1 Nov 2006
Last month I called out EcoPhones for spamming me. Over the course of the last few years I’ve gotten spam to several Scout-related email addresses I have, to mailing lists I’m on, and to a honeypot email address (an email address hidden on a web site and only used to attract spam scrapers).
Within a few days a search for "EcoPhones Lankford" on Google turned up my post on the front page. A week later, and I’m the number two search result on Google for EcoPhones—right behind the company’s site.
That sure caught their attention. The company’s COO Walter Engelbrecht left a comment chastising me for casting their company in a negative light. After all, he says, they perform good deeds.
EcoPhones has helped more than 20,000 schools, churches and community groups nationwide raise in excess of $1,500,000 while recycling more than 100 tons of potentially hazardous cellular waste.
And, he continues, if I don’t want their spam, I can always ask them to stop sending it. He concludes by suggesting I’m giving the wrong message about EcoPhones...
We understand you’re upset but your negative posting sends the wrong message to the vast number of young scout troops across the country eager to participate in their communities.
I replied in the comments, but I figure such good stuff shouldn’t be buried in a comment page. There’s some great arguments against spamming in general. So here it is...
You’re a worthy cause in the same sense that disease-bearing rats are a valuable part of the ecosystem. I’m sure they have their uses, but I don’t want them in my house.
I’ve re-read my blog and realized that I’m not sending the right message. The message I intended to send was to point out that EcoPhones is a disreputable organization that any scout troop should avoid like the plague.
A company with such a low ethical bar that they’d resort to spamming scouting volunteers isn’t the sort of company that matches Scouting’s ideals.
If you’re a scouting organization and want to run a cell phone recycling fundraiser, give http://www.eco-cell.org/ a try. I don’t have any connection to them and haven’t used them, but as far as I can tell, they perform the same service and don’t spam individuals and mailing lists.
You see, marketers who care about other people use opt-in email marketing. They respect my time. They don’t attempt to co-opt my resources for their own gains.
If you were a worthwhile company you would spend your own money on your advertising instead of spending mine.
The fact that I have an email address on a Scouting web site doesn’t give you or anyone else the right to flood my mailbox with commercial offers. In searching for your company, I’ve found numerous email lists that you’ve spammed, often repeatedly, with your offers. Did those email lists have a leadership position in a scout troop too? Be truthful. Any non-profit organization that might need money is a target for the crap you’re peddling. If you can scrape an email address, you’ll send the trash, hoping it reaches a warm body.
Lowlife scumbags like porn peddlers, counterfeit watch dealers, and financial scammers promote their goods with spam. Be mindful of the company you keep lest you be painted by the same brush.
You want to start giving back to the community? Start by renouncing your spamming ways.
©1999-2013 Adam Kalsey.
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