Mar 3 2004

Open letter to vistaprint.com: Stop the Spam!

“Claim 250 Full-Color Business Cards FREE!” it screams at me every few days. Vistaprint.com is giving away those 250 Business Cards, because they know you’ll like the quality and will come back for more.
What they don’t know is that people are getting fed up with the constant stream of spam advertising their service. So here’s an open letter to those guys at vistaprint.com

Dear vistaprint.com,

it looks like some of your “Refer-A-Friend” participants are seeing the whole world as their friend and advertise your service in form of bulk-email to milions of people. This is rather annoying.
In reading through your “Refer-A-Friend” Terms and Conditions (go to the VistaPrint Help Section and select “Refer-a-Friend Terms and Conditions” in the right column) I can see under point 7 (quote):

7. If a Referring Customer provides a Personal Link to another person by email, the email must be created and distributed in a personal manner that is appropriate and customary for communications with friends and family members. Bulk email distribution, distribution to strangers, or any other promotion of a Personal Link in a manner that would constitute or appear to constitute unsolicited commercial email or “spam” under any applicable law or regulation is expressly prohibited and will be grounds for immediate termination of the Referring Customer’s account and deactivation of the Personal Link.

This makes me believe that you don’t like the way that your services are advertised via the message I receive every few days.
Would you be able to investigate whether those messages are being sent under the umbrella of bluk-mail and whether there is a way to stop the sender from bombarding us?

Here’s a small snapshot of the mails I received over the last few weeks:
Spam Emails advertising vistaprint.com

What all those spam messages seem to have in common is that they refer to the bigdls.com and 4grtdlz.com domains. Here are just the last few ones (obviously not linked):

  • http://rlmeeamsem.bigdls.com/icgkfet.html

  • http://vtcggkczgc.bigdls.com/zfmnfwm.html
  • http://loswwfszws.bigdls.com/pxkipqk.html
  • http://zvbwwpbswb.bigdls.com/zfmwwpm.html
  • http://eraeeuabea.bigdls.com/yqmvqqw.html
  • http://zvbwwpbswb.bigdls.com/icfgebk.html
  • http://tuxhhexvhx.bigdls.com/glktslk.html
  • http://xbskkwscks.4grtdlz.com/kxjbmmj.html
  • http://loswwfszws.4grtdlz.com/oanauoa.html

I followed the mind-blowing sequence of redirects for each one of them. Here’s just one example for the first link:


$ GET -x http://rlmeeamsem.bigdls.com/icgkfet.html
LWP::UserAgent::new: ()
LWP::UserAgent::request: ()
LWP::UserAgent::send_request: GET http://rlmeeamsem.bigdls.com/icgkfet.html
LWP::UserAgent::_need_proxy: Not proxied
LWP::Protocol::http::request: ()
LWP::Protocol::collect: read 302 bytes
LWP::UserAgent::request: Simple response: Found
LWP::UserAgent::request: ()
LWP::UserAgent::send_request: GET http://c.azjmp.com/az/ch.php?f=586&i=162
LWP::UserAgent::_need_proxy: Not proxied
LWP::Protocol::http::request: ()
LWP::Protocol::collect: read 110 bytes
LWP::UserAgent::request: Simple response: OK
<Script language = javascript> window.location.href='http://c.azjmp.com/az/ch.php?f=625&i=162&sub=';</script>

$ GET -x 'http://c.azjmp.com/az/ch.php?f=625&i=162&sub='
LWP::UserAgent::new: ()
LWP::UserAgent::request: ()
LWP::UserAgent::send_request: GET http://c.azjmp.com/az/ch.php?f=625&i=162&sub=
LWP::UserAgent::_need_proxy: Not proxied
LWP::Protocol::http::request: ()
LWP::Protocol::collect: read 120 bytes
LWP::UserAgent::request: Simple response: Found
LWP::UserAgent::request: ()
LWP::UserAgent::send_request: GET http://www.azoogleads.com/az/ch.php?f=625&i=162&sub=&pop=&aux=&bypass=
LWP::UserAgent::_need_proxy: Not proxied
LWP::Protocol::http::request: ()
LWP::Protocol::collect: read 412 bytes
LWP::UserAgent::request: Simple response: OK
<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript">
function randwin() {
allwin=window.open("http://c.azjmp.com/az/ch.php?pop=0&f=548&i=162&sub=popup",'TheNewpop','toolbar=1,location=1,directories=1,status=1,menubar=1,scrollbars=1,resizable=1');
allwin.blur();
window.focus();
}
randwin()
</SCRIPT>
<Script language = javascript>
window.location.href='http://www.vistaprint.com/vp/gateway.asp?S=7979826309';
</script>

$

You can see that after this sequence of redirects (and a popup madness on the screen), we end up on your site with the URL: http://www.vistaprint.com/vp/gateway.asp?S=7979826309. – could it be that the “7979826309″ is a referral ID which allows you to track down the source of this spam-message and thus the spam-sender? All those other bigdls.com and 4grtdlz.com URLs above also end up on your site with the same referral ID.

Would it also be possible to apply your “Refer-A-Friend” Terms and Conditions to this particular friend and make sure that we are not receiving any more Spam from this source?

Regards
  Tobias

42 Responses to “Open letter to vistaprint.com: Stop the Spam!”

  • Hank Says:

    Dear Tobias,

    Thank you for brining this to our attention. I’ve contacted the partner responsible for these repetitive emails. I want you to know that we will do everything in our power to add this person to our suppression list and also have him added to our partner opt-out lists, however, I need their email address. Is this something you can provide to me?

  • Nadine Says:

    To Whom it may concern:

    I got this by an advertisement saying “Get a $100 Restaurant Gift Card Free Dine out Free with $100 Gift Card to a restaurant. Simply… c.azjmp.com. It did not say how or why, just gave the website. Please let me know about the gift card, I would like to go out to eat since I have a life threatening illness and it seems no one even cares what is going to happen, they are into the now, not then phase. I guess they think I am made of money, but really I need money to get a Kidney.

    Nadine

  • Ed Wickenhofer Says:

    I have ordered business cards and address labels from Vista Print and each time I order, I pay for the printing. This does not seem to be enough. I almost always get a charge on my debt card checking account for $12.95 from Business Max which is an affilate of Vista Print. When I called Business Max they said I signed up for their service through a survey from Vista Print. If this is not illegal, it certainly is unethical. I never knew I was becoming a member of some business buying club.

  • drew Says:

    Man of sick of this fucking vistaprint! I signed up for those free cards, but then decided not to bother because they were crap, now I cant stop their bastard emails from arriving every day arrghh

  • Jesse Says:

    Yeah – now they’re spamming every single day! It’s the first email to arrive in the morning. They make a decent product, but their spam makes me not want to use them anymore.

  • michael Says:

    i found your site through a google search because i need to spread the word about these people. their products are so cheap because they continue making money off of you after your purchase. so far i have found that they sell your phone number, i was getting sales calls up to 5 times a day by the same number and through a little googling found that everyone who was getting called by the same set of numbers ordered through vistaprint. i also strongly believe that they sell your email address to spammers. i used an email that i normally do not use when i ordered the cards and now all of the spam i receive 15-30 per day has some sort of design term in the subject line. i don’t know if there is any way to prove that the spammers received my info from vista but at this moment i am ready to yell wolf. DO NOT USE THESE SLIMY BASTARDS! oh, and they have no email, no reply to form, only a customer service number that is forwarded to an answering service where no one speaks english as a native language.

  • Geoff Says:

    I also found your site through google.
    It seems the email spam and junk mail in my mailbox is no longer enough, they have taken to calling with recorded messages. The product was pretty good, but not worth all this.
    I called today to let them know that I will be taking legal action if this continues. No email support on website, so I was on hold for 20 minutes and again ended up with an offshore answering service.
    I’ve got to go with michael. Avoid this company!

  • Andrew Taylor Says:

    I got tired of their SPAM so I called them to complain. I was given a supervisor’s email address. I wrote to the person asking them to remove me from their list. She asked what address I had signed up with them on and I told them I had not signed up with them. Here was their response:

    ***********
    Hello Mr. Taylor,

    I searched for your account using this email address and was not able to locate an account with this email address. As a result I can only advise you to click on the link on the email that says the following:

    If you do not want to receive e-mails concerning VistaPrint products,
    please click here.

    Regards,

    Sharon Lewis
    Team Lead
    VistaPrint
    Design, Sales & Service
    slewis@vistaprint.com
    **************************

    Feel free to re-direct VistaPrint SPAM to Sharon, perhaps she will get the message!

  • Louis Says:

    Today I bought the business cards for a business I’m setting out and also in their advertizing they advertized a web site for $4.99 a month. I didn’t think this was possible but I tried anyway. When I was in the middle of constructing the web site, I suddenly lost the page. When I called for help, it was a nightmare. They were sending me the order to my address but my account was under somebodyelses’ name. Therefore they couldn’t tell me anything. When I tried to cancel I was told that I couldn’t do it. These people are scammers all right. Please send this comment to Ms Lewis. I’ll do the same.

  • GD Says:

    Just sent this email to Amazon.co.uk:

    “Hi

    I have been ordering from Amazon for many years and was always very happy with your service. But some time ago I received a flyer with one of my orders with a supposed offer from VistaPrint. Since creating an account with them (VistaPrint) I am literally being bombarded with their spam which includes ‘offers’ who only an idiot can fall for!!!

    If you google for “VistaPrint and Amazon.co.uk” you will notice that there are already many angry people who have been cheated by this company. So if you (Amazon) want to ruin your good reputation that you have been building for the past 10 years then go ahead and keep on making partnerships with companies like VistaPrint!!!!!”

  • david Says:

    anyone got an answer to stop vistaprint emails?

  • michael Says:

    I have been getting spam daily from someone with no previous contact with VistaPrint. I see where they give spam-cash for business sent there way through these spammers. I sent the spam link that probably has a code to them through a ‘feedback’ form on their site, as well as on a form to order catalogs, and then forwarded their letter to Abuse@vistaprint.com, which bounced, then to ‘webmaster@vistaprint.com’, which worked.

  • michael Says:

    That’s too funny, Google placed vistaprint ads on the right side of this page. They have to pay click through so I’ll click it and make some money for Google, as if they need it, and cost vistaPrint some.

  • Davidsurvey Says:

    Another way to find vistaprint email addresses to contact is to log onto your account (or make a new one)

    Then change your details and put in new email address – use a vistaprint.com address eg bbrown@vistaprint.com and you will get a message back saying that this address is already taken.

    Voila you have a vistaprint email address

    They seem to use initial then surname as their naming conventions

  • Ritchie Wogen Says:

    I have emailed them today. This week alone they have sent me 7 emails. I’ve told them that they’re not advertising, they’re spamming. Hopefully they’ll remove me from their mailing list.

  • Dawn Says:

    Hey guys, here’s another way to obtain a VP email address. Click on the forgot PW link. They’ll email you a new one and you’ll get an address. Here’s the one I got… VistaPrint@e.vistaprint.com

    Good Luck everyone!

  • Ritchie Hicks Says:

    They stopped the emails – until this week, I got another bloody one. Something should be done about these idiots.

  • Doug Says:

    I am getting regular spam tricking me into buying stuff from for Vistaprint. See copy of latest spam below. This is the 5th email I’ve received, even though I have never signed up to any emails from this affiliate, Clickpromise.com.

    This is the same company sending out spam which has been doing so for years. They are known as Primeq and also Clickpromise.

    I found this just now – http://www.scam.com/showthread.php?t=9258

    Primeq’s clickpromise are also exposed for sending out spam by Wired Magazine, as you can see on this page -

    http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/2005/06/67709?currentPage=2

    Spam is coming from Clickpromise at:
    Corporation No: C2999245, Address: 26035 Acero, Suite 150, Mission Viejo, CA 95391, California, USA

    Domain name they are using is:
    http://www.thedeliverycompany.com

    Company owner is:
    Jason Mcclain

  • Mike Says:

    I have NEVER ordered anything from these guys or any other service or good except from “reputable” sites such as Amazon, Sony etc.

    Somehow, I get 6 – 8 of their SPAM messages a day! This is insanity!

  • Kath Says:

    What a horrible company! I got at least 10 e-mails from them plus they charges my Visa or memebership that I never applied for!

  • Kath Says:

    It is 10 e-mail per day!!!!

  • David Says:

    I get 5 emails a day from this company and can’t get my name removed after many requests! Hit them in the pocket by clicking on their add on Google or ring their toll free number and leave the phone off the nook.

  • David Says:

    The toll free numbers for Vista Print:
    VistaPrint Corporate: 001 781 652 6300
    VistaPrint UK: 0800 028 8251
    Lets all do and and add your name to this site when you have done it. Lets all get the bastard spammers back!

  • Katherine Says:

    No end to it!!
    I clicked on “remove mail from list” just to get more spam!
    Maybe we should sue them?

  • Steve Says:

    I got 4 email SPAMs from Vistaprint in the past hour. They are harvesting email addresses from people who post ads on craigslist (like me), and then burying us in offers for “free” business cards.

    Soooo … I looked up the names and emails of all their execs, board of directors, managers, etc … and I’m forwarding every email to all of them. So I’m not accused of Spamming them, I forward each of their messages back to them with an innocent “Hey, do you know how to stop your organization from spamming me?”

    So if they SPAM you, SPAM ALL THEIR EXECS … when their email boxes become inoperable, maybe they will stop this crap. Here’s the list of VistaPrint email addresses:

    adrapeau@vistaprint.com
    affiliates@vistaprint.com
    awhite@vistaprint.com
    bdriessen@vistaprint.com
    ckenney@vistaprint.com
    copyright@vistaprint.com
    cponce@vistaprint.com
    dkeane@vistaprint.com
    domainadmin@vistaprint.com
    driley@vistaprint.com
    dschamber@vistaprint.com
    emyerson@vistaprint.com
    goverholser@vistaprint.com
    hgrewal@vistaprint.com
    hrobertson@vistaprint.com
    htuithof@vistaprint.com
    ikuntz@vistaprint.com
    ir@vistaprint.com
    jburk@vistaprint.com
    jduffield@vistaprint.com
    jesposito@vistaprint.com
    jgavin@vistaprint.com
    jhabeski@vistaprint.com
    jholian@vistaprint.com
    jkeith@vistaprint.com
    jpellegrino@vistaprint.com
    jprus@vistaprint.com
    jwalker@vistaprint.com
    kkeane@vistaprint.com
    kneedels@vistaprint.com
    kratner@vistaprint.com
    lbellavita@vistaprint.com
    lpage@vistaprint.com
    ltom@vistaprint.com
    mbrooks@vistaprint.com
    mchait@vistaprint.com
    mgiannetto@vistaprint.com
    mlittle@vistaprint.com
    mlocke@vistaprint.com
    mmendola@vistaprint.com
    mryan@vistaprint.com
    msantin@vistaprint.com
    nruotolo@vistaprint.com
    pdavis@vistaprint.com
    pgyenes@vistaprint.com
    publicrelations@vistaprint.com
    rkeane@vistaprint.com
    rpacheco@vistaprint.com
    rriley@vistaprint.com
    rtirella@vistaprint.com
    slewis@vistaprint.com
    sripper@vistaprint.com
    swolfson@vistaprint.com
    tgiannini@vistaprint.com
    tshineman@vistaprint.com
    VistaPrint@e.vistaprint.com
    wcebula@vistaprint.com
    webmaster@vistaprint.com

  • David Says:

    Steve Brilliant, how did you get the email address?

  • Steve Says:

    Hey David! I just Googled “VistaPrint” and “executive”, which led me to all kinds of Press Releases, SEC filings, LinkedIn, etc. Knowing that VistaPrint’s email system uses the format First_initialLastname@vistaprint.com helped a bunch. I just hope this email list gets passed around and used a bunch by the people that VistaPrint SPAM … and maybe when their personal email addresses become unusable they will realize how their SPAM is affecting the rest of us.

    While doing the research, I got a glimpse of a very slimy company. Although headquartered in the US and approaching $1B in revenue, they are based in Bermuda to avoid paying US taxes. They subcontract out to companies, then break the contracts with the subcontractors, and then pay huge cancellation charges to the subcontractors, the end result is the transfer of $$$ from their company to subcontractors. Records indicate that the owners of the subcontractors who are getting these funds from broken contracts … happen to be family members of … well I won’t say here …

    I’m not a fan of companies that SPAM everyone and avoid taxes … that are above-board legally, but slimy, immoral and unethical as far as their responsibilities to society.

    While reading the results of Google, I got the picture of a company that has driven thousands of small local and family owned printers out of business, while transferring the printing for much of their 40,000 orders per day to off-shore printing facilities.

  • David Says:

    Hi Steve I emailed all of your list and recieved 2 replys back saying that they were investigating it. I also had a call fron a senior manager asking me to forward some samples of the emails. I was told that they use a number an outside companies to market their products!!
    But thanks for the emails it seams to have done the trick.

    I advise anyone that has this problem to email these two people:
    Janet Holian [janeth@VistaPrint.com]she very helpful or Anders Rave [arave@vistaprint.com] who emailed me earlier…see below

    As discussed over the phone it would be most helpful if you could send through some, or even one, of the emails you have been receiving so we can address this issue as quickly as possible.

    Many thanks and best regards,

    Anders Rave

    Anders Rave
    Customer Analytics Manager
    T: +34.93.545.5129

    Vistaprint Make an Impression.

  • Katherine Says:

    Vista Print tricked me somehow to become a member of something without my actual knowledge! They charged my Visa Card!! After many phone calls, I managed to be taken of those memberships however I still get all those e-mail which spam my box daily! I did try to use option “unsubscribe” but to no avail… Please let me know how I can program my hotmail to be able to spam back the Vista Print People! If I get reprimanded for spamming, I will create and use other accounts – just like spammers do….

  • Steve Says:

    I looked at hotmail and couldn’t figure out how to add a “grouplist” … a single email name that will email to a group of people. Since you probably don’t want your hotmail account canceled, why not quickly sign up for a Google email account (gmail)? Gmail supports grouplists per this article (http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/2744/gmail_create_distribution_group_list/).
    Then just cut and paste my list of VistaPrint addresses from above.

  • Kevin Says:

    I hope VistaPrint goes out of business and gets sued into the next century. You’re no better than the common criminal with all of the SPAM and garbage you fill our inboxes with. Your business model is based on deception. That being the case, I’m certain your product is low grade feces.

    Go away – and stay away from our inboxes you worthless (colorful adjective).

  • Katherine Says:

    Problem actually is with spamming not with VP product! I used their services a lot over the years and I was happy with lovely business cards until spamming started from their “partners” which now includes PORNO PICTURES in their e-mails!!

    Also I got disgusted when they tricked me to join those “special offers” which charged my credit cards without my knowledge! Eventually VP will get the message since there is a growing competition in net-printing field. Shame altogether, really.

  • Steve Says:

    Make no mistakes folks, VistaPrint encourages their affiliates to SPAM us, send us PORN, and steal from our credit cards. They put in place business policies to encourage this behavior … they could just as easily put in place policies to discourage this behavior … like every other major name company … you don’t get Spammed by GM or Kleenex do you?

    Me? I forward every SPAM I get from VistaPrint to the email list I posted earlier (above). It gives me great satisfaction.

    The real solution is to start a class action lawsuit against them … do you think ANY JURY of your peers would find them innocent? Read on wikipedia.com about the CAN-SPAM act and the fines and jail time. The only problem we have is the FTC isn’t enforcing the act.

  • Katherine Says:

    How about getting some media involved in this issue? Maybe 20/20 would be interested? Porno e-mails really got me mad and sick and that’s actually federal offense, on their part, right?

  • Steve Says:

    There are lots of federal offenses in what VistaPrint is doing. I advertise on Craigslist; that is where they find my email addresses. Taking email addresses from online is called “harvesting” email addresses, and is specifically against the law (see the CAN-SPAM act on wikipedia.com). If you send a commercial email, you must provide a functioning “opt-out” mechanism (click here to unsubscribe); not doing so is a violation of the CAN-SPAM act. The sender’s email must use an accurate “From:” line.

    It goes on and on. I’m all for attacking VistaPrint’s business practices publicly, through the media (e.g. 20/20) as Katherine suggests. These people aren’t going to change their ways until their actions start to damage their business image/income.

  • pd Says:

    I also have been bombarded with Vista Print spam. I had unsubscribed at least 60 times, and finally I called to complain, At first I was told that they do not spam, and I had to be a customer. B OTH THOSE STATEMENTS ARE LIES. I have been working on this issue with them for over a year now, and I have 3 phone numbers I would like to share. I hope everyone who reads this will call and vigorously complain.

    President: Robert Kean 781-652-6300 hit 0 for the operator, ask for him.

    Spamming Central Leah Waiken (direct) 781-652-6384

    Public Relations – Jason Keith 781-652-6266

    IUt is hard to get ahold of these folks, but you can also send in your spam reports with headers to waitkun@vistaprint.com

    EVERYONE – PLEASE INUNDATE THESE SPAM CLOWNS WITH COMPLAINTS TO GET THEM TO END THIS PRACTICE!

  • pd Says:

    This is the spammer who decided I really, really needed more spam from Vista Print. Of course, he does not answer his phone, has blocked my email address from sending to him, and does not return my pages to him either.

    Stephen Cohen

    E-Reach Media, LLC

    500 B Monroe Turnpike

    Monroe, CT

    http://www.offercafe.com

    (203) 816-1609

    steve@ereachmedia.com

    I hope everyone contacts this spammer, and lets him know what we all think of people like himself.

  • Ben Dover Says:

    If you get spammed by Vistaprint, call their attorney Robert Dulaney at(781) 652-6300 extension 6360

  • greg Zabek Says:

    I’m seeing orders that ai diidn’t place

  • Who Cares Says:

    We dont spam.Call us at 1-866-614-8002

  • Srikanth Says:

    Same experience for me, i didn’t even sign up for the account but they start sending emails – some one should report this company – am trying to see where i can file a complaint.

  • Anna Mouse Says:

    The company is effectively headquartered in Massachusetts and the CEO lives in MA.
    95 Hayden Ave
    Lexington, MA 02421
    (781) 652-6300

    Please report this company’s spam messages to the authorities.

    The entire company’s success is built off their two real sources of revenue – patent trolling and sending out spam.

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