End Evil

12/5/04 - Spam Mail

Spam mail is one of the most irritating things in the world. Spam email ensures that your inbox is mostly full of offers for Cheap Prescription Medication, Penis Extensions and of course Nigerians who want to give you millions of pounds for doing nothing if you´ll just turn over your bank details. Traditional spam mail tends to be Mortgages, Loans, Credit Cards and stupid prize draw companies who want to give you free stuff if you´ll just call their premium rate number and check your winning code. All of this mail is a complete waste of time; I have never and will never respond to a piece of spam mail, in fact if a company sends me unsolicited mail I try to ensure that I never give them my business.

Email spam is getting quite ridiculous and can easily be in double figures per day for anyone with an email address which has been given out too freely or is available on the web. Despite the fact that less than 0.1% get any kind of response, much less a sale, they will engage in this practice because it is virtually cost free for the company to do it. Today´s batch featured a logo company wanting to design a new logo for the website and a Nigerian doctor who needs me to "rest" several million pounds in my account for a few days.

The logo company mail is a mixture of fonts and colours which give the clear impression of a child with no sense of style, so why they think it would entice me to pay them to design a logo for me is anyone´s guess. It's bad enough they send me offers I´m not interested in but if they can´t even be bothered making it look professional that really pisses me off.

The Nigerian one is even worse; if you used to work high up for some regime then surely you could learn to use a fucking spellchecker. The most muddled illiterate crap comes through in these mails and only the truly greedy would be suckered. Anyway if you're willing to help embezzle money out of a poor country and stupid enough to believe you can get paid huge sums for doing nothing then you probably deserve to get screwed.

The daily batch of snail mail spam was even more annoying. At least with an email you can glance in the subject bar and see that it should be deleted without having to open it, with real mail you get the tinge of excitement that it might actually be an interesting letter. You open it with anticipation only to find that it is yet another offer for insurance you already have or don´t need. Today I got two credit card ones, and a marked "urgent" prize draw thing. These prize draw companies are so transparent; just think about it, how can any company operate by just giving away free prizes? They always have this list of amazing prizes but you should skip to the bottom and look for the £5 voucher or packet of seeds because that is what you will be winning if you are idiot enough to phone the premium rate number and have your "special code" confirmed.

The credit card and loan one actually contained a free fridge magnet with the company logo and phone number on it. Now my life is complete, what genius thought up that strategy? "I know we´ll mass manufacture credit card sized fridge magnets and give them away free to unsuspecting strangers because that´s sure to get us more customers." How retarded is that? What a waste of time and energy, I imagine people employed making these fridge magnets, probably in some sweatshop somewhere and I can´t imagine how we got to this point. Please let´s evolve beyond advertising and preferably have some kind of revolution in which we hunt down those responsible for our most hated ads and cave in their empty skulls with a blunt instrument.

I noticed that the credit card, loan, mortgage and financial offers have increased dramatically since I have actually had some money in my bank account - which is a bit suspicious. The TSB seem to be on a mission to bombard any customer harbouring potentially spare money with offers for loans, insurance and anything else they can think of. My wife has actually been repeatedly sent offers enticing her to take up services which she already has! A phone call to these morons revealed that the two departments are separate and so there's nothing they can do to stop it happening. So this bank doesn't even know what services you get from them, they can't even do a cursory check before sending out wads of glossy waste.

So what can you do about it? Most email providers have filters for spam which help a bit and you could sign up for the mail preference service online here (but it takes three months to start working) - http://www.mpsonline.org.uk/mpsr/

I also recommend ripping up the mail and putting it in the freepost envelope and sending it back so they get charged for the mail. Or fill out the credit card application as a fantasy character but don't be surprised if it actually comes back and you're stuck with a credit card in the name Mr Wanker.

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