How not to drum up business

There is a business here in Rochester that needs a lesson how to do business. I’m not going to give them the exposure (or Google rank) of putting their name here, but their name sounds a little like “Cock fire”. The business they are in is something that is actually of interest to me, something I currently use, and something that I recently solicited quotes from numerous companies in the business by going to a site that collects your requirements and sends them to registered providers. It’s also a business that members of a Linux Users Group, such as our own Linux Users Group of Rochester (LUGOR) might be more likely than the general public to want to do business with.

But “Cock fire”, instead of waiting for requests for quotes, or introducing themselves to the LUGOR group as a peer or contributor, instead decided to somehow mine our mailing list for email addresses, and then individually spammed the members of the list. When I got mine, I actually thought it was somehow related to my earlier request for quotes, until I realized that they’d sent it to both of the email addresses I’ve subscribed to the mailing list, not just the one I’d used in the RFQ. And then somebody else on the list mentioned that they’d gotten this spam to an address that they *only* use for the LUGOR list, and several other members piped up that they’d also gotten spammed, so we figured out what they’d done.

So well done, “Cock fire”. In spite of the fact that your product is actually $10 a month cheaper than what I currently pay your competitor, I’m not going to switch my existing use over, and neither am I going to recommend you to my current employer. Reap what you sow, assholes.

Update: I got a response from the email I sent them.

On behalf of [Cock fire] I would like to formally apologize for the e-mail marketing to your group. I was given 2 lists of e-mails from a Rochester Linux guru that said their group would be interested in Rochester based services. From the number of negative responses I have gotten back this was a mistake.

We have deleted all LUGOR e-mails and will not be in future communication. Please convey our apology to the group.

So it wasn’t his fault that they decided to spam, it was the fault of somebody who tempted him into it by giving him a list of email addresses. Oh, then that makes it all ok then? I don’t think so.