Thursday, 12 December 2013

Don't use ********.com, they're just glorified spammers

I hate spam. If you don't hate spam something's wrong. This is about ********.com and a poorly drafted spam message.

Now I've got as much patience as the next person but what irritates me more than anything is unsolicited email. I can take them with a pinch of salt of course - but this one particular day I lost my temper with ********.com, and here's why:

LinkedIn - great website, the world's largest professional network with more than 225 million registered users. I'm on there everyday. I love it. I often get unsolicited emails from various contacts AND non-contacts, but I don't mind them because most people, myself included, are polite enough to apologise for sending messages or email. Take this example, from my account in LinkedIn from a recruiter, nice and polite, and professional, bearing in mind it is unsolicited:
Example of polite Spam
BUT note the words in the message, "I hope you don't mind me dropping you a direct message...". This I do not mind, for the fundamental reasons that the person has:
1. Taken the time to excuse themselves
2. Take the time to draft the message
3. Taken the time to write the message properly in standard English.
I was happy to receive this spam because Mr Livesey was professional; I politely replied, thanked him for the message, explaining that at this point in time his proposal was not needed.

NOW TAKE THIS EXAMPLE I RECEIVED FROM ********.com. This I very much did mind for these reasons:
  1. This person did not take the time to excuse themselves
  2. This person did not take the time to draft the message but copied and pasted
  3. This person did not take the time to write the message properly in standard English
I detest this sort of idiocy with a passion. If this person had taken the time to draft his email properly instead of copy and pasting to spam, not to mention having the audacity to use LinkedIn to pretend to professionally spam, I might not have replied in the manner I did by emailing him a 'silly twat' message. Furthermore, the subject matter provoked my moral sensibilities - BLOGGER OUTREACH PARTNER PROGRAMS - can be nefarious businesses, especially since the jury is out on how Google's web spam team views these networks vis-à-vis busted link networks like Sape, and Ghost. I've seen enough online SME's being destroyed because of agencies doing dodgy link building - this doesn't justify my responding with a 'silly twat' message - but had I received a proper measured email not one copied and pasted I will have responded in equal measure.

As I said I would not have replied as aggressively as I did had I not believed that some bot or program had just spammed my social network inbox via some company I'd never heard of. Wait!! The message was written by a human-being... which makes it all the more appalling.

Abuse from

Little did I know that I was to receive a stream of abuse from's Vice President of Sales. Did I deserve this? OK, I was rude but so was his response. So perhaps I deserved it but do I accept it. No. I didn't start this conversation (I was spammed, remember.) but I certainly ended it - by doing the decent thing and not taking this idiot's bait because baiting it was. Instead of his apology which would have elicited my own apology he called me 'rude prick' and then went on to accuse me of hiding behind my keyboard in spite of his veiled threat at the end. I just ignored him.
[the image below is our social exchange, please read his response from bottom upwards, thanks]
The cruel irony...
My response was more measured and I politely replied that as an employer (as he kindly pointed out to me) he should be ashamed and summarily informed him to stick his spam down his mouth.

Ironically I had managed to elicit wrath despite not wanting to solicit spam and the VP further responded by calling me a 'little insignificant man', 'a wounded little girl'.

I responded noting the irony of his deluded messages. He took offence at this and replied, "Look at little Stewie he learned the big boy words. next time(sic) I am in the UK we should connect and talk face to face...".

I didn't respond. I couldn't be bothered. So why I am writing this now?

Because I believe companies, whether SME or not have a duty of care and cannot just run rough-shod over whoever they like with impunity. Just because they believe they are on some moral digital crusade doesn't justify their spamming LinkedIn users (I'm sure I'm not the only one) then when they don't like aggressive responses they respond in kind. Is this their business model?

Please tell me you hate hate spam to? Or am I wrong because I signed up to LinkedIn's terms and conditions so I should accept these messages? I would never dream of sending out copied and pasted messages to a client or customer - it is ridiculous and lazy - no wonder I responded as I did.