Well this was the week this was...that- way
back in 1998
I discovered all about spamming.
I was a culprit, unsuspecting, but no less a culprit.
I had received in my inbox an e-mail classified sheet, from Cyprus
PostMaster advertising various Cyprus resources. It invited you to submit an advert and so
I did as follows:
Window on Cyprus is the place to get info.
Do you want to Dive, Bungee jump, sail, buy a yacht, crew on
a boat, go flying, buy sell or rent a property, go camping , go fishing, buy a book, meet an alien in Cyprus or a Cypriot
in outer space, become a friend of the Cyprus Donkeys, find an alternative treatment that's a small selection of what we
offer, do come and see us soon..
There was of course a catch. It would cost me, but I worked out that
the"6,000 interested Cypriots world-wide" were entitled to 4.6 cents each of our
money to learn about Window on Cyprus and signed up for 1 issue.
Then I learned first hand what Spam is. My inbox was flooded with pleas
of help from people wishing to unsubscribe from my Spam !
I wrote to them all explaining that ' I do not have a mailing list'
(except of people who request information from us, but that is top secret and would never
be used for any other purpose than to provide that information.) and that I was sorry .
The worst part of the nightmare came at 1am when we had just got to the bottom of the
pile, checked the inbox again to make sure we had finished and found it full.
Our own host and others were saying things such as;
This is a clear case of SPAM (ntua.gr/spam/).
This email message
had no reason to be sent to*******@**** Nor did it have any reason
to reach all my personal accounts.
Please give me a *good* reason not to block email from windowoncyprus.com
directed to NTUA and/or the rest of GRNET members.
YAHOO: Please inform your users of the lameness of SPAM
.CY ISPs: Please do the same with your customers.
Thank you all in advance.
I decided that it was time to explain how we were all
feeling and wrote a letter;
|Dear Mr ********
Firstly let me apologise for this nightmare that I find myself and many
others in. It is obviously my fault and ignorance and stupidity are no
I have not knowingly sent E-mail to anyone who did not request it, it is not
something I would do.
However I did respond to the official sounding 'Cyprus postmaster' , and was
led to believe that I was placing an advertisement on a subscription based
classified sheet to Cypriots and people with an interest in Cyprus
world-wide. (The figure quoted was 6000 which is not an unreasonable number
of 'subscribers world-wide) I was happy to pay the 5 or so cents per
subscriber as I feel we have a web site which is interesting and useful to
Cypriots and others the world over. I did not think this was Spam or I would
not have considered it for an instant.
I regularly delete offers of such services from my own inbox.
I am appalled to see the results of this, obviously you and most others were
subscribed to no such list (I myself subscribe to 6 such information sheets
and so I thought it quite legitimate)
This all happened yesterday evening.
The repercussions of this action and the damage caused to my own (up to now
impeccable) reputation have made me feel physically sick and I really cannot
I have never before sent E-mail to anyone who has not contacted
at the Website asking specific questions and looking for help on an issue in
Window on Cyprus, and I will never advertise with anyone ever again.
I have spent all day apologising to the poor people who wrote directly to me
and there seems to be some kind of loop running from dis.org that I don't
I now understand why the company responsible have not named themselves or
put their contact info, which is Geotina at <email@example.com>
I noticed since scrutinising the post that I was sent ,that on the last
'issue'( included below) that is the address used in most of the postings.
Was this last posting not picked up on as Spam?
The Meridien and such other prestigious names would also not stand for
I intend posting an article about this whole affair on Window on Cyprus
warning any other unsuspecting innocents to be on their guard
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to explain this calamity. I am
acutely embarrassed and now have to clean up the totally justified mess and
debris in my inbox.
Yours horribly abashed
The point of all this and
what I have learned is that if you are offered 'advertising' by any organisation
that has a subscribed database of customers, you should at least ask to see where you can
subscribe, and check that anyone who does not wish to receive post can unsubscribe at
will. We do not use or deal with any such lists on principle.
We are definitely an Anti-spam site