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View Poll Results: Are all emails not directly in my interest to be considered UCE?
I'm happy to give them free feedback, not UCE for me 1 9.09%
I treat these solicitations as junk emails 10 90.91%
I like receiving unsolicited emails, they may be useful for me 0 0%
Voters: 11. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-16-2022, 07:56 AM   #1
Emerson
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Spam - what is your definition


It is coming increasingly popular to solicit evaluations of products and services. You get a service and a week later there it is in your inbox: "how did we do".
For me everything what is related to their business, not mine, is spam. UCE, unsolicited commercial email.
Furthermore, I paid for this service, why they expect me to evaluate it for free?

What do you think, is it OK for them to send these solicitations without your permission?
 
Old 09-16-2022, 08:19 AM   #2
boughtonp
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Depends on what specifically they're asking, and who is asking it.

I don't object to a small company asking for feedback on a recently provided service and/or product, when you know your response will actually be read and considered.

And a site like eBay is useless without reviews, so prompting after a purchase makes sense, (even if it is occasionally irritating).

But in other cases it's a clear marketing activity: making people think their opinion is valued, when in reality the responses don't make any difference.

So (in this context) that's probably where I would draw the line: unsolicited marketing emails.


Last edited by boughtonp; 09-16-2022 at 08:22 AM.
 
Old 09-16-2022, 08:47 AM   #3
rtmistler
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A lot of businesses have boxes default checked, or in hidden options allowing this, where you can say no. Plus unsubscribe. This unfortunately is not a new problem. Call it whatever you want.
 
Old 09-16-2022, 09:14 AM   #4
jailbait
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtmistler View Post
This unfortunately is not a new problem. Call it whatever you want.
In the days before the internet it was called junk mail.
 
Old 09-16-2022, 09:47 AM   #5
Emerson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boughtonp View Post
I don't object to a small company asking for feedback on a recently provided service and/or product, when you know your response will actually be read and considered.
Having a closer look it is often not them, these solicitations come from some paid service. They are paying to some survey business which means they are sharing my email address and then I am expected to do the actual job for free. It is pure spamming for me.
 
Old 09-16-2022, 10:13 AM   #6
boughtonp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerson View Post
Having a closer look it is often not them, these solicitations come from some paid service. They are paying to some survey business which means they are sharing my email address and then I am expected to do the actual job for free. It is pure spamming for me.
Well that's not what I'm referring to - when the order confirmation and single follow-up message both come from the same named individual with a valid company email (none of this noreply nonsense) with URLs that are unobfuscated direct links to their own website - I'm probably going to be ok with that.

But with what you seem to be referencing, that's is when I pay attention to what I did or didn't consent to, and if there's any steps I can take under the GDPR (which still applies in the UK, but has apparently been modified slightly since leaving the EU).

For those in places without consumer data protection laws, I guess the choices are to complain to the company involved and/or stop providing them with custom.

 
Old 09-16-2022, 10:38 AM   #7
Emerson
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Laws are for people who cannot behave properly in their own so rules must be enforced on them. By descending into discussing these laws we accept these misbehaving people as normal members of society. They are not. Bothering someone with your business matters without their consent is plain lack of manners. Period. Can-spam act. We can send you one spam and then we must offer opting out. Hello! This first spam already is a blatant violation of basic manners. May I stand on the street corner and rob every by passer a buck, until they opt out by submitting their request me in writing. Can-spam is same nonsense.

We see this so often nowadays, the actual problem gets obfuscated and suppressed and then we initiate a wide discussion about consequences. This is one of them.
 
Old 09-16-2022, 10:40 AM   #8
business_kid
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I'm in the EU, so GDPR applies.


I'll give them short feedback, especially if it's constructive criticism, or negative. I've run a small business in times gone by. I pass on the surveys of idiot questions spread over 15 web pages. As soon as I start getting their sales emails (which often follow) I unsubscribe. There has to be an unsubscribe option under GDPR.

Last edited by business_kid; 09-16-2022 at 10:42 AM.
 
Old 09-16-2022, 11:21 AM   #9
Emerson
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I used to own a small business. I learned how to see it with customer eyes. If I sent out a thousand letters to my customers I doubt any feedback would actually give me anything useful. Sure, I'd receive all sort of opinions, but I recite, none of it would be likely useful. These would come from people who have never ran a business and who want something for nothing. The idea here is if you inherit to good business practices and common sense and you exercise good manners and remain ethical then you do not need this massive feedback.

I see something else. I see how someone, say Bob, starts a business, say survey.com. Now this Bob spams every business telling them how surveying helps them to make more money, Bob makes up false statistics and feedback from businesses he "helped". Bob manages to convince his fee is tiny compared to gains his customers will see. Now he spams every customer of his victim businesses, collects some data and some information. Based on this he builds an evaluation, most of it is fake, and he cashes in. Poor victim business will never know how worthless the whole service was because in real life there are too many factors to assess if this was useful or not.

I maintain these survey businesses are scam.

Besides. Some recipients pay for every byte they receive. This means by spamming they make someone else to pay for their business. It may be a fraction of a cent, it does not matter. This makes spamming not only ill-mannered, it makes spamming also unethical.

Nono, for me anything I haven't consented to and is not in my interest remains UCE.
 
Old 09-16-2022, 01:26 PM   #10
remmilou
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In the EU, this is legally allowed, under the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
Some rules apply though, like there MUST be an unsubscribe link.
Although this sounds reasonable, I totally agree with Emerson. I prefer to see this prohibited.
 
Old 09-16-2022, 09:19 PM   #11
frankbell
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I didn't vote in the poll because I have mixed feelings about this, and I can't boil them down to one of the three responses provided.

If I get an email from, for example, my HVAC/plumbing company or my cable provider, asking me to rate the performance of a technician or help desk person, I usually respond (and I usually respond favorably, because they have excellent techs and I know that how I respond can affect them). (I have some beefs with my cable provider, but the quality of their tech support and technicians is not one of them.)

If I get an email from some outfit like Amazon or Target (just to pick a name out of the air) asking for a review, I normally ignore it.

Just a few random thoughts.
 
Old 09-17-2022, 05:09 AM   #12
hazel
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I don't fill in any of that stuff. Quite apart from anything else, I have never worked out how to do it. I mean, you get six boxes with Strongly Agree at one end and Strongly Disagree at the other and you're supposed to be able to place your response accurately in one of those six boxes. Not in the one to the left of that box nor in the one to the right, but in that specific box. But I could never see the difference between a given box and the one next door, and why should I cudgel my brains for someone else's benefit?

Incidently, if you fill in capchas, you're also working for someone else for free. Those labelled pictures are used for training AI. But I don't know any way of opting out of doing them.
 
Old 09-17-2022, 10:48 AM   #13
rokytnji
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Depends. When rock auto or other parts supplier has coupons or sales I don't mind.

I saw when using a free app that spam is asked about anyway before using the site or app. So not seeing issue about trashing or making a email word filter to route such things to spam or trash folder. Most places also supply a UN-suscribe option also like harbour freight if I( don't want their sales emails.

Must be different overseas I guess.
 
Old 09-17-2022, 02:18 PM   #14
Emerson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
If I get an email from, for example, my HVAC/plumbing company or my cable provider, asking me to rate the performance of a technician or help desk person, I usually respond (and I usually respond favorably, because they have excellent techs and I know that how I respond can affect them).
OK, I tell you what that is. Does this cable company really need this feedback? No, they don't. They need to keep customers serviced and satisfied and that's all. If there is a bad cookie among technicians it will be reported quick. What we are likely dealing here with is a "why-not" type "plug-in" business. Alright, this corporation has some money in their budget for market research or customer satisfaction or something like this. Now, uncle Pete is a big shot in this corporation and can authorize spending for this article. And there is Joe, just graduated from college, not too bright, but a nice boy otherwise. Well, Joe starts this survey business and uncle Pete plugs it in. Corporation really does not need it, but same time it looks good enough for a legit service. Now innocent customers get bombed with "how did we do" emails, Joe has nice steady income and uncle Pete has earned some points among relatives.

Nono, my mind is unchanged, UCE!

Edit: Recession or even depression is coming. These "why-not" businesses will be wiped out when corporations start cutting back and get critical on their spending.

Last edited by Emerson; 09-17-2022 at 02:21 PM.
 
Old 09-18-2022, 06:00 AM   #15
business_kid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerson View Post
OK, I tell you what that is. Does this cable company really need this feedback? No, they don't. They need to keep customers serviced and satisfied and that's all. If there is a bad cookie among technicians it will be reported quick. What we are likely dealing here with is a "why-not" type "plug-in" business. Alright, this corporation has some money in their budget for market research or customer satisfaction or something like this. Now, uncle Pete is a big shot in this corporation and can authorize spending for this article. And there is Joe, just graduated from college, not too bright, but a nice boy otherwise. Well, Joe starts this survey business and uncle Pete plugs it in. Corporation really does not need it, but same time it looks good enough for a legit service. Now innocent customers get bombed with "how did we do" emails, Joe has nice steady income and uncle Pete has earned some points among relatives.

Nono, my mind is unchanged, UCE!

Edit: Recession or even depression is coming. These "why-not" businesses will be wiped out when corporations start cutting back and get critical on their spending.
There's another reason - future business. They can sell their service as 90% (or whatever) satisfied customers if they get 90% of positive replies. If they only get 20% positive replies, they start firing folks.
 
  


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