SPAM !! SPAM !! SPAM !! we all get it, … whether it be scams from Nigerian Princes or Marketing emails from companies just trying their luck. It’s still annoying. I get a lot of SPAM being in the tech world (I am an Email Engineer) and am always struggling to filter out the storms of spam,
One day I had a revelation….
I don’t know what it was, but some thing struck me on an individual spam email that I got sent to my work address. It was your usual marketing email, going on about how important and life changing their product is and how it can solve all the worlds issues (As you can see below.)
10 Mins later he sends me another mail, asking me if I got his rubbish spam email and could we “Touch Base”. Well !!! Normally this stuff gets deleted and the world moves on, but 2 things annoyed me here.
1: I hate management speak…. (I am a technical Engineer)
2: My name is not Mike.
I look this guy up on Linked in and he looks genuine, and has obviously paid a large some of money to to a blanket mail shot sent out to 1000s of people on some obscure spammers email list to see if he can get any sales of his software.
SO … I decide to respond and see just how far I can take them into a surreal world of madness.
1: It will feel like I am getting my own back
2: If I waste their time, at least they can’t waste the time of other people, and the thought of them actually having to respond to individual mails makes me smile. – harder than just mail bombing people all day.
I fire up my “I don’t care” reserve spammers email account (hotmail) and reply from there.
Hold Tight people and read on, you are in for a ride.
I also followed this email with another one (about 10 mins later asking him if he received my last email ?), Well that’s only fair I thought, as he waited 10 whole minutes before asking me if I get his last email, so I was just returning the favour. I also changed his name from Tony to Timmy (Well he got my name wrong, so obviously correct names are irrelevant in this email chain)
I was not expecting a reply, so you can imagine my surprise when I got a reply from the man himself – Tony.
It seems I have confused him, well it must be hard keeping track of all those potential customer replies, (especially if you email 1000s of people and are not even using their correct names.) So I give him the benefit of the doubt and help him out by setting the record straight. – Changing his name again of course.
From his reply, it looks like Tony needs a customer relationship solution, as he his having real trouble keeping on top of all the customer responses. He now has no idea why he mailed me ? What sort of setup are you running here, I think to myself.
Well I backtrack a bit and fill him in on our history. (obviously changing his name again) and then signing it with a different name (again). I am thinking this has to be the last email I am going to get, as we have obviously lost the plot and are now talking about emails we sent to each other rather than his software, and we have got a bit off topic here. (I point him back to his software, using the reference to FIIX solutions.
Tony replies !!!… and has gone into full blown sales mode, sending me a link to his companies marketing video. – Yawn Yawn Yawn !!
I scan the link for potential malware, and its just a youtube video. I don’t even bother watching it all the way through. Instead I fast forward to a random clip and grab a screen shot, and decide to reply including the frame from his company video. (at least he probably thinks I have watched it)
I am not expecting a reply ….. as I am now starting to get stupidly off topic. BUT !! remember these are “sales people” and they will do anything to make their targets. I want to see just HOW FAR they will go…. read on and find out.
Tony must obviously be a bit behind on his sales targets this month, as he replies back to me immediately wanting to know a bit more about “My Company”
Well… I decide to go to town a bit here, I make up a company name (Its an Anagram – I let you work it out). I drop him some more sales bait in saying that I am interested in his software helping us out, but I then go off topic and start talking about the screenshot I sent him. Obviously I am not expecting a reply.
Tony replies’ but I feel he is now getting lazy !, He is just sending me links to his software demo’s and videos. I mean really he is just letting the marketing department do all the work for him and is not really taking much time in his responses. We need to change this.
And before you all say I am being mean, remember they contacted me first and they can stop this at any time.
So I decide to see if I can catch his eye and dangle a big sales worm in front of him. I mean who is going to turn down the chance of someone “reselling” his software (Basically I would be doing his job for him and he would be raking in all the sales I make on his behalf.)
I also throw in some “Management Speak” using the buzzwords that he has probably heard at his sales meetings.
Surely he has to see I am just jerking his chain here, and he wont bother to reply !! – Or Will he ?
I really don’t expect a reply to this, obviously as I have gone completely off the wall now, talking about Bhutan and mad stuff. I am really sinking quite low here, and in the continuum of stupidity things are getting surreal.
I get no reply for a few days, so I send him a reminder, (Did you get my mail replying to your mail that your mail replied to etc… ) and the very next day I got this.
Now I think they have a problems with names, as he first emailed me as “Mike” which I replied to as “Mick” but now he is calling me “Thang” … will have to get to the bottom of that one at a later date.
Well …. !! what can I say, I have to now go all in, and take it to the next level of stupidity of course. A quick look at Wikipedia and a few google searches later I have some info on Bhutan and hit him back with a response that shows I really want to work with them, they cannot go further can they ?
I also attach our “Marketing Poster” to the reply. – (For him to approve. )Things are certainly getting weird now, and I am sure that this is the last message in the chain !… Or so you would think. ?
But NO.. the saga continues. The next day I get a mail from Tony, (He must be really gagging to make a sale.) He even has copied in another employee, Mike !! who is going to help us set up this fantastic partnership. I am now starting to wonder if they are actually reading my emails, or are really stupid ? Lets find out shall we !!.
So I reply… Lets see if Mike is happy to reply to my crazy stuff as his friend Tony already is.
And yep !… it seems he is.
So I do my best to answer all of Mikes questions. I also go completely mad and waffle on about our next big customer .. enjoy !
This has got to be the end of it you would think ? He is never going to get a reply to that one … BUT … WRONG… this arrives.
It seems like I have been given the cold shoulder !!!
Not to be deterred I have enlisted my cousin (who is an expert in IT) so now I am sending him details of our “Asset Management” system etc…. lets see if they come back to me.