Much like the previous Draft post, this is one where I apparently wrote the Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA) before the main post without the benefit of knowing whether or not they're truly (un)related. But this is a topic that does bother me to this day. And I still feel the same way as posted below. Oh, and this dates back to 2009. I don't have the original date as I kinda screwed up the posting of this. Oh well.
Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): I was helping out a friend recently who isn't really a big HTML person but has been tasked with the responsibility of setting up an external e-mail newsletter for his company. We worked through the pros and cons of different third-party services on the Web and I helped him set up templates. Then we imported the opt-in names that they had collected and we sent out the first note.
Almost immediately after sending it, he received an Earthlink-routed bounce-back message from one subscriber that read,
To control spam, I now allow incoming messages only from senders I have approved beforehand.
If you would like to be added to my list of approved senders, please fill out the short request form (see link below). Once I approve you, I will receive your original message in my inbox. You do not need to resend your message. I apologize for this one-time inconvenience.
Are you kidding me? You opt in for an e-news service and expect the sender to jump through the hoops of confirming their own address so you can receive what they send as a courtesy? A FREE courtesy, no less. Oh hell no. If you're gonna sign up for this service, you had damn well better make sure that YOU clear the e-mail address through your BS spam filter. Thankfully we're in a day and age when Earthlink addresses are not as common as they once were because I can't imagine any company taking the time to do this, not when they have a subscriber list numbering in the thousands.
Oh, and yes, there is a message on the member agreement stating that they need to take whatever steps are necessary to clear the sender domain through their spam filters.
Am I wrong for thinking this way? Sure it's a one-time thing. But why should it be my friend's responsibility when this guy signed up to receive his notices? The onus should be all on the recipient.
I'll be honest with you, talking from my own experience, even if this wasn't a Web service and I was a friend trying to send him e-mail, I still don't think I'd bother to go through the confirmation steps. When a person sets up an e-mail account, not only is filtering spam their responsibility but making sure that good messages get through the filter is also their responsibility. Right?