Home | Money News | Archives | Contact Us

A Case Study on E-direct.com's Business Practices

This website examines misleading and unsolicited commercial email (UCE). While conducting an on-going case study into UCE, we received the following email:


Dear Business Owner,

I wanted to introduce my company to you. We are eDirect, a permission based email marketing company. We have over 24 million names that could be matched up to any advertising campaign you may be doing. Whether you are looking for homeowners with a certain income or that small business owner who enjoys books and music, eDirect can help. Our Data is showing 5-15%click thru rates and has been as high as 65%. Email Marketing is less money than direct mail and shows better response rates than banner advertising. We also provide full tracking of campaign and results within hours of transmission. Email marketing could be driving traffic to your site within 48 hours. Let me show you how easy and effective it is.....

Gregg Sobel
Marketing Consultant
E-Direct.com
561.999.8151
gsobel@edirect.com

This transmission may contain information that is privileged, confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution, or use of the information contained herein (including any reliance thereon) is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. If you received this transmission in error, please immediately contact the sender and destroy the material in its entirety, whether in electronic or hard copy format.
Thank you


Our response and exchange with Mr. Sobel:

We replied --
you do not have permission to email this address

He said --
I went to your website and there is a place to email you. I apologize if I offended you. I just figured I can help you.

how? (how can you help us?)

I can drive traffic to your website. See attachment on who we are.

that is not help. [we are already one of the top 10 sites on the Internet... with more independent traffic than any other company. Driving traffic to our sites would increase our expenses with no direct increase to revenues -- a net COST.]

and, it sounds like you charge.

that is not help.

this all sounds very misleading...

per the FTC:
Use fair business, advertising and marketing practices. They provide truthful, accurate and complete information to consumers, and avoid deceptive, misleading or unfair claims, omissions or practices.

Listen, we are a full service internet marketing company. our CEO is one of the founders of Anderson Consulting. If you think I am trying to scam you, so be it. I am making my clients alot of money through my services. We are a division of seisint.com, go check it out. If you want to learn more about my company do not hesitate to ask. I ask one thing, do not judge me and my company before you know anything about us. We are the leaders in opt in email. And yes, we do charge for our services. See attachment for the rest of our services.


Prior to forwarding the misleading SPAM to uce@ftc.gov (the federal agency that oversees consumer fraud), we asked Mr. Sobel a few questions:

look, i don't know where to start with you.

1) you say

"permission based email marketing company"

then, you email me without permission. are you a liar?

or does contradicting yourself not count as being misleading?

2) you send me a word doc. as an attachment, yet you claim to be able to help me with the internet? doesn't every beginner on the net know never, ever send an attachment without first obtaining permission... and under no circumstances send a Microsoft word doc. (see http://membrane.com/security/ and click on 10 Basic Security Rules for Using the Internet)

but, before i go any further... shouldn't your CEO hire his old company for this kind of information?

sincerely,
help desk

Are you done?

no.

but, are you done defending your position?


... some time passes....

and, Gregg fills out the form on this very page:

***e-direct SPAM*** = gregg
I think gentleman has nothing better to do with his time. I had full permission to solicit this man through email, per my conversation with someone who answered the phone at that company.

dear gregg,

you are correct... i have nothing better to do with my time than fight injustice and deceit.

also, i think your memory may be failing... you never had permission to email me. in fact, the email address that you mailed is not an address that i give to people.

perhaps you can come up with a better answer?

sincerely,
help desk

I did not give you permission to email me. Please do not do so in the future.

what, gregg, are you really that forgetful?

you most certainly did give me permission:

"Email marketing could be driving traffic to your site within 48 hours. Let me show you how easy and effective it is..... "

Gregg Sobel
Marketing Consultant
E-Direct.com
561.999.8151
gsobel@edirect.com

and how about:

"If you want to learn more about my company do not hesitate to ask. I ask one thing, do not judge me and my company before you know anything about us. We are the leaders in opt in email."

are you a fibber or is it your memory?

sincerely,
help desk

ps prior to publishing, we asked you -- "are you done defending your position?"

This is my formal request to not email me. Your emails are bordering harassment. Go find something more constructive to do.

ok, gregg... you've totally lost me, now. you are the spammer. you started this email thread with YOUR spam. you admitted to emailing me without my permission. you claim to be "a permission based email marketing company". and, now... you suggest that i should find something better to do... than deal with your intrusions?

but, your wish is my command ... i shall not email you again.


What Have Ye to Say on These Matters?

Your Name
E-mail Address
Phone Number
Street Address
City
State & Zip Code
Please help us figure this out:

Click the submit button to send your request.
Before you submit any information, please remember: you need not give us any information. If you do give us information, you do not need to fill in all the fields. Any information that you do give, The Think-tank will never knowingly release until authorized to do so by you. For more information on security and privacy, please click here.

Thank you.

Back To The Business Index

The Philadelphia Spirit Experiment Publishing Company
These graphics, images, text copy, sights or sounds may not be used without expressed written consent of the Glistening Web Communications Corporation.