Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nasty Shit To Watch Out For : An Open Letter To Spam Hell, WooMe.com

Dear CEO of WooMe.com,

I fear that this plea will fall on deaf ears, since in creating a website, you have likely already considered the problems I would like to bring to your attention, but just in case you haven't, this all started with a misleading e-mail I got from a friend, indicating that he had sent three videos to me.

I signed up for your website, and entered my e-mail and password information to see if anyone from my address book was a member of your site, and a few were, so I asked the site to add them as woome.com friends.


You can imagine my surprise when, moments later, e-mails from close friends, professional contacts, and even *clients* were filling my inbox asking me why I had sent them videos and what this woome thing was all about.

It was humiliating, explaining that I had been duped by your website and that I had not, in fact, created any videos for them.

Your company has irrevocably damaged client relationships, and thus cost me money, not to mention my poor mother who was still looking for the videos I had (not) sent her on your site when I got home tonight.

The problems with these e-mail are threefold:

1) I was not, at any time in any clear way, notified that every person in my address book would receive an e-mail from your company. In fact, on the screen in which I entered my e-mail account information, I was explicity told that your company would not e-mail any of my contacts without my permission.

2) The e-mail is designed to appear as though it has come from me. The from: section of the e-mail is not your company, it is my e-mail address, which is misleading and reduces the trustworthiness of my e-mail address in my friend's spam filters. It did not come from me, it came from you, and without my permission. It should, at the very least, say that it is from you, clearly and without exception, in the from: section of the e-mail header.

3) The content of the e-mail is a lie. I did not create any videos for your site, nor did I post any videos on your site, nor did I ask your site at any time to share the imaginary videos with any of my friends. The e-mail was a lie, and appeared to my friends, relatives, and clients as though it came through me.

I hope this was all a simple misunderstanding on your part, and that your enthusiasm for your website and your hopes of making it a profitable business prevented you from considering the impact on your potential users of unsolicited false e-mail spamming.

As a side note, your user experience also needs work regarding extrasite spammers. Upon joining the site, I received four invitations to be friends with women who had joined the site that day, who immediately wanted to chat with me. They all referred to me as "handsome" and urged me to come chat with them over yahoo or msn messenger services.

All this happened within 5 minutes of joining the site.

I closed my account immediately thereafter.

I urge you to reconsider your tactics and strategies. They are hostile to users, and thusly, I believe, hostile to your bottom line.

And seriously, get your spam problem under control. You guys are spammers and your site is flooded with spammers trying to get your users to go elsewhere. You are a quivering, jiggling warehouse of malicious spam.

And you should probably hire me as a consultant to fix it.


Robert Dobbs


Royal Young said...

Thanks for the invite ;)

Anonymous said...

seriously open letters to shitty companies should be the new job search. ammiright or ammiright?

Robert Dobbs said...

Well, I think there's something to be said for outlining some of the major problems of a company and proposing solutions as a way of applying for a job at those companies...

But, generally, no. Unless they were really interested in cleaning up their act and engaging in some internet ethics for their business practices, no. Working for shitty companies is a bad idea. Because if they treat their customers this way... how do they treat their employees?

Anonymous said...

I love Big Ass

Anonymous said...

I 100% agree! I too had the same thing happen to me. It was embarassing as I got emails from ex-boyfriends, my sister, friends, Even my 70 year old Uncle who was unclear why I was trying to "woo" him!

I've done an extensive search on this topic on multiple occasions and yours is the first similar post I have come across.

I am quite positive that we are not alone.....