No_reply? Forward!

by Volker Weber

I officially started hating MindJet for their mindless spam. Not only do they send their newsletter to my address although I have officially unsubscribed, they also send offers that I am not even eligible for, and they do so from an address named no_reply@mindjet.de and no_reply@mindjet.com.

I have now set a new filter:

noreplymindjetforward

And I will make this standard practice for all other companies who subscribe me to their newsletters. Let's make them drink from their own firehose.

Comments

Nice!

I like that idea. Will follow suit.

Mariano Kamp, 2008-09-25

I would personally use tue abuse@-address to forward to, but although that address _should_ exist, I am afraid not every domain has it.

Christoph Rummel, 2008-09-25

I have to agree with you Christoph. It is unfortunate that many organizations do not have the abuse account.

I really like Volker's idea, and plan on doing it as well. Thank you Volker!

Ray Bilyk, 2008-09-25

@Ray: If an organisation/domain, who is sending out mail, does not have an abuse@ address, they are violating RFC,a nd can be reported to the blocklist rfc-ignorant. http://www.rfc-ignorant.org/
And we all filter incoming mail against that list, and boycott any company who think the rules of internet does not apply to them, right? ;-)

But in this case I would also forward to abuse@savvis.net, for what good that is. We all know that Savvis at least historically been bad at handeling spammers, but it seems like they lately are much better, with only two listings (one from September 18 and one from August 18) at Spamhaus.org. http://www.spamhaus.org/sbl/listings.lasso?isp=savvis.net So perhaps that will help.

Karl-Henry Martinsson, 2008-09-25

amazing idea.
we should also forward these newsletters to info, support, webmaster, ... ;)

Roy Heidemann, 2008-09-25

Amusing idea, but it'll result in the target setting up a similar filter to block messages from (in this case) @vowe.net, worst case, even pinging the stuff back to you.

Jan-Piet Mens, 2008-09-25

Great idea!

Thomas Lang, 2008-09-25

volker,
what if they set your domain on a official blacklist ?
Would be interesting, hm ?

ingo harpel, 2008-09-25

I get these mails all the time and never get around to blocking them, this post made me laugh about it :-)

Ross Oroni, 2008-09-25

Mindjet sends its mails using the lyris list manager. The mails contain the list-unsubscribe mime header and there is an automatic link in every mail. I guess however, that there is more than one list they are sending from, so the unsubscribe button actually do not really unsubscribes you, but instead unsubscribes just from a single list.

sending mails from an no-reply address and don't providing an valid reply to, where a human being would read my reply is ... to say the least impolite.

Gregory Engels, 2008-09-25

Ingo, they can set gmail.com on the blacklist if they so like.

Roy, sales is the problem, not webmaster or support.

Mindjet is not the only company which does that. It's a matter of perceived importance. Sales thinks it's important that I know about their "savings". I don't.

Volker Weber, 2008-09-25

I must respectfully disagree with my esteemed colleague, Volker.

Fighting abuse with abuse is never a good idea.

Keep to the moral high ground.

With most of these things (and they are very numerous) I just silently delete (or, Gmail silently deletes them for me), so I never see them but the sender doesn't know about it.

If I feel really strongly, I look up the network address of the sending system and add that network to a deny list, causing a hard bounce which will usually just result in the message being silently dropped by the sending system although there may be an SMTP sender envelope other than no_reply@... which directs the bounce to someone who knows what to do with it - i.e. remove you from the list.

Chris Linfoot, 2008-09-25

Chris, that is a sensible thing to do.

It's just that I sometimes am tired of being sensible. If companies assume that it is their right to fill my mailbox, I am just sending their stuff back. At the people who are responsible for the junk.

I actually have started to do the same with paper junk mail. They all contain a return envelope and they suggest that you put a stamp on it. But if (in Germany) the envelope contains the word "Antwort" (reply), you don't have to. So I fold up everything they sent me, stuff it in the envelope and drop it in the mailbox whenever it's convenient. The sender gets charged for their junk again. It does not help if one person does it, but a thousand can make a difference. I can only imagine that you have to raise the spam level in their inbox to 30% or so, and they will notice.

Volker Weber, 2008-09-25

I used to do the same thing with paper junk mail here in the UK. Like you, we get reply-paid envelopes (“Freepost”) with a lot of the junk, so you just dump it all back in the envelope and send it back.

As you say, not sensible, probably quite childish…

But hey, I’ve never claimed to be a grown-up :-D

Ben Poole, 2008-09-25

I've done the "send paper junk back" game a few years already. It works fine - thanks vowe for the idea to do so with mails, too.

Steffen Pelz, 2008-09-26

The "send paper junk back" game used to work fine with all the credit card companies in the US, however at some point they started putting unique IDs on the pre-paid reply envelopes, so just sending it back will give them an information that it was you who did it: And that would be quite unpleasant.

Fred Wenzel, 2008-09-26

The junk in the envelope contains the address they sent the stuff to in the first place. I want them to know who sent the junk back.

Volker Weber, 2008-09-26

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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