Just a song before I go

to whom it may concern.
Traveling twice the speed of sound, it’s easy to get burned.

To paraphrase Crosby Stills Nash and Young, In today’s gigabit fiber optic networked world of businesses ranging in size from the independent contractor to mega-corps, its easy to make mistakes. Probably one of the easiest and most tempting for businesses may be to send unsolicited commercial email. Its so easy, and the temptation is great to think that since yours is a reputable business, or perhaps because we have done business in the past that I won’t mind your pitch. You’re wrong.
I recently paid to surface mail each of my customers a link to a promotion on my web site. I don’t pay for my customer’s bandwidth, so why should they pay for my advertisements? And I kind of expect the same courtesy from people who want to sell me stuff. (Although I gleefully return unsolicited postal mail too, and I always send the advertisements that come with the bills back with my payments.)
In my capacity as hostmaster, postmaster and chief bottle washer, I catch “reputable” businesses all the time, and I am amazed at the excuses they will come up with. But I was caught off guard this week, when my Alma Mater spammed me, I called them on it and they apologized. Thats right!
They followed up on my complaint, looked into it and I got a note that said: “The message you received originated in the [fundraising] office and the responsibility for this mistake falls to me. Again, I am sorry for any inconvenience you may have been caused.”
I was stunned.
“… a lesson to be learned.”
There they go again after all these years showing me something new. If you fall to temptation and your customers call you on it, Don’t weasel out or rationalize, just own up and apologize. You might save a customer.

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