All About Response spam

Shopping at Argos led to spam email…

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After reserving saucepans at Argos, I was plagued by a spammer with cancer charity email from Macmillan … 

All About Response spam
Not a message I want to read…

According to a survey 70 per cent of us will not be taking part in ‘black friday’ sales because we are worried about the safety of giving out our personal details online.

And it seems we are right to be concerned.

Following new rules for charities which will prevent unwanted sales calls (the home line in our house is permanently on answerphone due to abuse by salespeople) I was shocked recently to receive an unsolicited email from Macmillan cancer charity telling me that one in twenty women will get cancer before they are aged 50.

I have already written about how I was plagued by email spam from another cancer charity, sending its unwanted message to me several times a day – and worried that this could be the start of yet another avalanche of junk mail I decided to investigate.

The email was sent from ‘Macmillan in association with All About Response’ but when I clicked on it to unsubscribe that facility was unavailable.

So I contacted All About Response – a mail marketing organisation (ie ‘legal’ spammers in my opinion) – to find out why they had sent it.

John Eddolls on behalf of All About Response told me on the phone they were running the campaign which was paid for by Macmillan. In a follow up email he told me: “I have spoken to our database manager and he has confirmed, that your details that were registered with us via our SoapBox Survey site on the 9 January 2015, have been unsubscribed from our database.”

There is no way in a million years I would fill in any sort of survey. However, going back to my emails on that day I discovered I did reserve a set of saucepans from Argos – and Soapbox is its affiliate marketing programme. It appears in my hurry to reserve the saucepans I omitted to tick or untick a tiny box.

Mindful of the expose run in the Daily Mail about how charities plagued thousands of us with begging phone calls, I asked Macmillan why they think paying All About Response to send out spam is a good idea. After all, they are not the sort of charity you would associate with spam (although they were one of the main charities cited in the Daily Mail investigation which hounded people in sales calls on phones).

All About Response swiftly came back to say the spam email sent to me was ‘sent in error’ and then claimed contrary to what Mr Eddolls told me, Macmillan did not pay them to send it.

I also asked Macmillan about this. I wanted to know are they spending donations paying for spam emails to be sent out? But they have declined to comment.

All I know as a business myself is that spam emails definitely do not work. Sending emails – even if someone has signed up for them – seems to be a waste of time and money. After all – do you respond to junk emails? No, thought not.

Meanwhile, it appears the 70 per cent of us who according to NTT Com Security’s survey say they are concerned about buying stuff online are absolutely correct to feel that way.

Have you been spammed by a charity? Maybe someone you know has received an extraordinary amount of unwanted emails. Do let me know for a possible national newspaper feature…

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Alison Smith-Squire

Alison Smith-Squire is a writer, journalist and media agent selling exclusive real life stories to newspapers, magazines and TV. She owns the sell my story website Featureworld.co.uk, which was set up to help ordinary people sell their stories to the press.

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