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Opt-In Email Marketer Accidentally(?) Spams List Members 28 August 2000 Edition
Previous Edition

Readers Say
Opt-In NZ is NOT at fault here at all - John

I have just read the right of reply - David

Well, after wading through the poor spelling - Kerry

Have Your Say
Hundreds, possibly thousands of people who decided to join New Zealand operated opt-in email list operator Opt-In NZ found their email boxes clogged with emails this weekend after a technical hitch.

Several Aardvark readers contacted me to complain that they had received hundreds of email messages -- each one identical except for the greeting.

After discovering the embarrassing mistake, Opt-In NZ quickly went into damage-control mode and sent an email of apology to some of those affected.

In the email they said:

Dear Member,

Our most profound apologies for today's mass number of emails. It was an accident. Our web development firm delivered faulty programming to us which we innocently used in sending out our Member's Communique regarding anti-spam tools.

And yes, the irony of the matter is outright unbelievable: sending out an anti-spam email by spamming our members with dozens of messages.

Again, our most profound apologies - we truly regret this ever happened. Our web development firm will be sending out an apology letter to you. They have also fixed their programming glitch. Therefore, we give you our solemn pledge that this will never happen again.

Sincerely,

Opt-In NZ Membercare

Yes, it certainly was ironic -- since the page being promoted in the bulk emailing is headed "Say No To Spam, Say YES to Opt-In NZ!" One can't help but wonder if this was really just a coincidence.

On the page referred to in the email they offer links to a number of resources which may be useful in the fight against spam -- but they didn't include a link to the article that Aardvark carried on this topic back in January 1998 (note that many of the links on that page have been rendered invalid by the passage of time)

Is This Legal?
You can trust a lawyer right?

They wouldn't deliberately tell porkies would they?

Well, if I were the folks at Govett Quilliam, I'd give my web designers a kick up the backside for producing 4  this site which asks for your credit card details and purports to be running on "our secure server."

Sorry guys, neither the form, nor the script which processes the data entered appear to be secured by any form of encryption.

Not only that -- but there are clear signs that this site was built by a rank amateur -- the text box where you are supposed to enter your question doesn't even wrap (hint for the web designers: look up the "WRAP=" tag).

One can't help but wonder if this site wasn't built by the office-girl during a tea-break using her trusty copy of FrontPage.

I'm sure quality of legal advice on offer must be better than the technical implementation of the website.

Nathan Balasingham Replies
Nathan Balasingham, the promoter of the magnetic fuel saver devices that has been the subject of so much debate in the past week has sent me a right of reply which I'm publishing today.

As is my policy, his reply is published unedited and unabridged. Readers are left to draw their own conclusions.

As always, your feedback is welcomed.

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Copyright © 2000, Bruce Simpson, free republication rights available on request