Jul 24 2009

5 years into it, Vistaprint spam post still going strong

vistaprintIn March 2004 I was fed up with the constant spam that linked to a company called VistaPrint (not hot-linked here for obvious reasons).

I put on my engineering hat and dissected spam emails to find out where the stuff was coming from. I also posted my findings in an open letter to VistaPrint end of March 2004.
Nothing happened for a while and then, out of the blue, an employee from VistaPrint responded and offered to look into the issue. I sent a number of spam samples, which I still happened to have lying around, to that person and, surprise, surprise, never received a response from anybody at VistaPrint (most likely those forwarded spam messages along with my comments were filed under junk mail as well).

If I can trust the traffic analysis for kahunaburger, that very same VistaPrint open letter above is one of the busiest pages on my server. Just in the last few weeks it received at least 10 comments from people who suffer under the constant spam bombardment or who have been duped into signing up for something that they don’t want. Searching for “vistaprint spam” on Google, shows that kahunaburger is listed as the very first entry.

I have little hope that any of those actions mentioned in the comments to the open letter will make any difference. VistaPrint, with headquarters in the Bermudas, lives from affiliate networks driving traffic to their site. Those affiliate networks have been linked to spam since the beginning of spam. VistaPrint claims that they don’t allow affiliate members to send unsolicited emails, but they don’t do anything about it proactively, but instead just pretend to investigate whenever too many people complain about a particular spam incident. Even if they sack the responsible affiliate and terminate his account, that guy just turns around and signs up under a different name/email to do the very same again.

Just take a look at all the information that’s posted about VistaPrint on ripoffreport.com – makes you really wonder how they can still be in business.

Anyway, what I found interesting was the fact that a 5-year old post on this site could still generate substantial traffic today …

6 Responses to “5 years into it, Vistaprint spam post still going strong”

  • Mike Laursen Says:

    How odd. I’m pretty sure that about 5-6 years ago, Vistaprint was a legit company. Wonder if someone got ahold of their domain.

  • Tobias Says:

    They are a bunch of crooks, Mike. No, their domain did not get hijacked. Any company that moves from the main land to an off-shore location (as their main office location) is suspect.

  • Jonathan Says:

    They are still spamming – I am getting 7 or 8 a day, all with offers in dollar amounts to a UK domain. Can’t even send spam to the right people!

  • Bruce Says:

    VistaPrint – be warned of spam and unethical advertising:
    I saw ads for free items at Vistaprint.com
    but they never metion the shipping and handling charges until after you have placed
    and order, usually involving giving your address, phone, and/or e-mail address for
    business cards or rubber stamps or whatever. After they finally told me the shipping
    charge, I dropped the order. They started SPAM – TWICE a DAY, going to two
    different e-mail addresses which I had given for the order. Luckily – I never got to the
    point of giving them a credit card number.

  • i hate spam Says:

    If you forward 1 of there spams to your email you will see they have put something in the email that will keep you from doing that.So there is no way to send the headers to anyone.

  • anon-a-woman Says:

    I get constant spam from them, all email accounts. Someone in my linkedin network just sent a spammy vistaprint message out to everyone on her contact list (deliberately). So sick of this. I was a dealer with them for a couple of years, but the shady business practices, lack of quality, lack of even quality packaging of the products, it all added up. They have a new provantage program which gives dealers a higher 40% discount. Great. That is completely useless against all the prospective customers who want cheap deals and get 50%-100% off with VP coupons. I just decided to offer a products with better printing to start off with, cater to a different market. I still don’t know how VP bribed their way out of the F rating with the BBB a few years ago.

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