I’m Angry

O'Reilly spamming me after attending OSCON

Since attending the Oregon Open Source Convention, I've gotten very aggressive SPAM from O'Reilly and a whole host of other companies. I keep trying to unsubscribe and it's not working.

I used to like this company...I just wanted to say that you've traded years' worth of goodwill on my part for the opportunity to market to me in a way which ISN'T GOING TO WORK for me or anyone who attended the conference. It's the worst possible business decision.

I have often recommended O'Reilly books to friends it the past. Never again.

Ness Blackbird, Technical Manager
The Ticket Turtle Company
ness()ticketturtle.com
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  • Hello NessBird,

    Can you please send me samples of the emails you received to allen at oreilly dot com? We often send follow-up emails to conference attendees, in particular about session slides and videos being available, but this sounds like something beyond that. I promise to look into this.

    Regards, --Allen
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  • EMPLOYEE
    I’m worried and need to know more
    I am REALLY worried about what you say. Can you please send me, tim at oreilly.com examples of the spam messages you've gotten? What do you mean by "aggressive" spam messages? Lots of messages from lots of sponsors, or more than one message from the same sponsor? And what kind of spam from O'Reilly?

    Our conference team assures me that the only emails go out to people who've opted in to receive messages from conference sponsors.

    In addition to everything else, I will personally review how the opt-in is handled, and how easy it is to miss. We can check to see if you're on that opt-in list, and how you got there, since you obviously don't remember signing up for email from sponsors.

    I'll also look at the unsubscribe process.

    I very much agree with you that a company can really screw its reputation by having stuff come across as spam.
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  • Ness,

    First off, I checked, and it looks like they could make the opt-in clearer. The way it's designed, I think you could sign up without meaning to. I'll make sure we fix that.

    The team also said that they have been having some problems with the vendor handling the email lists regarding timely processing of unsubscribe requests. (Basically, we use a list broker to make sure that sponsors who get one time use of the list don't just slurp it in and use it repeatedly -- for exactly the reason that concerns us both.) We're debugging this problem right now.

    I'm a bit puzzled, though, about your assertion that you've been receiving lots of email messages since attending the conference. I had the team send me copies of every message that was sent out to people on the opt-in list, and of the total of 15 emails that were sent out, only three were sent after the conference. The others were sent out in the months leading up to the conference, and include notifications of events (like workshops and parties) at the conference.

    So if you've been getting lots of messages since the conference, someone has managed to get a hold of the list and is using it in unauthorized ways.

    But in any event, I am sorry that you had this bad experience. Thanks for letting us know, so we can fix it.
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  • I can't speak about spam from other vendors, but I've been receiving emails from O'Reilly about the Web 2.0 Expo which seem to imply that I'm attending it. The same thing happened after OSCON last year. It's not a big deal; I just marked them as spam and now GMail deletes them without me being bothered.
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  • I’m frustrated
    Nice to google O'Reilly and come up with the same problem. I've been trying to unsubscribe from all their mailing lists for over a year. Apparently I mistakenly added myself more than two years ago. Like a moron, I've been diligently hitting the unsub box after clicking through the email link. Consistently unsuccessful -- especially as the next round of conferences come up.

    Not only is there no master unsubscribe from all of their spam, but by clicking the box, you actually limit what you are removing yourself from (this year's event) -- a very clever way to encourage additional spamming from a company I used to respect. No more.

    Incredibly, the link now brings up a form that has generated the following error message -- for the past month!

    "System Down
    We're sorry, but we are temporarily unavailable. Please try again soon."

    Wow, that's really useful. Wonder how many developers it took to implement that functionality?

    Hopefully, marking all their messages as spam will contribute to their desigation in gmail as spam for everyone.

    btw Mr. O'Reilly, blaming it on a vendor doesn't seem like taking responsibility. Put a clearly marked web form on your site that allows you to remove any email address from all O'Reilly, Techweb, etc. emails.
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  • I’m frustrated and angry
    I once signed up for a trial of Safari online books. I have never attended Web Expo or signed up for anything else on the O'Reilly website. Since I signed up for that trial of Safari, I get spam announcing Web Expo even though I have repeatedly put that email address in my spam folder and have send polite emails to OReilly customer service requesting that the spam stop. I just think OReilly pays lip service on pages like this and doesn't really care about its customers because I have NEVER received a reply from customer service about the Web Expo emails.
    I made up an email for this post. There is NO WAY I'm using my real email address because it would only set me up for more spam.
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  • Hello no,

    My extreme apologies. I can assure you we do not spam, and that we make every effort to remove people from lists. That you didn't hear from our customer service isn't acceptable and I'd like to get more information about that. Regarding Web Expo, that's a joint event between O'Reilly and CMP, so you could be on one of their lists. Regardless, would you mind emailing me directly at allen at oreilly dot com, or call my direct line at 707.827.7124 so we can remove you from all our lists?

    Regards, --Allen
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  • 1
    Charlie and no,

    I'm so sorry you've had trouble unsubscribing. I run the email marketing team at TechWeb's live events group and I'm also a marketing director for Web 2.0 Expo. I assure you we take CAN spam and customer service very seriously.

    I have checked all of our opt out links on our past emails and they are working fine for me. Here's the link for anyone who needs to opt out (but you will need to enter the same email address on the Web 2.0 Expo SF list): http://bit.ly/web2exposf_optout

    I hope this will resolve the issue with Web 2.0 Expo but If you are still having problems, please don't hesitate to email me at wmichael at techweb dot com.

    - Whitney
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  • I’m very angry
    OMG. We will see if my long note with a similar complaint shows up, but I doubt it.

    I complained about the fact that, like ms. Michael above sweetly suggests, these spammers who spam you all the time with a new 'event' notice have an unsubscribe link that will only unsubscribe you (if even then) from the particular SPAM TOPIC and not even take you off the list.

    I NEVER subscribed to a thing with those weasels in the first place. If/when I subscribe, I don't use the SPAMMER-scraped address they use. I use a unique name such as ThisParticularSpamAddressDontSPAMME@m.... The *only* exception is when, like on things like this ironically SPAMMY forum, I am duped into providing information in order to make sure my posting does not get killed off (like they did anyway). Even then, it is a GMail account that I use, not the SPAM target used by techwebevents-sf.com.

    IF YOU ARE GOING TO HOLD PEOPLE TO RANSOM TO GIVE UP A REAL EMAIL ID SO THEY CAN POST, SAY SO BEFORE THEY TYPE IN A MESSAGE.
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  • I’m disappointed and very angry at OReilly
    Unfortunately this problem still exists! They still use "unsubscribe" for only the "new conf" that they are spamming you about. Which means every time there is a new conf you will get another spam email.

    Too bad Oreilly has really let down its nice image with something so ridiculous.
    • Hi NoSatisfaction,

      I'm really sorry to hear that you received email messages from us that were unwelcome. We try very hard to make sure that never happens! I can add you to our master opt-out list as well as the opt-out list for our event partner, which I believe will resolve the issue. If you'd like to send your email address to me at suzanne[at]oreilly.com, I can take care of that immediately. You can also call me at 707-827-7114.

      Again, huge apologies and thanks very much for taking the time to reach out to us.

      Best,
      Suzanne
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