When “Constant Contact” Isn’t

By | November 4, 2010

Yesterday, my wife forwarded to me an email message she had received from our children’s school to ask me a question about it. I should have received the same message, but I hadn’t.

A little research in the mail server logs revealed that she has received seven messages from the school in the past three weeks that I should have received but didn’t.

I contacted the school to ask what was going on. They, in turn, contacted Constant Contact, who informed them that I had asked to be put on Constant Contact’s global block / don’t email / unsubscribe list, i.e., that I had supposedly told Constant Contact that I did not want any of their customers to be able to send me email through Constant Contact for any reason.

This, of course, was malarkey.

I called Constant Contact (866-289-2101) and gave them a piece of my mind, and they have supposedly removed me from the block list.

While I have never asked to be put on that list, I have sent many spam reports to abuse@constantcontact.com about individual Constant Contact customers using the service to send spam. I have certainly never asked in any of those reports to be put on the global block list; rather, I’ve asked for them to put a stop to the spamming of that individual customer, in accordance with their anti-spam policy. I surmise that a Constant Contact employee must have misinterpreted one of my requests.

It is rather unfortunate, to say the least, that Constant Contact’s practice is to add people to their global block list without notifying them that this has been done. Given that mistakes happen, they really need to have safeguards in place to prevent people from being “taken out of the loop” without their knowledge or consent.

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5 thoughts on “When “Constant Contact” Isn’t

  1. Craig

    Anyone know about their unsubscribe practices? I unsubscribed from a CC email from a business and my daughters school said “you can’t do that because now you won’t get out newsletters”.
    How can they be linked. Removing from one business that has nothing to do with my kids school…. This isn’t true is it?

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      Clicking the unsubscribe link in an individual email from Constant Contact absolutely won’t cause you to be added to CC’s global block list. It will just unsubscribe you from that particular sender.

      As far as I know, you will be added to CC’s global block list in one of three circumstances: either:

      a) You contact them and explicitly ask them to put you on their global block list;

      b) you complain to them about spam and one of their support representatives either unintentionally or malicious misunderstands your complaint and adds you to the global block list; or

      c) email to your address bounces for some reason enough times to convince CC’s automated systems that your address is no longer valid.

      The easiest way to know you’re on their global block list is if you don’t receive email you expected, but that requires you to notice.

      You can call them at the number above and ask.

      Reply
  2. thirdwheel

    Reminds me of a story I read somewhere about a guy who was trying to increase his broadband plan… he did it once before and his account somehow got canned without warning. He specifically requested that they be careful and not cancel his account without notice like last time. Somehow they misunderstood and sent him a notice saying that his account would be closed in three days… I wonder if he took any action to stop it or just left.

    Back on topic, yeah it is a lousy way to do business. Rather than deal with the spammers, block the recipient so there’s no more complaints.

    You did say that you’ve been doing it for years… maybe the abuse department’s under new management who has implemented this policy.

    Reply
  3. Sam

    Constant Contact are not the only ones who do this…

    Many lazy email providers will simply block people who complain. That keeps those people form getting any further emails, and thus no more complaints!

    It’s a shoddy way to run a mail service…

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      What about your service? 🙂

      In any case, it’s clear that CC doesn’t just block everyone who complains, because I’ve been sending complaints to abuse@constantcontact.com for years, and this is the first time this has happened.

      Reply

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