Friday, April 13, 2007

Treasure Hunts

I have been on a treasure hunt with someone in Seattle, WA. It’s not your normal type of treasure hunt, that’s for sure. Here’s the problem – I am on a bulk email list that comes from an organization that I had contact with about 7 or more years ago. After attending a training session here at Webmail.us about our new project, Outreach, I learned a lot about regulations on bulk email and spam. One of the issues discussed is the ability for subscribers to ‘unsubscribe’.

I have seen this on multiple occasions before at the bottom of my legit spam newsletter. “If you do not want to receive this newsletter in the future, click here.” Simple enough. I noticed at the bottom of the message that I receive – that I no longer want – there is not a link to unsubscribe. There is, however, the option to reply to the newsletter with the words “unsubscribe” in the subject line.

Here’s the problem – the email address to which they are sending is an account that has been forwarded to my existing account or an alias. Sucks. But getting off of this list *should* be easy. I know the exact circumstances why I have contact with them. Back in the day…..

….before Webmail.us, Inc. took the direction of email hosting services it was a company called Fieldparty.com. As most of us veteran employees remember, our non-paid duty was to collect events from all over the place to include in our database of ‘things to do’. Our site allowed people to search for what’s happening in their local area. As one could imagine – it seemed like my email address at the time was on EVERY spam list.

So again – I replied to the message with the word ‘unsubscribe’ and included the email address that I thought they may have. I have done this at least 10 times in the past 3 months and I am still on this freakin’ list.

Last night I decided to respond to the person and actually write out the problem and ask that they remove my email address. To my amazement, I received a reply from this person who said, “It appears that we don't have either email in our system.” Hmmmm – that’s odd. I don’t have too many email addresses, other than the 20 or so aliases I have with Webmail.us (haha, not really....sort of...).

Curious to see if I had any correspondences from this organization in the email account that I assumed they were sending information, I logged into that account for the first time since 2003. wow. Talk about a blast from the past. There aren’t too many emails in that account. The bulk of it is spam – conveniently filtered to my spam folder. But there are 30 emails in my inbox that at one point in my life I felt were important to me.

My favorite email message thus far:

From: "Velvet Minnick"
Sent: Wed, 11 Jun 2003 11:18:22 EDT

Subject: space

Dearest Patrick Michael Matthews,

Can you tell me who I need to speak with regarding more space for my mailbox? I would like an increase to maintain the adequate supply of emails that I receive. I greatly appreciate your timely response with this matter.

Sincerest Regards,
Velvet Sunshine Minnick


To which Patrick Michael Matthews responded –


Velvet! What's up. Go ahead and send an email to support@excedent.com and tell them I said to upgrade you. Its on me. :0)


- Pat

Patrick Matthews
CEO, Excedent Technologies
Virginia Tech Alumni
866.EXCEDENT X 80
703.242.8600 (Office)
703.xxx.xxxx (Cell)
703.991.4441 (Fax)

Excedent Technologies - Managed Email Solutions – http://www.excedent.com

Apparently the support team back then consisted of my husband, currently our Chief Software Architect and Bill, our CTO, because I got this response:


Bill is going to setup a velvet@webmail.us account with 20mb. So you can use that if you want. He increased the fieldparty one, but thought you might like to use webmail.us

Kevin


Although many things have changed since this email, it’s nice to know a couple of things are still the same:

1. Kevin and I are still married and possess the unique ability to have a marital relationship and work at the same company.

2. The company still exists.

3. My sarcasm to Patrick remains in full force.

4. Patrick’s email signature continues to beat out others in length.

As for the removal of my email address on the unwanted marketing list – the hunt is on. Perhaps the organization needs to look into a better solution. ;-)

3 Comments:

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Patrick said...

You forgot to mention one other than that hasn't changed: Patrick gets shit done. ;-)

 
At 9:58 AM, Blogger Velvet Minnick said...

Patrick - yes, this is true. You definitely get things done. A very admirable trait you possess. :-)

 
At 7:55 PM, Anonymous Ben Hubbard said...

I just think it's funny that at one point in time... lo those many years ago, "support" didn't know who "Velvet" was!

 

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