We sent the following e-mail to all of our customers in November 1999. While lengthy, it very clearly describes our position on spamming. As such, we encourage all users of Frazier Mountain Internet Service to review this e-mail and ask us any questions of us if they are uncertain:
From: "Scott Rosen" <email@example.com>
Organization: Frazier Mountain Internet Service
Date sent: Sat, 27 Nov 1999 13:30:23 -0800
Subject: Bulk e-mailing is never acceptable
Send reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi All -
I had the unpleasant experience recently of closing out one of our user's accounts due to problems I have had with this individual doing bulk e-mailing (spamming). In this particular case, I had discussed our policy on bulk e-mailing in early November when I first became aware that this person was sending out bulk e-mail. While I thought (actually I know) we had a clear understanding at that time, this individual saw fit to send out several thousand e-mails the other night. Besides having to contend with many complaints, as well as a system administrator who was about ready to block receiving all e-mail from frazmtn.com (he didn't), I had to invest a great deal of time and energy in cleaning up this mess.
Since this spammer had clearly and knowingly violated our Acceptable Use Policy, I have closed their account and doubt I will ever consider opening an account for them in the future.
Now, I don't like having to deal with my neighbors with such drastic measures as refusing to do business with them. But, I don't have the time, patience or desire to contend with this garbage any more than I have to. We have very clear rules about spamming, and our rules are consistent with virtually every other respectable ISP on the Internet.
We've had enough issues with bulk e-mailing of late, that I thought it would be worthwhile to advise everyone very clearly on our policies relative to this subject.
First - we will not tolerate bulk e-mailing of any kind whatsoever. We define bulk e-mail as any e-mail sent to more than 25 recipients, unless the e-mail is for a mailing list to which the recipients have specifically requested to be subscribed. This covers messages sent individually to more than 25 recipients as well as messages addressed to multiple recipients. We do not consider someone to be subscribed to a mailing list as meaning that the person did not respond to a message asking if they do not want to be subscribed to a mailing list - We only respect mailing list subscription requests that were initiated by the recipient. And, if you're going to advise me that your bulk e-mail was ok because they subscribed to your mailing list, you had better be able to present me with a copy of their subscribing e-mail.
Got it? NO SENDING OF MASS E-MAILINGS. PERIOD.
Next, we will not tolerate Unsolicited Commercial E-mail of ANY KIND to ANY NUMBER of people. That includes ONE person. If you send an e-mail to any amount of people that is advertising ANYTHING (even a non-profit cause), then you had better have an EXISTING relationship with that person. In other words, if I purchase things from you already, then you may reasonably e-mail to me about the product types or services I already buy from you. THAT'S IT.
I DO NOT ACCEPT convoluted descriptions of existing relationships. I DON'T CARE if you think that the people would want to know about your lousy product or your hare-brained idea, ETC.
Keep in mind that most of your customers don't want to receive a bunch of garbage e-mail from you. I HIGHLY suggest that if you want to periodically send out an e-mail to your EXISTING customers about your specials, sales, etc., that you utilize a signup sheet at your place of business for this purpose.
Now, MOST IMPORTANT - If you are not sure if your e-mailing activities are going to fall within the scope of Frazier Mountain Internet's Acceptable Use Policy - ASK FIRST.
I REPEAT - ASK FIRST.
A few clues about your e-mailing activities which make it an absolute certainty that you are spamming:
1) If your e-mail says anywhere on it that "This is not spam" - IT IS SPAM. Acceptable e-mail does not have to prove its legitimacy.
2) If there is a chance that your e-mail is going to generate a complaint to me - IT IS SPAM. I have never received a complaint about a legitimate e-mail. NEVER.
3) If you're sending out numerous e-mails and you cannot tell me the name of the recipients' dog or show me a recent sales receipt from that person- YOU ARE SPAMMING.
4) If you're sending out numerous e-mails and you explicitly exclude MY e-mail address from that list - YOU ARE SPAMMING.
5) If you have installed special software other than an everyday e-mail program to send out your e-mail - YOU ARE SPAMMING.
6) If you have to take special steps to hide ANY information about the e-mail you are sending - YOU ARE SPAMMING.
7) If you have to explain to me in more than 5 words why it is that your activity is not spam - YOU ARE SPAMMING.
IF YOU WANT TO SEND OUT SPAM (and I absolutely encourage you not to) - DO NOT:
A) Be connected to Frazier Mountain Internet in any way while you do it
B) Use ANY of Frazier Mountain Internet's equipment or facilities of ANY kind in accomplishing this activity
C) Have a frazmtn.com address as a Reply address or as a From address or as any other reference to a frazmtn.com address whatsoever
D) Reference a web page that is on a frazmtn.com web server of any kind
E) Reference any web page ANYWHERE that has ANY reference to anything to do with frazmtn.com.
If you violate any of the conditions of A thru E above - then your activity is subject to Frazier Mountain Internet's Bulk-Emailing/UCE fees of $5.00 for each complaint we receive plus 5 cents for each e-mail you sent.
I hope that is TOTALLY clear. Again, if you are in doubt, ASK FIRST.
For those of you who are wondering about all of the junk mail you receive into your frazmtn.com e-mail address:
1) NO, I DO NOT SELL FRAZMTN.COM E-MAIL ADDRESSES. And, I can't tell you how insulted I am that anyone even suggested this. You obviously don't know me very well.
2) YES, IT IS A PROBLEM. We have had a number of attacks on our mail server where people have done dictionary searches for addresses (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com....), and they have farmed a lot of addresses. FWIW, for every one of these spams that you receive, I receive about fifteen (I have several addresses that are forwarded to me, plus I receive numerous bounces for addresses that are now closed). So, I KNOW HOW MUCH SPAM WE RECEIVE.
3) I am about to implement a new mail server, and when I do so, I will be employing some measures that will greatly reduce (but certainly not eliminate) the amount of spam we receive. This may have the unfortunate side effect of blocking a small amount of legitimate mail, but those people are already being affected by MANY other ISPs who are implementing similar anti-spam measures.
4) I DO NOT KNOW what the real solution is to this problem. I have yet to find anyone who has found highly effective measures for eliminating spam without going to way too drastic (read unreasonable) measures.
I DO KNOW that the first solution is highly effective anti-spam policies at every ISP, and I SHALL ensure that Frazier Mountain Internet does not contribute to the problem.
Frazier Mountain Internet Service