One of the (dis)advantages of having your e-mail address posted on the open interweb is spam, spam, spam, and more spam. This does, however, mean that some very entertaining messages slip through our filters over at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’d be remiss in not sharing them.
I’m pleased to announce that the credit crunch is officially over. I’m basing this on a credit card solicitation sent to a Mr. Lazarus H. of Iowa. Lazarus, pictured at left, is seven years old.
We’ll give Unilever points for offering an exhaustive opt-out page that covers every conceivable form of communication you may be receiving from them. We’ll take all those points away, however, and award them a fail badge for creating the world’s longest, most labor intensive opt-out page you’ve ever seen.
Sometimes”‘free” means “wow what a great bargain,” and sometimes it just mean worthless. CareerBuilder offers a free resume review on their site—enter your email address, upload your resume, and “we’ll email you the results of your free evaluation, including tips on writing a resume that will help you land the interview.” All it really does is collect your address so it can send you unsolicited email (we got spammed 30 minutes later), and your “review” is just a boilerplate page of generic advice.
We’ve seen some misleading advertising before, but this one is a doozy. A company called “Property Tax Reassessment” is sending homeowners in California a fake tax document that looks official, and that attempts to con recipients into paying $179 before February 26th so that the company can file some paperwork on their behalf. There’s even a late fee threat for missing the deadline! It’s some of the most convincing looking junk mail we’ve ever seen, and it’s a total scam.
“Mailman Steve,” as he’s known to the children on his route, got 3 years probation yesterday for failing to deliver years worth of junk mail that was found stacked in his garage and buried in his backyard. He’ll also have to pay a $3,000 fine and serve 500 hours of community service.
The phone number in this Verizon mailer connects to “an exciting new way to go live with hot horny girls.” Can you hear me now, big boy?
UPDATE: Comcast has now removed Brad from its mailing lists for really reals.
Last week, we wrote about a roofing company that had sent out a “Defective Roof Notice” to potential customers. The blogger who received the junk mail thought it was deceptive, and so did we. To make matters worse, he wrote a complaint to the company and was ignored—but a few weeks later a fake “customer review” appeared on his site that was traced back to Feazel. Now the owner of Feazel Roofing has responded and apologized for the junk mail:
Update: The owner of Feazel Roofing has responded and apologized for the misleading nature of the junk mail.
Blogger HolyJuan was annoyed with a piece of junk mail he received from Feazel Roofing, because it was written in such a way that it could (intentionally) mislead homeowners into thinking the roof inspection being offered was somehow official, required, or necessary. In fact, it was simply an attempt to drum up new business for the company—but when you lead off with “DEFECTIVE ROOF NOTICE” and then mention class action lawsuits in the first paragraph, it’s hard to claim marketing innocence. HolyJuan complained about the letter on his blog, and a few weeks later an anonymous “customer” posted a rebuttal full of praise for Feazel Roofing—from the IP address of the company, naturally.
Section 1725 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code prohibits placing mailable materials like circulars and sales bills with unpaid postage in mailboxes with intent to avoid payment of postage. That means that the Chinese menus and offers for cheap lube jobs that end up in your mailbox might have been placed there illegally. One reader whose mailbox was clogged with this junk contacted the USPS to report the businesses. Her story, and the post office’s ambivalence, inside.
Dell, for the love of God, stop sending me catalogs! They are annoying and unwanted, not to mention, useless. If I want to buy something from you, I’ll go online. I’ve filled out your online forms asking you to stop. I’ve asked over the phone. Three different Dell executives have been in email contact with me pledging that they would investigate the mystery of why Dell is addicted to sending me catalogs. I’ve burnt them. I’ve recycled them. They continue to arrive. In my previous post on this, someone mentioned they got Dell to stop after filing a BBB complaint. Here’s where you go to make one online. I just filed one, my first ever BBB complaint (Dell, see what you made me do?). It took less than 5 minutes.
If You Love Junk Mail, Visit The Direct Marketing Association's Advocacy Website "MailMovesAmerica.org"
Did you know that “advertising mail is under threat?” It’s true! But what can you, the consumer who loves junk mail, do to stop the 15 states that, in 2007, “proposed the creation of state Do Not Mail registries, similar to the national do not call registry”? The Direct Marketing Association has set up a website just for you!
Despite my repeated requests via online form and phone, and even a few posts about it, including one where I made a photo spread of burning the offending items, Dell keeps sending me catalogs. So here is another post for the online pillory, but, in celebration of Earth Day, instead of burning these catalogs, I have recycled them (see above). Their inability/indifference is all the more stupid because two different Dell execs contacted me to say they would look into the issue. They even had me email them the cryptograms on my address label to help remove me from their mailing system. Dell, please, help me save the planet and take me off your stupid catalog lists. Otherwise I guess I’ll just have to deem your material “pornographic” (hey, I know it when I see it, right?) and use USPS form 1500 to get you stop. When you decided to get people to lust after your XPS line, that probably isn’t what you had in mind.