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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Amsterdam
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    Hosting Ethics...

    Hello,

    Today i got some messages from our customers which says that some other hosting companies are sending them promotional e-mails and offering them to switch to their hosting service.
    In my point of view, one should make promotion in some ways on internet or in the local living area or even one can search client by going from door to door. But sending promotional e-mails to current clients of some other hosting company doesnt look to be ethic to me.
    What do you think about this subject?

    Is the any Hosting company authority that we can complain about this hosting company in such cases?
    Pandora ISP - Shared Hosting, Reseller Hosting and Domain Registration
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  2. #2
    There's nothing illegal about what they're doing. It's annoying as hell. Is it ethical? I don't approve of it. I wouldn't want another hosting company soliciting business from my customers. Unfortunately the only people you can complain to are the ones who are sending the emails and I don't think they'll care. Its a good sign that your customers are letting you know that they're being solicited. It shows that they're loyal. Ask one of them to send you the headers and see if its coming directly from the offending host. If it is then block them from sending email to you. Spam in any form is still spam especialy when your customers didn't ask to be solicited. Report that host to the RBL and let them think about it for a while.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Wisconsin
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    Like Specks said, it isn't illegal but it isn't very ethical either. It is one thing to contact people in person to switch to your business because at least the consumer say no and if the person bothers them anymore, the solicitor can get a hefty fine (at least in beaver dam, WI). However there are very few regulations on spam. Luckily that is starting to change and many states are starting to pass anti-spam legislation. You might want to check with your local laws as well as the laws where the spam is originating. If there is any anti-spam legislation that is applicable to the message in question, then you could always advise your customers that they can do something about it if they want to.
    ~ Nick

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Why is it unethical? I mean, it is a form of advertisement, and most people would consider it spam. I would tell them to report it to spamcop and the DC that house those servers.

    As far as it being unethical re: advertising to your customers - I just do not see it. Sure, it would irritate me. But they are trying to get more business.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Duluth MN
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    Spam is unsolicited BULK email. If a host is personaly emailing your customers (1 by 1), then it is not spam, just unsolicited.

    It happens all the time. I have my cell phone though verizon, and get calls from sprint asking me to switch to them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Chicago
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    I guess you could say that something like that is perfectly fine in a legal sense, they are just emailing someone about a webhost. The fact that they are trying to get a customer from a different host is bad and I would have to say that I see that as being very wrong. Whoever it was should probobly find different methods of advertising.
    Phlint! Web Media [http://phlint.com]
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Goleta, CA
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    5,550
    Just accept that it's going to happen. Once you build a solid reputation your clients will stick with you and if they leave they'll probably come back after getting poor service from the other guy. If they don't they probably weren't clients worth keeping.
    Patron: I'd like my free lunch please.
    Cafe Manager: Free lunch? Did you read the fine print stating it was an April Fool's joke.
    Patron: I read the same way I listen, I ignore the parts I don't agree with. I'm suing you for false advertising.
    Cafe Owner: Is our lawyer still working pro bono?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Amsterdam
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    hi to all,

    thanks for sharing your ideas.
    i have seen that the mail is coming directly to the user.
    i have sent an e-mail to that hosting company in topic.
    we will see what reaction i will receive...

    Regards,
    Pandora ISP - Shared Hosting, Reseller Hosting and Domain Registration
    [email protected]

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    1,128
    Originally posted by Specks
    There's nothing illegal about what they're doing.
    Well, spam can be illegal. Depending on the circumstances, it could be against the CAN-SPAM act, which you may want to look into.
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  10. #10
    I think we can't change the attitude of a person who behave in a certain manner, we can't change the unenviable, we can't stop a competitor, we should keep our positive attitude high with sincere efforts to our service and support to the ultimate customers making them more than a loyal customer.

    Nothing can be changing their attitude if they are really loyal to us.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    Australia
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    Re: Hosting Ethics...

    Originally posted by arnot
    . . . Today i got some messages from our customers which says that some other hosting companies are sending them promotional e-mails and offering them to switch to their hosting service.
    They are spamming your clients. Report them to their upstream provider.
    AussieHost.com Aussie Bob, host since 2001
    Host Multiple Domains on Fast Australian Servers!!

  12. #12
    Do you guys consider 1by1 as spamming?

    If the client is happy with current hosts then they wont go away and if the current host is not providing as promised then they will change the hosts so whats wrong in it if its really 1by1?

    In such situations its the responsibility of the current host to provide the best and to keep their clients happy all the time. They should know how to do that! If they cant keep them happy then do you think they deserve their business? Nope!

    Let the other host take care of those unhappy clients!
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    1,210

    Re: Re: Hosting Ethics...

    Originally posted by Aussie Bob
    They are spamming your clients.
    That's really a difficult call to make without seeing one of the emails in question. There appears to be little doubt that the email was unsolicited, but we need the 'bulk' component in there as well in order to classify it as spam.

    -B

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    99
    http://www.spamhaus.org/definition.html

    Technically, spam is defined as unsolicited AND bulk email or Unsolicited Bulk Email (UBE). It disregards the recipient, all emails are identical. However, there is a similar form called Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE). While UCE may not be as bad as spam, in most cases, it is equally frowned upon. Most people just lump all unwanted email together as "spam."

    If the email as written as "Dear Mr. Smith, We noticed that your website www.blah.com..." then it is UCE, because this was a specifically tailored email to that recipient and was not sent in bulk. It should also allow the recepient to request a removal from the mailing list. There are laws now concerning spam, however it is not illegal to send UCE. (Please correct me on this if I'm wrong)

    Assuming UCE is legal, while I see it as distasteful and wouldn't do it, I wouldn't call it unethical. Most people don't like receiving UCE anyway, making it rather ineffective (most of the time).

    This is competition - one of your competitors is trying to capture market share from you. You see this in everyday business and marketing tactics. Where do you draw the line? Direct mail marketing is fine, but email marketing is unethical? Disliked? Sure, but unethical? No.

    Your short term solution for this can simply be blocking the IP's these emails are coming from. Focus on providing your customers with good service and build your brand. The trouble with such fierce price competition is that it also creates a more price-concious consumer. Less savvy customers will simply see the lower price tag and want to switch. You will probably lose these types of customers sooner or later.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    Philadelphia, Pa
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    As far as it being unethical re: advertising to your customers - I just do not see it. Sure, it would irritate me. But they are trying to get more business.
    I agree. The thing that may get them in trouble is that it is unsolicited, not that they are targetting your customers.

    If I make an advertisiement aimed at people unhappy with their current provider, that's not unethical. Just because they're your current client doesn't mean they're yours and yours only. The problem would be with it being unsolicited.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    What cracks me up is that people see this as "unethical" in selling hosting services. In bricks-and-mortar retail we've been calling it "competition" for ages. Your competitors can be tough. Get on the ball and pay attention to your customers so they don't feel a need to visit the Other Shop. Problem solved.

    (Note, I'm not touching on the spam/UCE thing at all, that's an entirely different discussion.)

    Anyway just some musings from the shop girl...

    Bailey
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  17. #17
    I agree, there has to be recognition that if you are not servicing your customer exceedingly well and adding value to that relationship, you should not expect continuous business from that customers and their appraisal in terms of word of mouth.
    Last edited by etechsupport2; 06-09-2005 at 09:03 AM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    It isn't the competition aspect that I considering unethical but the spamming part that is unethical (if it is spam). However, if your customers are letting you know that this is happening, then they are probably pretty happy with your service.
    ~ Nick

  19. #19
    Customers are itself competent to distinguish whether it's a spam or not. It also depends upon the way you approach or interact with them.

    Overall, web hosting companies should align themselves with the code of ethics if they want to be successful in long run.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Originally posted by bithost(NET)
    What cracks me up is that people see this as "unethical" in selling hosting services. In bricks-and-mortar retail we've been calling it "competition" for ages.
    Competition is fair and ethical, depending on what you do.

    I teach part-time at a school for international students. There's lots of competition for international students in my city, and I have no problem with that. It forces the schools keep their standards as high as possible, and the students benefit.

    There are a variety of ways to advertise for students. The one method that I thought was unethical was when someone who worked at another language school stood outside the door to our school and handed the students advertisements to her school. Emailing a list of clients of another hosting company with an advertisement for your hosting services amounts to the same thing IMO.

    When this person who advertised at the door to our school was confronted, she responded, "How else am I supposed to get students?" If she didn't know the answer to that basic question, I doubt she knew the industry well enough to provide a good service. The same probably goes for the advertiser in the above situation.

    Lois
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  21. #21
    I currently did a thesis on Business and Ethics... I concluded that they both limit each other, when considering Business is the maximization of profit for its investors!
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