Jericho/Smartmailpro responds

, posted: 1-Sep-2006 11:08

Following my post about being spammed by Mercury Subs and Smartmailpro, despite an earlier complaint that elicited no response, Jeff Mann, the MD of Jericho Ltd replied.

Unfortunately, Jeff sent out an email to various parties stating that IDG is a client of Jericho's and uses Smartmail software to send newsletters and permission based email communications to their customers.

Apart from the fact that IDG as it was no longer exists after Fairfax Business Media purchased most of the titles, it has never been a Jericho client. Jeff Mann corrected his mistake later, saying he meant to write Mercury Subs and not IDG. Please note this in case you have received a message saying IDG is a Jericho client.

Jeff asked me to "notify of this situation" so here's his email, with Mercury Subs substituted for IDG where applicable.

Hi there,

Mercury Subs are our client of ours and they use our Smartmail software and servers to send permission based email communications to their customers.

All emails contain an unsubscribe link in them.

Our company works extremely hard on ensuring all email records held by the 500 odd businesses who use our software and servers are maintained in a permission state at all times.

We adhere to the laws of NZ including the Marketing Associations Standards For Email Marketing - refer and we follow the recommendations for best practice provided by the "Unsolicited Electronics Bill" going through NZ parliament at the moment.

To answer your query - Anne-Marie Richardson was subscribed to the Mercury Subs newsletter service at 16.25 pm on 27/04/06. The email address provided was

Should the person who receives emails to this address not wish to continue receiving the Mercury Subs emails, they should simply follow the unsubscribe link and instructions - which takes a few seconds to complete. Since you have lodged a complaint, we have carried out this unsubscribe status for your email address.

Should you have any further queries - please call me at the office on Ph 09 360 6463 or on Mobile 0274 906667.

We would appreciate if you notified of this situation.

Many thanks

Jeff Mann
Managing Director
Jericho Ltd
36 Douglas St

In a follow-up email Jeff says that he is following up with Mercury Subs to find out why they didn't unsubscribe me in the first place, and says he suspects that they may be the victims of "opposition tampering", ie. someone subscribing my email address with malicious intent.

Jeff apologises for the situation, and I'm sure it'll be resolved. However, he also says that "commercial reality dictates [that double opt-in] to be ineffective," which I totally disagree with. Double opt in whereby you confirm that you want to receive commercial emails from whomever would've prevented all this. As it is, anyone can load up Jericho's database with email addresses of people who will then according to Jeff have to unsubscribe themselves.

This is in my opinion not the right way to run a commercial emailing service. Double opt in is a must.

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