The Story of "Nadine" -- A Tale of Mailing Lists

Question:  Why send mail to somebody who doesn't exist?

The spam from for AT&T finally caused me to do some research.  Visiting the web site, I found what seemed like an appropriate person to contact, and sent this official-looking message, complete with ticket number and RBL references.  Naturally I had some hope that a [possibly fruitful] discussion might ensue.

Once again my hopes were shown to be unrealistic.

Answer:  We Believe In You, Even If You Don't.

Some readers might not be astonished by what followed, but I was.  In the surreal reply that arrived the next day, the "ePrivacy Coordinator" at 247Media revealed personal information about a subscriber to a complete stranger.  The details included full name, complete address with 9-digit ZIP code, and date of birth. 

Fortunately, 247Media are "members of both TRUSTe and the Direct Marketing Association" and "strictly adhere to the privacy guidelines they provide".  One can only speculate about what horrifying breaches of confidence might have occurred had this not been the case.  Also a note of encouragement was the "exclude from future mailings from our partners" promise.  As we shall see, alas, that was as empty as the promise of privacy.

Always ready to grab for the last word in any debate, no matter how one-sided, with some asperity I offered a rejoinder.

Next:  It's Worthless, But We'll Sell It Anyway.

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