Condé Nast marketing department, are you on crack? Have you put some trinket from “The Hills” in charge of your mail server? Justin has emailed you repeatedly to tell you to stop spamming him. His marketing preferences on your site show a vast field of “No” for every single title on your list. And yet he’s received 16 emails since his last request—almost three a month. You should know better—or, as Justin puts it, “This isn’t some Nigerian guy trying to make my penis larger or send me money, this is a company here, in the United States, that I know should be held accountable.”
Justin even complained to the FCC, but got back a form response asking him to just complain some more. So now he’s asking the Consumerist readership for advice. How do you get Condé Nast to stop spamming? As he writes at the end, what he wants to know is how to “get them to stop, in accordance with the law, not just sidestep the problem.”
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy pretty close to where I am, I was once subscribed to Cargo Magazine, kind of a mens version of Vogue. Had a lot of gadgets, nice clothes, basically the Gawker empire, but in print.
Sadly, they canceled the magazine about 2 years into publication, and remaining issues on subscriptions were switched to GQ magazine. After my subscription ended, I didn’t renew, but every now and then, would receive an email from them about offerings, ect. Just basic spam.
So I called them out in violation of CANSPAM, and sent my confirmation of removal, and copies of the emails sent. I’ve used the FTC website, forwarded the emails directly, filled out forms, but to no avail. Here is the response from the FTC:
March 24, 2008
Justin XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXX, FL XXXXXX
Re: FTC Ref. No. XXXXXX
Dear Justin XXX:
Thank you for contacting the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) regarding your receipt of unwanted unsolicited commercial email (commonly referred to as “UCE” or “spam”).
The strong public outcry against spam prompted Congress to pass the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 (“CAN-SPAM” or the “CAN-SPAM Act”). The CAN-SPAM Act does not prohibit the sending of commercial email, it merely sets forth requirements for sending commercial email. CAN-SPAM gives consumers the right to ask companies to stop sending them commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial email messages, and lays out penalties for the people who send violative messages. The law’s requirements, which took effect on January 1, 2004, cover email whose primary purpose is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service, including content on a Web site operated for a commercial purpose.
The FTC asks that you send a copy of any unwanted or deceptive email messages to email@example.com. (Please be sure to include the full email header when forwarding your spam – it is the header information that makes it possible for consumer protection agencies to follow up on your complaint.) The FTC uses the spam stored in this database to pursue law enforcement actions against people who send deceptive spam email. In addition, be sure to let the FTC know if a “remove me” request is not honored. If you want to complain about a removal link that doesn’t work or not being able to unsubscribe from a list, you can fill out the FTC’s online complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov. Your complaint will be added to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel database and made available to hundreds of law enforcement and consumer protection agencies.
Unfortunately, right now, there is no way to stop receiving spam, just as there is no way to stop receiving junk mail at your home. But there are steps you can take to help minimize the amount of spam you receive. Enclosed please find a FTC Consumer Alert with tips on what you can do to help reduce the amount of spam you receive.
I hope you find the above information helpful in addressing this issue.
Consumer Response Center
Big help that was, considering that this is their jurisdiction. They aren’t even “taking it seriously”. Violation of CANSPAM is an $11,000 fine, so 16 emails can add up pretty quickly.
So, my question, to your and the readers of the Consumerist, is how to make them stop sending me emails. I know it’s just easier to automatically have them be deleted, mark them as spam, ect., but the importance is to get them to stop, in accordance with the law, not just sidestep the problem.