E-Commerce Times Talkback
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Do marketers have the right to flood the e-mail boxes of unsuspecting Internet users with unwanted e-mail, otherwise known as spam? One Washington state judge has effectively said yes -- and has sparked an instant debate about the constitutionality of laws that limit the use of spam.
I believe that marketers have the right to e-mail whomever they choose and should not be limited. I think that spamming is no different than receiving unwanted mail from the post office or receiving unsolicited phone calls from telemarketers. Through the post office, you can send unsolicited mail to whomever you choose. The receiver must take this mail out of their mailbox, determine if it is something they want (often can't tell unless opened), if unwanted, throw it into the garbage and make sure it gets to the curb so the garbage man can pick it up. In addition, the post office makes money on the postage they sold for the person to send this unsolicited mail. As far as the unsolicited phone calls go, you have to pay an addition fee for either caller ID or to have marketing/sales calls blocked from your phone. Both unwanted mail and phone calls are a waste of everyone's time. UNTIL laws are passed to eliminate unsolicited Mail and Phone calls "SPAM," I do not think laws should be passed to stop or limit SPAM on the internet. With a simple click of your mouse button, the SPAM is gone.
I welcome educated responses to my message. There may be other issues involved with SPAMMING that I am unaware of and would welcome any additional information on the subject.
There is a big difference between unwanted mail and email. The sender of unwanted mail pays the post office to deliver the mail. SPAM on the other hand costs the recipient and their mail provider. When a company purposely forges the recipient or puts a subject line to trick me into reading it, they are costing me time. My email consists of 90% SPAM and My SPAM filters only catch 75% of that. My company spends around $100k per year maintaining the mail servers. If SPAM was not being sent, it would save us at least half of that. So a medium size business is effectively losing $50k per year because of SPAM.
I would not mind getting SPAM if I could actually opt out, but most opt out now just lets the spammer know that someone is actually receiving the email so they continue to send SPAM to that address. I will continue to fight SPAM in any way possible!
For one, I believe that protecting free speech is more important that having to hit the delete button if you get something in your email you don't like. It has been estimated that the anti-telemarketing laws cost our economy over $287 Million in 2001. With the advent of the Internet, our economy took off and not every business used email appropriately or responsibly. However, governmental legislation has never solved any issue regarding free trade without violating Constitutional rights.
On a more pointed note, our organization works with a totally Opt-in list where we have all the appropriate information on that individual. However, we still get the occasional individual who reports our email as spam even though they have asked to receive it! SpamCop is the worst! They never validate a claim but automatically notify the Web host of an infraction. This violates several sections of the U.C.C. and yet they are still in business. Who is the criminal here?
Well, I don't support unsolicited phone calls or snail mail, either, so it's no surprise that we disagree. At least electronic and phone spam don't harm the environment, but they are huge time drains.
I've received so much e-mail spam recently that it has become difficult to easily weed out the e-mail I really *want* to read from the e-mail I want to delete as quickly as possible. I've accidentally sent quite a few "real" e-mails to the trash bin and then had to retrieve them. I'm sure there are a few that I inadvertently deleted, and those senders are no doubt wondering why I never responded.
This worries me, but I'm not sure what I can do about it, especially if the accidentally deleted e-mail is from someone who's never written to me before. How would I recognize the address? Or what if a familiar friend sent me an e-mail with a spam-like subject line? My first instinct is to hit the delete key. I hope I catch my errors often enough. I'm afraid I don't. I'm extremely annoyed by spam.
"Or what if a familiar friend sent me an e-mail with a spam-like subject line?"
Sometimes I send e-mail to my friends with a subject line, "e-mail marketing works!"
Another case of a judge with flawed reasoning. Spam should be outlawed. Judge Robinson should consider a career in another field if this is an example of his thinking processes.
And what thinking process brought you to your conclusion? I see that you disagree with Judge Robinson, but you don't say why. If you feel strongly enough to write, why not make at least one point to support your position?