Thursday, September 23, 2004

Tracking down a spammer...

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 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!!


Anonymous said...

I have completed all 6 of the offers for a free Kitchen Aid Mixer and instead of posting that I've completed 6 offers they only bothered to say that I've completed 4. I've been emailing for the past 3 months that I've completed the other two and they accepted an email from BMG music club but not the final one from NetMagazines and they don't respond to email anymore. Can someone SPAM them to death at and bring down there email server please?

FYT said...

Thank you for that submission.

The purpose of the "promotion" is to acquire your email address.

See, you are actually considered HIGH PROFILE MARKETABLE - meaning - they know you respond to read SPAM mail now, so you are instantaneously sold to dozens of lists. The main being, OptInRealBig.

Once you get on the OptInRealBig list you are sold to literally 1000's of lists.

When my story comes up about this after the election, I will specifically address your problem. I will forward your comment to my attorney general.

Anonymous said...

I completed all 6 offers and kept all confirmation emails from the merchants who's offers I participated in. I emailed product research panel countless times and have received no response. I've spent $64.65. One merchant gave me a phone number to call for product research panel. I called twice and got a voice answering system. The third time I called the number was no longer in service. The redemption site said that I needed to complete 2 more offers on one line and beneath that line it said that I needed to complete 4 more offers. So, this would come out to a total of 6 offers completed, but when I emailed them to tell them about this of course I received no response. Then all of the sudden the status was changed to "read requirements not met" without indicating anything regarding the amount of offers completed or needed to complete. I am in southern california and looking into reporting them myself. Good luck and I hope this helps you.

Anonymous said...

Guess you should have read the terms and conditions before signing up for such an obvious scam:

2. Failure to be credited for an offer

(a) Gratis Internet does not guarantee that a user will receive credit for an offer. We reserve the right to refuse crediting a user for offer completion for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, lack of appropriate information, improper sign-up method, improper browser settings, and/or a history of manual credits. Manual credits are offers that are credited through emailing confirmation of completion.

FYT said...

I'm pretty sure that Gratis runs not Product Test Panel, Subscriberbase, or Consumer Research Corporation.

These 3 are the targets of this article and if I'm not mistaken - the originators of the whole concept.

Anonymous said...

I'm suing Brian Benenhaley and SubscriberBASE for dictionary attack spam as well as failure to honor my documented opt out request.

for complete details as they unfold as well as a chance to hear this nutjob defend his position as a spammer during our telephone conversations, just go to

Sue A. Spammer