What a delightful name for a company! But they sent me a spam recently "Compare insurance for the chance of super bug free private rooms". Hmm - reading that makes me wonder what the offer is - am I paying to be entered into a lottery with a chance to win a super bug free private room? Is the room a definite, but the super bug free part is just if I get lucky? Whatever ...
So I did a whois on gingernutmedia, and found the name Phil Warnock, and his phone number, 07913 405997. So I called him. He wasn't here, so I left a message. he called me back, but I wasn't there, so he left a message. So I called him back, but he wasn't there so I left a message. And then he called me, and I was there, and we were able to talk.
By the way - email eliminates this "telephone tag", wouldn't it be great if email wasn't so clogged up with spam that telephoning can sometimes be the only way to get to communicate?
I explained to him about the spam, and he was already aware of the PEC 2003 Regulation, and mine wasn't the only call he'd had. Plus, he said, he'd had a threatening phone call about it - I advised him to tell the police if it was a criminal threat (although it it was a legal threeat, such as a threat to report him to the Communications Commission, that wouldn't be a police matter). So anyway, he asked me where I got his phone number, so I told him. I also emailed him later, to tell him that if the threat that he'd received was criminal, he might consider giving a PO Box number on the whois database instead of his actual address.
So then we got down to the issue of the spam I'd been sent (he was a little bit unhappy about me calling it a spam, but let's call a spade a spade, yes?). He removed my email address from his list, and then we got to the part where I ask where he got it from. He'd bought it in, he didn't really want to tell me who from, but when I guessed "Datalists Global" that seemed to ring a bell. I don't really understand why people are often reluctant to tell me who they bought their list from. Is there a contractual agreement not to reveal this? And if so, why?
He said my complaint wasn't the first he's had about email addresses from this list. And he'll take me off his list, and ask the people he got it from, what URL they think had the opt-in.
I asked him if he was a member of the Direct Marketing Association - he said he wasn't, their fees are more than he can afford, he's only been in this business since last August. But he's been in this field for eleven years, he said, working for other people.
He seemed a very nice guy, trying to start up a business in a difficult business environment (there's a recession on) but very vulnerable to being sold duff information by unscrupulous list vendors, and probably paying over the odds for email broadcasting (he said that he doesn't do that himself personally). I always feel a bit sorry for non-technical people trying to make their way in a technical environment, so I wished him luck.
I also spoke to ActiveQuote.com, the people he was spamming for, and Chloe there (029 2009 0270) has said that she'll put my email address on her Blacklist, so that if they work with other spammers in future, I wn't get spam rom them.