Thursday, September 16, 2010

Corporate Solutions Marketing and Media Traders get the spammer of the month prize

More spam news: "Leisure Cor" bought an email list to advertise that they buy and sell Holiday Club Life Points. The less I say about these timeshare points the better, but as far as I'm concerned they suck. Badly. But not nearly as much as Corporate Solutions Marketing, the company that sent out the spam. They were gullible enough to buy suckered into buying an email spam list from Caroline at Media Traders in Cape Town 021-788 6801, who in turn say they bought the list from MLD Marketing. I spoke to Caroline and she is unrepentant about spamming, and doesn't consider her multiple violations of the ECT Act to be a problem.
I am publishing their details so that others affected by this kind of dubious activity can contact them to have their names removed from these lists. And make a note not to do business with them, unless of course you want them to take all your money. Spammers and those who sell spam lists have no business ethics whatsoever.
Update 19-Sept: I have contacted "Sulaco New Media" who actually sent out the emails, to inform them that their anti-spam policy was violated by Corporate Solutions Marketing. We'll see if they reply, and whether they actually enforce their own policy.
Update 20-Sept: Sulaco New Media have promised to investigate this matter. I got an email from their CEO, and he posted a comment to this post. Judging by the email below, it seems that Sulaco are serious about their anti-spam policy.
Update 2pm: I just received the following email message, which is rather amusing since they have been ignoring my emails until now:
From: Corporate Solutions <>
To: The CEO of Sulaco; cc: Donn Edwards
Dear Sirs/Madam
We acknowledge receipt of your mails and confirm that we have always endeavoured the act within the ambit of the law. We have further complied with all relevant acts of the law, especially requirements in accordance within the ECT Act.
We have now referred the complaints to our attorneys and in the meanwhile kindly refer should you have the contact details of Mr Donn Edwards for onward transmission to our attorneys for the necessary action.
All our rights are being reserved and we refer to the Audi alteram partem rule in law which Mr Donn Edwards has amongst other laws preferred to ignore.
Corporate Solutions
I don't recall them observing the Audi alteram partem rule when they sent spam to my wife's email address, or when they bought a spam list from Caroline at Media Traders. I have since discovered that the email was sent to me by Francois Budricks in Port Elizabeth (041) 374 1699. I see they protest vigorously about not violating the ECT Act, but say nothing about their violation of the Sulaco anti-spam policy, or the AUP of their email provider or ISP. It appears that they are members of the Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa, formerly known as TISA.
On Thu 06/09/2007 08:44 he received and read an email from me advising him not to send any marketing material to myself or my wife, and providing him with the relevant details, addresses, ID numbers, etc. So by sending the subsequent email he broke the ACT Act. I think he doth protest too much.


Nico said...

Here is an alternative number for Caroline: 071 398 8706 - unfortunately I could not yet get her to answer but the voice mail confirms it's she.

Dawie said...

Dear Donn,

Thank you for bringing this client under our attention. At Sulaco New Media we take spamming very seriously and do not condone collecting or selling mailing lists – as we all know this is illegal!

Email marketing is such a great way of communicating/keeping in touch with your existing clients by means of a monthly newsletter or other marketing emails. It is unfortunate that some must always abuse…

We will inform our client of your complaint and do our own investigation. If found that they do not comply, our only means of action will be to suspend their account.

In the past we have had to suspend a client’s account, because it was found that he was spamming people with his Hoodia product.

Hopefully we can resolve this matter sooner rather than later. I would also like to apologize for the inconvenience caused by our client.

Dawie / Sulaco New Media

Nico said...

I got through to Caroline and got a confirmation e-mail from her that I'm removed from their list:

"Good day Mr Coetzee

Contact details for Media Traders is 021-788 6801, and the contact person is Caroline

You have been removed from our mailing list. We do apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Leisure Cor"

We'll see what happens :-)

Mike Atkins said...

Hi Donn,

I have been very suspicious of the spam that i regularly receive. I have had a suspicion that as i unsubscribe to one marketer's list, then some central list moves me to somebody else's list. I have taken to asking each company that send me mail for the contact details of the source (which I have just seen in the ECT Act they are obliged to do).

I also saw in a mail from Corporate Solutions marketing that their source is Media Traders.

I=s there anything that i can do to get my name removed from a "master list" of spam? Is the selling of email lists even lawful ? - I do not see this clearlyspelled out in the ECT Act.

Mike Atkins

PS. It is a long time since I last saw you (Christopher Cruise's wedding about 12 years ago).

Donn Edwards said...

The ECT Act is toothless, because only the Department of Trade and Industry can prosecute. And we all know how efficient the government is ;-)

The only way to *really* get rid of spam is to change your email address, and use a spam filtering service like

Whatever emails get through are usually from stupid/gullible SA companies who have no idea. Just phone them up and yell at them and they usually stop.

Now for the final part: if you have a blog, write about these people and be sure to include their email addresses (with mailto links) in the post. In that way the spam crawler bots find their addresses and give them a taste of their own medicine, usually Viagra.

Anonymous said...

My address has also been sold by Caroline.

This is now dealt with under the new consumer act and maybe the only way to stop them is for someone to prosecute them.

I consider my email address to be private property which I own and as she sold my possession she is liable to reimburese me so I am sending her an invoice and if it doesnt get paid she will have to take a trip to Durban's small claims court.

Hate these people who sell my address more than the actual spammers.

Donn Edwards said...

@Anonymous: Please keep us posted on the Small Claims Court action. Seems like a great idea.