So the other day I got some Unsolicited Commercial Email, nothing new in that you might think, this was from American Express, (It’s here if you want a read) about “overseas payment processing” (particularly stupid as I’m not even in the US, but when was spam realistic). They obviously got my e-mail address from some US banking list I’m on - I get lots of “mortgage leads” too.
So American Express are the sort of organisation who have a good reputation, and one they wouldn’t want to lose - so if they get a complaint about UCE, they should really take it seriously. The e-mail was “signed” by “Brendan G. Walsh Senior Vice President & General Manager Consumer Travel International & Foreign Exchange Services” -so I spent 5 minutes getting “Branden Walsh of American Expresses” email address (I won’t publish it here but the @aexp.com domain pattern is pretty obvious.) If you’re going to complain, you’ve got to do it to the person who actually sent you the mail, anything else would be rude.
The next day I got a poor quality apology from “Patrick English”, no company name or anything and posted from an anonymous account, which included “Our firm inadvertently e-mailed 26 people on a survey today from our no mail list.” unfortunately it wasn’t “today” but a couple of days later, and it was clearly only in response to my complaint. Patrick English also seems to exist in spamcop as a bad boy so American Express really didn’t seem to clever in their choice of partners.
Not really satisified with this, I obviously wrote back to Branden, explaining why I wasn’t happy, and expressing my concern at how American Express had been misled into sending out spam, no response from Branden (perhaps not surprising he is a senior guy, but hopefully he’ll think again about actually signing his name to UCE in future.) but along came a word document(!) from the General Counsel’s Office of American Express which was very friendly and they’re looking into how their partner obtained my address, and thanking me for pointing out “Patrick English”s past history of UCE sending.
Who knows if they mean it or not (I’ll blog any responses), but at least I’ve made American Express spend at least as much time as I have on this UCE, including having important people spend their time dealing with the complaint - hopefully in future they’ll be more careful about sending out UCE.