Tuesday 27 March 2012

Kelloggs again

I thought I'd done with Kelloggs. But I got another email from them. So I phoned them up again.

This time I got to talk to Mr Mandy, and he was apologetic. Apparently, the latest spam had been caused by my complaint about being spammed and requesting no more spam. You what?

He said that it was an accident. The latest spam was a follow up to see if I was happy about the way my complaint had been handled. So I told him that, although I wasn't going to reply to it, he could fill in the form himself, indicating a lack of happiness on my part.

I also suggested to him that best practice is to maintain a "do not email" list, so that whenever they, or an agent of theirs, or an affiliate, sends out email broadcast, they check their list of addresses against this list. He said that it was a good idea, and that he would start one, and I'd be the first email address on it.

And First Car Leasing. I had quite a long debate with Sarah Dillon on whether it was permissible to send out spam. Her first line of defence is "It's not spam, we're a respectable company". So I explained to her about the PEC (2003) Regulation, and that they were contravening it. Her opinion was that the regulation had been removed, and that they were OK to send out ... I forget the word she used, she doesn't like the word "spam". So I begged to differ, it's illegal to send out spam. She corrected me, it isn't illegal, it's contravening the regulation, and anyway it was legal to send out spam to businesses. I could complain to the Commissar, and on three complaints, he takes action. "Consider this to be the first complaint," I said.

"And that email address," I said, "isn't a business address, it's my private address."

She wasn't sure about that. I have to admit, I don't know how some third party can tell whether an email address is business or personal. Surely I'm the only one who can say.

She also seemed to think that all I had to do was click on the link provided and that would get me taken off their list. So I explained that no-one in their right minds, would click on a link from a spammer. "But we're a legitimate company," she said. "They all say that," she said. "You can look us up on Company's House," she said. "But I don't know that the email in front of me, actually came from that company in Company's House".  "That's the only way you can get taken off the lst," she said. "No," I replied quietly, "I know another way."

So she said she'd get me taken off the list.

She also said she'd get their director, Adrian Seddon, to call me back, so we could discuss this - apparently, he's the one who knows about this stuff.


  1. Whilst I have the utmost respect and love for you, Dr. I do sumtimes wonder if you need to get out more!! (Pun intended!) Surely with anti spam filters on email accounts and sensible opening of dodgy emails, don't you feel you are spending (as in wasting) too much time chasing these people.

    Now if you can tell us how to sort out the spammers/conners who "hijack" email addresses so the mail "comes" from a friends btinernet account or such, that would be worth investigating.
    Any way glad to see you're caching again I enjoyed the chance of catch up with you, I've got to within 24,789 of you now!!

    Have a good, and enjoy the weather :)

  2. Yes, I do indeed need to get out more. Sadly, my gammy leg is keeping me indoors, and I have to find my entertainment where I can.

    But time spent chasing these people isn't wasted. I've had a number of good results, including:

    Getting a spammer taken off the list of people cashing in on the Henley Regatta

    Getting a cheque for £25 sent to the RNIB

    Getting a cheque for £50 sent to me by Halifax

    Convincing a number of organisations that spamming is more expensive than they thought, and getting them to stop doing it.

    The problem as I see it, isn't the scroats that spam Viagra and fake watches. The danger comes when reputable companies start to think that spam is a good idea. And it's the reputable companies that I've been talking to.

    The way to deal with email address hijackers, is ... don't click on any link in any email, including the ones that you think probably came from your friends. The link might not go where you thought it did, and might result in something nasty being installed on your computer.