Help | Site Map
| Text size: - +
(Answer) (Category) SpamCop FAQ : (Category) Help for abuse-desks and administrators :
What is your opinion of FFA (free for all) pages?
Question, continued:
I have an opt-in list that I am unable to use because of spam reports. These folks signed up on one of several FFA pages that stated that they would recieve email and if they did not want email they should not sign up. Why are these same people now accusing me of spamming?

Unfortunately, you have spammed regardless of your belief that you used an opt-in list. Many of the FFA sites I have seen do not clearly state that submitted email addresses will be shared with all the individuals or organizations appearing on the FFA site. Many visitors to FFA sites do not understand they are joining a shared opt-in list.

This practice of collecting email addresses is only a small step above harvesting addresses from forums and web directories as a deceptive practice.

One SpamCop user has this to add:

Operators of FFAs would be well advised to include in their 'spam' the true To: address that their mail is being sent to. I set up an alias account on our domain which I used exclusively to register with search engines and FFAs. When mail comes in addressed to that address, I kick it over into a separate folder and ignore it. Only spam mail that comes in with no valid To: address gets reported as spam, as I cannot tell why I received it.

If these FFAs would do this, it would cut down greatly on the spam reports to them, at least from me.

And an email from an FFA site user to the administrator of the site:

xx Administration:

This is unacceptable. We have received FOUR spam complaints as a result of using the lists you are being PAID to provide of those who post a link to your site for the purpose of sending email confirmations [actually advertisements, not confirmations]. I own four large on-line businesses and bogus spam complaints are a recurring problem with FFA sites, primarily with your service.

As the owner of a large Internet Training company, I refer thousands of people to you each week in an effort to teach people how to responsibly market on the Internet. My members continue to be on the receiving end of spam complaints by using the lists you provide, which are supposed to be SAFE.

Until this is resolved, I can no longer recommend your service, as the spam complaints are now affecting my businesses. I implore you to do something about this immediately. My suggestion is that you repeat, over and over again on your site, the fact that EVERYONE who posts to your site is agreeing to receive a Thank You email from the owner of the FFA site to which they posted. I assume you also have some kind of arrangement with independent submission services who post to your FFA pages. They too MUST reiterate emphatically that the user of their services WILL receive and has agreed to receive a confirmation email.

My members have done everything right, including inserting the link to the FFA page which the email recipient posted on your site. Yet, they are being persecuted by overzealous people who either don't bother to read the stipulation about agreeing to receive a confirmation or they are just out for blood.

I also assert that you should include in your warnings that ANYONE who reports an FFA Net post confirmation as spam will have their URL AND EMAIL ADDRESS banned from ever posting to XX again. If multiple complaints are received from the same person, I suggest you consider a heavier penalty, including reporting the complainer to his/her ISP for fraud or harrassment.

You can't hide this policy and warning in a 10+ paragraph policies page that nobody reads. Spam has become too big an issue to let this fade into glossed-over verbiage on a policies page. Your failure to protect the people who are paying you to provide them with "valid," "opt-in" email lists will be the downfall of your company if you don't take measures to bring this to the forefront immediately. Someday this will get the wrong person in trouble and they will come after you with a vengeance. I have seen it happen enough times to know.

I am requesting that you send [emails of parties invloved in dispute] an email verifying that this person DID in fact post to FFA Net and that the email below is an invalid complaint. We will not tolerate being reported for abuse when there was no abuse. [signed]
[Append to This Answer]