Monster Says Sorry For Spamming

As some of you may know a lot of Irish IT professionals, including myself, received a spam from Monster earlier this week.
Anyone who reads me on a regular basis would know that I am probably one of the last people you would want to spam.

In any case the story grew legs yesterday, as I received legal threats from the Monster employee, as I had published his email.
It is important that people realise that Monster did not send me legal threats - one of their employees did using a Monster email address. There's a subtle but important difference.

Yes I did publish his email. It wasn't an email sent to me directly in confidence, so I didn't see any reason why I wouldn't share it.
I've shared phishing emails in the past, so why wouldn't I shared a spam email?
I could have shared his email address and more than one person would have liked me to do so, but I couldn't stoop that low. I could have shared his mobile number, but I didn't for the same reasons.

 I naturally spoke to the company's solicitor who is also my solicitor (why pay two legal eagles?) about the posts etc., and made sure that I wasn't going to run afoul of any laws.

Yesterday afternoon I had a nice chat with Monster's PR person and then this morning I had a very long talk with the head honcho for Ireland, James Mailley.

Mr Mailley was terribly apologetic for all the hassle that this situation caused, but as I pointed out to him a simple apology would have gone a long way as opposed to the attitude that people got and of course the comments etc., here.

For an online company that deals in such a competitive market this kind of negative PR is terrible. While it may not have a longterm effect some people maybe very slow to recommend Monster in the future. Email marketing is tricky. If you do it right you will reap the benefits. Do it wrong and it can hurt!

And last night, in the midst of all the legal threats etc., my original post made it onto the frontpage of Digg!

James has given me permission to publish his email to me. I was considering just putting up a few of the key parts, but decided it would be simpler to put up the entire email:

Hi Michele
I appreciate you taking time to speak with me this morning on the events of the last few days.
As I said on the phone and wish to reiterate, I apologise for the original e-mail being sent to you and also for the amount of your time being spent dealing with this situation. Having thoroughly investigated all the aspects of the original mail, I have discovered that this was an error that occurred through the enthusiasm of a brand new recruit who did not understand the policies and practices of the company.
Monster has a strict policy regarding unsolicited emails, and all Monster employees are forbidden from sending such emails unless the individuals or companies in question have specifically opted in to
receive group emails of this nature.   I reiterate that the email in
question was sent by an individual in contravention of Monster's policy on unsolicited emails, and that Monster in no way authorised or condoned this behaviour. 
On behalf of Monster please be assured that we will do everything we can to avoid incidents of this nature occurring again in the future.
Kind regards

James Mailley
Sales Director

Moral of the story? Spamming is evil...

For the funnier side of things read Head Rambles' take on the story:

The Black Knight and the Monster

I think it's one of the funniest bits of writing I've seen this year! (you can digg it here)

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7 Responses to Monster Says Sorry For Spamming

  1. Twenty Major October 3, 2007 at 3:58 pm #

    Erm, my point wasn’t that you should have shared his email address. I think you were right not to.
    It was that someone was advocating spamming him in response to him spamming you in the first place.

  2. Bernard Goldbach October 3, 2007 at 4:16 pm #

    I think Monster needs to get credit for being big enough to want to make things right. I’d like to hear that Monster wants to offer selected employees social media training. I always learn better techniques when attending classes in social networking and online community building.

  3. Michele Neylon October 3, 2007 at 4:27 pm #

    @Twenty – sorry if that was picked up incorrectly

  4. Dave Davis October 3, 2007 at 4:50 pm #

    I completely agree with Bernard here. While I think it was a little too late for monster to make the apology, it’s good that they did. I also think that monster do indeed have a grasp on social media but their training did not filter down to the lowest levels. I think by the time this actually got to the top, there was nothing they could do.
    Lets hope they learn a lesson from this. The lowest level employees are usually first to make the mistakes, so they should be first priority on getting the training.
    If this situation had have been actioned immediately, it could have been spun in a positive way, the way Dell did a few months back.

  5. Twenty Major October 3, 2007 at 4:52 pm #

    No worries.

  6. Too far North October 3, 2007 at 5:31 pm #

    The Monster says Sorry

    And after all of that, they apologised.It shouldn’t have happened in the first place, and Monster shouldn’t have let it grow to the point that it got to.But they’ve apologised, and all is forgiven. I don’t think anyone will be…

  7. Quovadis October 9, 2007 at 10:22 am #

    Hi Michelle,
    Think you handled the situation well. Lots of lessons for Monster which I’ve mentioned on my own blog and also some references to further incidents where Monster security was compromised and over 100,000 user details were taken. See the American blog for details.

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