I find myself wondering if firstname.lastname@example.org gets much in the way of spam. I know I certainly get enough of it from the ignorant self-publicising fuckwit…
Years ago, out of curiosity, I bought a few copies of Side-Line magazine. It’s not a very good magazine. It contains interviews and reviews of music by mostly poor artists in the so-called “industrial”, “goth” and “EBM” music scenes, many of who happen to be signed or released on the associated Alfa Matrix label.
Alfa Matrix and it’s co-founder Bernard Van Isacker are shamefully self-promoting. They take any opportunity to push their drab artists and products and endless dull compilations on what they perceive as their target audience as well as bigging up their meagre associations with better artists. Being one of the larger independent labels in Belgium they have a small association with Belgium’s well known electro veterans Front 242 and even have set up a MySpace profile in their name which largely seems to be about promoting Alfa Matrix material via lightweight blog entries. Bernard is also know to lurk on many related “scene” forums and mailing lists where he plugs and spams Side-Line and Alfa Matrix product to a tedious degree.
Subsequently I, and many others who have made the same mistake, have been receiving regular mailings about Alfa Matrix promotions. I don’t remember agreeing to this and subsequently tried to remove myself. Only to find there was no noticeable removal mechanism. I tried to seek assistance via their forums only to find I had to log in. After logging in I found that receiving their promotional emails was a requirement of being registered on the side-line.com website. I subsequently made sure my account was deleted.
The emails kept coming.
At some point the emails developed a footer with links for users to remove themselves from future mailings. I made use of these for both side-line and Alfa Matrix emails. They still continued.
I emailed Side-Line and Alfa Matrix and politely asked to be removed from their mailings and informing them that their apparent removal mechanism wasn’t working. I received no response. I decided to take the next step and emailed their provider, hungry-media.com. They seemed more responsive and said they would have a word with their client about the seemingly broken removal mechanism and asked me to email them again if I continued to receive unsolicited emails. I did, and I did. No response this time.
At this stage I emailed email@example.com directly and sarcastically asked if there was some way that I could have these emails stop. Bernard emailed me back and told me I was no removed from future mailings.
That was about 6 months ago. I’ve had about one every few weeks since then.
I’m fed up. I want to cave firstname.lastname@example.org’s head in with a shovel.
Anyone got any ideas? Legal ones that don’t involve travelling to Belgium with a shovel? Does Belgium have any official body that fines businesses that spam? I think when I emailed their mail host it was in the US. Isn’t there rules there dealing with this kind of crap? Hello?
Yes, the amount of spam I receive from Alfa Matrix is fairly small but I feel it’s symbolic. The majority of spam I get in my inbox that Spamassassin doesn’t catch is usually anonymous re-mailed exploit crap with fake headers. I can’t do much about that other than trying to keep my email address as unexposed as possible and throwing anything I do get at Spammassassin, but when it’s from a “legitimate” company like Alfa Matrix then I want to take any steps I can to put a stop to it for myself and others. I can easily put alfa-matrix.com and side-line.com in a filter that bins any email I get from them but that doesn’t stop the larger problem of them using irritating and questionable tactics to promote themselves. I can’t believe that despite spam being such a big problem we still haven’t moved on from this.