As long-time readers of my blog know, I have been trying for a long time to help the environment and waste less of my own time by getting people to stop sending me junk mail.
My primary method for doing that is to use email to contact the person or organization sending the junk mail and ask them to stop.
Last year, after receiving several pieces of junk mail from Naomi Zygiel-Almozlino, a Realtor at Coldwell Banker in Newton Center, I contacted her by email and asked her to stop sending them.
I subsequently received a Rosh Hashanah greeting from Ms. Zygiel-Almozlino via email which began, “Dear Friends”. I responded to her as follows:
We don’t know each other (as far as I know). The only reason you have my email address is because I sent you email asking you to stop sending me postal junk mail. That was not license to add me to your bulk email list; on the contrary, common sense dictates that if I write and ask you to stop sending me junk mail, I probably don’t want you to send me spam either.
Please remove me from your email list.
She did not respond.
Last month, over six months later, I received another spam message from Ms. Zygiel-Almozlino advertising an event being sponsored by ORT America. Because there was a huge PDF file attached to the spam, the message was over 4MB.
Oddly, the same spam message was sent by Ms. Zygiel-Almozlino to my wife. My wife has no idea who this woman is, has had no previous interaction with her that she can recall, and has no idea how her email address ended up on Ms. Zygiel-Almozlino’s list.
I wrote to Ms. Zygiel-Almozlino and told her just what I thought of continuing to spam me after I asked her to stop, failure to acknowledge my previous request, subscription of my wife to her list without my wife’s consent, and sending 4MB spam messages. My message ended as follows:
In short, as far as I can tell, you are spamming both my wife and me without permission and ignoring requests to stop.
If this continues, then my next step is going to be to post about your unacceptable conduct publicly on my blog, which is read by many people in our community. Realtors build their careers on reputation; what do you think it will do to your reputation to be publicly outed as a spammer?
I’m sorry to get nasty, but it wouldn’t have been necessary if you had stopped sending me bulk email the first time I asked, or even if you had bothered to respond to my previous request, instead of simply ignoring it.
Again, Ms. Zygiel-Almozlino did not have the courtesy to even acknowledge my email. Since then, she has spammed me twice more.
Interestingly, I am not the only person whom Ms. Zygiel-Almozlino has offended with her mass-marketing practices. See, for example, http://ilanadavidi.blogspot.com/2005/04/integrity-in-advertising-junkmail.html, which was posted over four years ago.
I leave it to my readers to decide for themselves what this conduct says about Ms. Zygiel-Almozlino’s character and whether they would do business with someone who behaves this way. As for me, I certainly won’t.
A consumers first question to Naomi Zygiel-Almozlino should be. “Why should I hire you when our first interaction is one where you are stealing from me?” Yes, stealing my time and aggravating me with her interruptions is theft. She may think she is doing such a great aggressive marketing plan but she is violating the public’s privacy and peace. Who is going to use an agent who does that?
When I get a unsubscribe request I erase the email address IMMEDIATELY everywhere it shows up in my marketing. Its a “Golden Rule” issue of doing unto others as you would have other do unto you.
Unsollicited mail is my favorite pet peeve. For email, I have a separate junk email address that I use for correspondence with parties that I do not explicitly trust. It’s not foolproof, but it helps.
With regards to snail mail: You can get businesses to stop sending you junk mail by filling out form 1500 (request for a prohibitory order) from the USPS. This is really funny. The form is meant to prevent companies from sending sexually oriented advertising to you or any minors in your care at your address, but you can use it for any type of advertisement. Businesses will argue that their advertisements are not sexually oriented, but the US Supreme Court has ruled that the determination of whether or not an advertisement is sexually oriented is at the sole discretion of the recipient. This of course to prevent the Postmaster General from getting involved in the argument. However, the net effect is that a consumer can use this form to stop any mailings from any company.
I have used this method successfully for a couple of overzealous real-estate agents in our area. It’s similar to a restraining order. I’m just not sure what will happen when it’s time to try selling my home…
She keeps sending me mailings about “The Case for Israel,” both to home addresses and work addresses. I have finally asked her to cease and desist. I am not holding my breath that she will, however.
I emailed links to this blog entry to the manager of Ms. Zygiel-Almozlino’s Coldwell Banker office and to Eastern Massachusetts ORT America, the organization sponsoring the event that Ms. Zygiel-Almozlino has recently spammed me about repeatedly.