I'm tracking down a spammer from a company called Freeslide that is based out of South Carolina [my home state] - they are the originator of the "Free iPod" semi-scams that are hitting your inbox.
More to come, but here's a few facts:
This company - called Freeslide is actually; Product Test Panel and actually they are Subscriberbase.com and then of course they are also Consumer Research Corporation - and there may be several other aliases thrown in there. At least all of these aliases are associated with same address in Columbia SC, in the DOZENS of emails I have received.
Here's something the guy I have been "talking to" has written:
How the Can SPAM ACT will bring a renaissance in email marketing for 2004 and beyond.
(Make sure you scroll a bit to start reading)
Another interesting point: This "free iPod" "free HP Photo Printer" or "free Toshiba 30" LCD TV" will actually cost you 45% MORE than retail!
You'll have to participate [at minimum] in $361.05 of offers to get a $249 iPod Mini. The owner has stated that, yes but you also get the offers from the "participating programs" - one being Columbia House DVDs. This is the scam for 5 DVDs for a dollar. [cough cough with $7.99 each shipped] + a commitment to more DVDs for 2 more years at $17.99 - $39.99 a DVD (average) + $7.99 EACH shipping. Remember, the average DVD price at Walmart, Best Buy, and other electronics stores for $12.99-$19.99 + tax. In these DVD programs you are sent the "movie of the month" without consent and if you don't send it back you have to pay for it. And that's only 1/4 of the deals you must complete to get your "free iPod".
The owner says, "The words free iPod are NOT misleading."
The owner also had the audacity to imply that I had actually signed up for this marketing program and that he was controlling how his "affiliates" distributed these email lists.
Here is what the CAN SPAM ACT really means.
Update Sept 23 2004: Don't say FixYourThinking wasn't right about this!!