One year ago, Lynda Partner wrote—but did not publish—a blog post that eviscerated a software company for taking liberties with her email address, and then treating her complaint with stunning indifference. "Why publish it now, you ask? This week I got more spam from this same company," she says. "It made me so angry that I dug up this post and I hope it gets wide distribution."

It all began with an email, purportedly from the company's CEO, that invited Partner to become an "ambassador" for the company, a role filled by "its biggest fans, best users, and closest friends." There was only one problem: she had never heard of this CEO and couldn't figure out why he had her email address.

"It took me a while," she says, "but it turns out that when I opened a Web-hosting account recently, the hosting provider offered a free download of [the CEO's] software. I did not download it. So how did they get my email address?"

Partner wrote a brief note saying she never opted in to the company's campaigns, and requesting confirmation that her email address had been removed from its list. The person who replied continued to insist she had downloaded the software and that the only way to stop receiving messages from his company was to cancel her account.


The result? Partner's scalding post now travels the Internet.

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