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Toner Cartridge Prices You Requested

I just received spam from a company which provides printer and copier supplies. The title of the message is shown below:


Toner Cartridge Prices You requested


Of all the spams I receive, ones like this are among the most irritating. Why? Because these sharks are trying to get my business by lying to me. That's right. The lie is right there in the subject line: they are claiming that I asked them for prices.

The lie is based on the assumption that I'm always looking for new suppliers, and I'll never realize that they weren't one of the hundreds of suppliers I contacted asking for pricing. There are three main problems with this.

1. It's an unethical business practice. That should be enough to stop them from doing it.

2. If I'm a large corporation, then it's very unlikely that the person whose email address is published on the web is the person in charge of purchasing office supplies.

3. If I'm a small corporation, then I'm not constantly purchasing printer supplies in bulk, which means I'm not constantly looking for better pricing, which means the odds that their email will get to me at precisely the right time to fool me is very small.

So what have we learned today? Not only is [spammername] unethical, they're also stupid. Not a good combination.

Just for your amusement, here is the first paragraph of their email. Keep in mind that, at the time of writing, it is April, 2003.

[spammername] LASER AND COPIER SUPPLIES

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SAVINGS WHILE THEY LAST!!!

WE ARE REDUCING OUR INVENTORY FOR THE FALL OF 2002 ON OUR LASER PRINTER AND COPIER SUPPLIES


Notice that it says 'Fall of 2002'. This got me thinking...I bet they sent spam in the fall last year, and never got around to updating the content of the message. (talk about stupidity!)

So I went searching for previous emails from these guys. My next article will be about what I discovered.

A Helpful Hint
If someone claims they're answering your email, verify that you did in fact email them.

My personal opinion: I would rather do business with an honest company that makes me pay a little more, than a dishonest company that gives me discounts. I wouldn't do business with these guys if you paid me.

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