switch! :D
Guest
 

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 07, 2005 11:28 am

emeleel wrote:Got a new one with a twist this morning.

http://www.thesavingsregister.com

[text deleted]

However, this morning I got a spam that has added to the name I originally gave them. Instead of "companyname.20" etc., it was sent to "com,companyname.20" etc. Which means it created a whole new address to get 20 messages to without me doing a bloomin' thing! :evil:

[text deleted]


Without any illusions about these people or their motives, I still do not think this one was on purpose. I have also received this type of newly fabricated disposable. Look closely at the structure of the new disposable 'com,companyname.20'. I think this was part of a comma-separated list. The list would originally have been:
Code: Select all
email x-3 at domain x-3 dot com,
email x-2 at domain x-2 dot com,
email x-1 at domain x-1 dot com,
companyname dot 20 dot accountname at spamgourmetdomain dot com,
email x+1 at domain x+1 dot com,
etc.
Some screwup concatenated the 'com' suffix and its comma from email x-1 with your 'companyname' disposable.

Although you paid the price in new spam, you can take some tiny comfort in the probability that, without manual intervention, email x-1 was probably ruined in that spammer's list by the loss of its suffix.
Guest
 

Re: Verizon & spam

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 07, 2005 11:48 am

Sorry to be off-topic!!
Anonymous wrote:[text deleted]

BTW, DSL beats cable when you live 200 yards from the switch! :D
How so? Could you quote speeds of cable and DSL at your 200 yard location?
Guest
 

Verizon Emails

Postby VZEMPL » Wed Jun 15, 2005 2:10 pm

Responding to some of SysKoll's questions and comments:

I found this forum by searching for some of our Verizon DSL terms. I was doing unrelated work and stumbled across this forum. Since I am very close to this subject, I felt I wanted to address some of the issues.

On this issue of opting out of informational emails, while technically according to the written spam laws we are not in violation, I hear your concerns and think your comments are fair. If you don't want to receive it, you should not have to. I will raise this with our team and try to make this change. Due to the large number of system changes and releases that are constantly under development, changes of this sort do take some time. Hopefully I can give you some more concrete details of our communications plans in the next few weeks. One thing that I do hope to put in place is an overall reduction in the frequency of these communications.

On the Security email specifically, this is actually our most opened and read email (as compared with newsletter and topics that customers have opted in to receive). While you folks are obviously expert users, many of our customers are not so savvy and PC security is a big concern. As I said above, however, I can see how for you and many more savvy users this email would be unnecesssary and I will see what I can do to create a way to opt out of it.

Thanks to "Guest" for the comment on DSL vs Cable. We have worked very hard to upgrade our DSL product, offering more speed to as many as we can (within distance limitations) and hope to continue to upgrade the speed until more people can get Fios.
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Postby SysKoll » Thu Jun 16, 2005 2:17 am

VZEmpl,

Thank you for your email. I have some (positive) remarks:

1. The only communication I had so far with Verizon were either run-of-the-mill call center discussions or unhelpful canned email responses. It is very refreshing to see an employee that actually cares enough to write a long, informative, well-written post.

2. You obviously have some pride in your work and in your company. It cannot be only what they pay you. I have friends in the telecom industry, they told me the paychecks aren't a pretty sight. :-) So the logical conclusion is that Verizon is a company that treats its people well -- an increasingly rare thing in this business.

So your online presence led me to reconsider my opinion about VZ and upgrade them from "mindless corporate monstrosity" to "clumsy but redeemable company trying hard to please". I should know, I work for one of these big clumsy corps and I am just as defensive as them as you are of VZ.

I will see what I can do to create a way to opt out of it.


Thank you in advance.

On the Security email specifically, this is actually our most opened and read email


Since we are discussing security, could you also bring up with your team the fact that the verizononline.net site has apparently not been tested with the Firefox browser? Browsing this site with Firefox gives me frequent "Method not supported" errors. Firefox is a marked security improvement compared to IE, and its market share is now over 15% and growing fast. Many security-conscious people adopt it. Your security-minded users create less headaches for your tech support and waste less bandwidth with virus-induced traffic, so you should encourage them, not slap them in the face with IE-only sites. Supporting Firefox in PR as well as good business.

Thank you,
-- SysKoll
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Verizon.net

Postby VZEMPL » Thu Jun 16, 2005 3:18 pm

On the Firefox browser, I do not work on our verizon.net portal, but will pass on your comments. It is difficult for us to support browsers that so few people use. While I know Firefox has gotten excellent reviews, particularly on security, we are unlikely to test and support it until more than a few percent of our users are using it. There is a chicken and an egg issue here, of course, as people won't use it unless it's supported....I will at least ask the testers whether they test the portal with alternative browsers and see what they say.

On the security email, you have your wish! I have spoken to our email vendor and told them to change the procedure on who we send the security email to. Since we do not have a way of specifically opting out of this mailing at this time, we only sent this months security email to opted in customers this month. OPted out customers were set to receive this email today, but I asked that we not drop this second mailing. SO, if you still received this email this month, let me know.

As for your description of Verizon as:

SysKoll wrote:"clumsy but redeemable company trying hard to please"


I thought this quite apt. We are sometimes too big to be aware of the impact of things we do, but we try. This forum is useful for that. But change is hard to enact with 220k employees. I would love for us to be more nimble. All I can do is try to improve my small area of responsiblility.

If there are any other readers with Verizon email issues, let me know.
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Postby SysKoll » Thu Jun 16, 2005 6:16 pm

Thank you, I am looking forward to the improvements you describe.
-- SysKoll
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Postby josh » Thu Jun 16, 2005 11:50 pm

hope nobody minds me editing posts, but in view of the time spent by VZEMPL to respond here, I thought it would be a good idea to make the proclamation at the top of this page less, well, big.
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Postby SysKoll » Fri Jun 17, 2005 10:29 am

Josh,

Not at all. And as I promised, I'll edit the message to mention they fixed it as soon as I can confirm the opt-out is respected. The least I can do after bitching is to recognize people's efforts to clean up their act.
-- SysKoll
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