Jake: Do the email servers have spam-filtering capability yet? I do believe I may have found a domain it would be beneficial to block. Typically I write to abuse@whatever-domain-it-was sent-from, however this one does not have such an address, ----- Transcript of session follows ----- ... while talking to mail.oak-tree.net.: >>> RCPT To: firstname.lastname@example.org <<< 550 email@example.com not accepted 550 firstname.lastname@example.org... User unknown" and appears to not be properly registered when I check with ARIN, which returns "Oak Tree Marketing (NETBLK-OAK- TREE-GN) OAK-TREE-GN 184.108.40.206 - 220.127.116.11" only. No contact name or address. The many spam-mails from this ISP, the lack of "abuse" address, lack of contact names, and the name "Oak Tree MARKETING" rather leads me to believe that this ISP, Oak Tree, exists primarily as a haven for spammers. Any chance the domain can be blocked? Thank you for your time, Jake Preston Replied: Hi FlashNet strives to reduce the amount of spam received by our subscribers. We have installed a new mail gateway that functions as a "front door filter" for all email. However, despite our best efforts, spam will get through from time to time. We post current spam received by our subscribers at http://support.flash.net/~nospam and ask that our subscribers first check this page for action on any particular piece of spam. If the spam in question is not posted at that page within three full working days of receipt, then please send headers of any spam to email@example.com for investigation. You must include all headers from the source of the email, not just from, to, date, etc. If you need instructions on how to obtain full headers from your email software, please see http://www.flash.net/~support/esupport/headers.html We actively block spamming domains and the amount of spam you are not receiving is enormous. Thanks, Preston Ordrop Email Support Manager firstname.lastname@example.org FlashNet Communications http://www.flash.net Jake Replied: Ok, and your answer to my specific query about Oak-Tree? Jake Preston Replied: Hi I do not have any information on that domain; it is not hosted by us sorry Thanks, Preston Ordrop Email Support Manager email@example.com FlashNet Communications http://www.flash.net Jake Replied: (Because Preston apparently wasn't capable of understanding my question) I'm sorry, I think my original question might not be too clear. I believe that Oak-Tree Marketing should be blocked at the email server level. Proof is included below. Any chance that this might happen? Thanks for your time, Jake Preston replied: Hi again, please see my previous response concerning how to report spam and how we handle spam reports. Thanks, Preston Ordrop Email Support Manager firstname.lastname@example.org FlashNet Communications http://www.flash.net And just how does his previous response answer my specific question? I love the "again," part, showing his exasperation. Gosh, I sure hate to make the guy do his job.... Our next exchange, only 2 months later: Jake: Hi folks. I've gotten this guy's spam 31 times. Any chance someone might find him and do something about this? Or perhaps block, at the server, ANYTHING without a Return-Path? Without a TO: line? Without a FROM: line? I think those are pretty reliable indicators of spam, don't you? The phone number's for Arizona, where Flashnet has a POP. Any chance someone there might try to track this guy down? One of the 31 messages I've gotten from this guy contained this part: >******************************************* > >This message brought to you by ProBulk, >the sole owner and distributor of this >mailing list. > >To contact ProBulk: > >602-735-3970 to request email address removal >954-567-8478 for comments and complaints >773-506-4509 for sales and service >781-440-6553 for everything else > >********************************************************************** Would this be of any help? Sorry if I sound a little miffed, but I'm just getting to the end of my rope with this, and my last contact with Flashnet Support was with Email Support Manager Preston Ordrop, whom I felt was rude and instead of answering my question just repeatedly pointed me to the http://support.flash.net/~nospam page, which did not answer my question. I would greatly appreciate it if someone other than Mr. Ordrop could handle this matter. Sincerely, Z. Sposato (And here's the part of the spam I was talking about) -----Original Message----- Return-Path: <> Received: from mailgw.flash.net (phobos.flash.net [18.104.22.168]) by centurion.flash.net (8.8.8/8.8.5) with ESMTP id KAA24176; Tue, 20 Jul 1999 10:54:25 -0500 (CDT) Received: from mail.hanbardanblvd.com ([22.214.171.124]) by mailgw.flash.net (8.9.1/8.9.1) with SMTP id KAA27448; Tue, 20 Jul 1999 10:53:00 -0500 (CDT) Message-ID: tW1weeLTbHIGkb.JnvPjMDBp3Cp@mail.hanbardanblvd.com Subject: UNIVERSITY DIPLOMAS Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 11:54:32 -0400 (EDT) MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset="US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit X-UIDL: c34c35ad2ef9b18ccf94988919d761f4 UNIVERSITY DIPLOMAS SPAM SNIPPED FOR BREVITY ----------------------- Preston Replied: Hi FlashNet strives to reduce the amount of spam received by our subscribers. We have installed a new mail gateway that functions as a "front door filter" for all email. However, despite our best efforts, spam will get through from time to time. We post current spam received by our subscribers at http://support.flash.net/~nospam and ask that our subscribers first check this page for action on any particular piece of spam. If the spam in question is not posted at that page within three full working days of receipt, then please send headers of any spam to email@example.com for investigation. You must include all headers from the source of the email, not just from, to, date, etc. If you need instructions on how to obtain full headers from your email software, please see http://www.flash.net/~support/esupport/headers.html We actively block spamming domains and the amount of spam you are not receiving is enormous. Thanks, Preston Ordrop Email Support Manager firstname.lastname@example.org FlashNet Communications http://www.flash.net Yes, it's the same canned response he sent before, which does not address my specific questions about what can and can't be blocked, and do note that I specifically asked that someone other than Mr. Ordrop handle this issue. Jake Replied: Yes, this is exactly what Mr. Ordrop did before. The page I'm being directed to does not address my questions. Z. Sposato Preston Replied: Hi it does indeed; it covers spam related issues and reply above advises you exactly what to do. should you have any further questions please call voice support 817.332.8878 or 972.299.2290 and they will be happy to check/advise. Thanks, Preston Ordrop Email Support Manager email@example.com FlashNet Communications http://www.flash.net So here we have him showing that he's not aware of what's on the page he's referring me to, or he doesn't care that it does not answer my question. He's also directly contradicting a customer. Any elementary Customer Service Class teaches that you NEVER do that. It NEVER helps, it only serves to make the customer angrier. Note also that he gave me the brush-off, "any further questions please call voice support", so that he doesn't have to deal with me. Jake, having been blown off by the Email Support Manager, Preston Ordrop, tries to contact someone above him. To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Mr. Leslie, can you please help? I do hope I've reached the proper Mr. Leslie, co-founder of Flashnet. If you are not he, I sincerely apologize, I'm just having no luck at all getting help from the email support manager. I've been having a devil of a time with Mr. Ordrop, and with each uncaring "get offa my back" email from him I get more and more frustrated. I do have the previous emails that Mr. Ordrop and I have exchanged, if you would be interested. Can you direct me to the proper person to speak with about this matter? Sincerely, Z. Sposato Not that surprisingly, I received no response from the co-founder of FlashNet. This was a pretty strong indicator that the disinterest and lack of professionalism and capability went even higher than Preston Ordrop. I tried calling Customer Service and complaining. The lady said she didn't know Preston, but that she'd be sure to "pass on my complaint". I never received a response. In December of that year, I received a bit of SPAM from FlashNet itself, trying to get me to recommend FlashNet. Here's an excerpt: From: Your Friends at FlashNet email@example.com Date: Monday, December 06, 1999 10:15 AM Subject: Referral Program Update Dear FlashNet subscriber, Spread the word.. Our last referral offer was so successful, we decided to do another one. Right now, when you refer a friend to become a new FlashNet customer, we'll give you a $50 credit (ADVERTISING SNIPPED) Sincerely, Your friends at FlashNet Jake responded: No thanks. Due to several horrible support experiences with Preston Ordrop, and the ignoring of my complaints about this man and his behavior, I no longer recommend FlashNet to anyone. Jake Now I would have expected a return email, a phone call, something, anything. If I were an employee of FlashNet and saw this kind of response, I'd sure as heck investigate and get back to the customer. The response I received? Nothing. Not much of a surprise, by that point. Around May of this year, after running into a more regular type of support issue, I felt the need to check to see if they still employed this uncaring lack of support manager. Isn't it a rather sad statement that customers check to see if an employee still works there, before submitting a request for help? Jake: Is Preston Ordrop still the only email support person? Jake Preston unfortunately responded: Hi I handle all mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have a question i would be happy to help. Thanks, Preston Ordrop Email Support Manager email@example.com FlashNet Communications http://www.flash.net I didn't pursue the issue. If he was still there, what was the point? He refused to answer support questions. Which leads one to ask, why is he there? I eventually enrolled in BRIGHTMAIL, a filtering service that ISPs that care about filtering spam can use. They have been able to reduce the spam I receive from about 10 a day to less than 1 every two weeks. I would have recommended this to FlashNet, but they had already demonstrated that the LAST thing they are concerned about is their customers. However, when one made it through, I followed the procedure recommended by FlashNet back when Preston sent me the link to FlashNet's spam page. I sent them the message with all headers. There's this one spammer that always came from the same domain, ip69.outofpaper.com. So I thought "What the heck", I'll ask FlashNet about it. Jake: And here's another one! I think this is like number 14 in a row or so. > -----Original Message----- >Received: from stety.com (ip69.outofpaper.com [126.96.36.199] (may be forged)) > by ogopogo.flash.net (8.9.3/Pro-8.9.3) with SMTP id LAA05158 > firstname.lastname@example.org; Thu, 21 Sep 2000 11:47:59 -0500 (CDT) >HOTTEENS@stety.com >To: email@example.com >Subject: Re: Just what you are looking for!!! >Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 02:05:04 ><firstname.lastname@example.org> >Mime-Version: 1.0 >"" >X-UIDL: 127ee1fc89e7ba35ec32b7d10fcc9a4d > The only TRULY 18 SITE!!! >Click me!! > > You are about to enter the hottest teen site (Rest of pornographic message snipped) I felt that with the domain staying the same, and with them sending at least one spam per day, the FlashNet support staff (which I sadly view as a bunch of buffoons), might even stand a chance of filtering it out. Guess what the reply was! Preston responded: Hi please see http://www.flash.net/spam for our policies concerning spam and correct reporting procedures. Thanks, Preston Ordrop Email Support Manager FlashNet Communications email@example.com http://www.flash.net OUCH! A spanking from Preston for bothering him! Naughty ME! BAD USER! BAD SILLY MAN WHO GIVES FLASHNET HIS MONEY! I responded good naturedly, as I knew that Preston Ordrop really couldn't care any less about providing Support, no matter what his title is. Note that he includes it in each message... :) Jake responded: Hey Preston! Didn't know you were still there. Had I known, I wouldn't have bothered you with this. Jake Now, if I were Preston, and I received this response from a user, I would be concerned. Not only as a support professional, but as a manager of a department. I'd be concerned as a representative of the company. And as a matter of personal pride, I would be very concerned. Even when I've had jobs that I didn't really like that much, I still did the best that I could, because the job I did reflects upon who I am, what I am worth to this world we all live in. I would contact this customer and ask (if I truly didn't remember) just what it was that made him respond in such a manner. But I have pride in the job I do. Preston's Response? Nothing. Nada. Zip. After I sent out email to all of my contacts letting them know that I was dropping FlashNet, I heard back from several people that they were not surprised, and 3 who were also considering leaving. One young lady responded with an email titled "Preston Ordrop AKA SATAN!". I present her experiences in her own words. I've censored as appropriate. Just read your manifesto at your old website - so you have also dealt with that sociopath Preston. What an ass h*le! I can't tell you the number of times I've gone round and round with that f*cking idiot. And I hope you forward this to the powers-that-be at flashnet because they need to know what a detriment that criminal is to their company. I am just this far from changing ISPs, myself, and knowing that I am not the only one to have blundered into that hell-spawn of Satan's insane little fantasy world of idiot replies and ever-escalating mania is just about all I need. I don't know whether he thinks he's being cute and clever or if the man is just truly a f*cking idiot, but believe me, I never want to set foot in his little piece of hell on earth every again. That may be their master-plan, after all, to reduce complaints, but the end-result of that could be absolutely no complaints at all because there are no longer any customers. My account is due for renewal and I may just decline. Your fervent and avid admirer ... **** ******* I'd say that Mr. Ordrop is not earning FlashNet any loving admirers. True, her comments are harsh, but very indicative of the anger that a substandard support person (let alone a manager) can engender in customers.