University of Phoenix: We don't know where we got your address

2006-07-26 08:35

On June 27th, I got spam from University of Phoenix. It was addressed to “Dear Dawn”, but used my regular email address. A couple of emails and contact-us forms later, no luck.

Today I called.

I got the information that the only thing the database shows is that my address came from “a banner ad”. Well, that, and they have my home address to. You know, the snail mail one.

So.

A few calls later, I got someone who explained that they do buy lists “like every company”, and that they have no way of knowing where they got my address. Apparently they just don’t have the kind of detailed records they’d need. Since I’ve heard from other people that they are “unrepentant repeat spammers” (in one person’s words), I think I’m gonna just accept the apparent reality: Despite being in a great position to be a really cool company with a good vision and a good product, they’ve decided to punt and be spammers.

Poking around their voice mail was depressing. Menus with only one real person, who’s not in the office, and multiple “mailboxes” you can leave a message in. When someone tried to transfer me to the department I was supposed to talk to, I got a cute little message saying that they do not monitor or look at messages left in this mailbox, so use the web form. (Yes, the web form I’d already filled out twice to no avail.)

I did finally reach someone, but all I found out is what I already pretty much knew: They buy dirty lists, they spam those lists, and they neither know nor care where the addresses come from.

Peter Seebach

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