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  1. #1
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    Brian Shin & Bonavio?

    I received an unsolicited e-mail message today from "Brian Shin" advertising rackmount servers from a company called Bonavio. Aside from the random spam, his prices seem reasonable and I am wondering if anybody has gotten similar advertising e-mails from him, or have purchased from his company.

    From his e-mail:

    "My name is Brian Shin and I'm from Bonavio in San Jose, CA. We specialize in 1U & 2U rackmount servers and I was wondering if you could consider us for your vendor. Our clients include www.superb.net, www.alabanza.com, www.fastservers.net, www.theplanet.com, www.atlantic.net, www.sagonet.com, www.liquidweb.com and many more."

    Thanks to all who post.
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  2. #2
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    Wow, that is some client list.

    I wonder if that is true?
    Beer is Good.
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  3. #3
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    I would call that spam, more UCE than anything. I've had dealings with Bonavio in the past and have no negative words to say about them at all.
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  4. #4
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    http://www.spamcop.net

    I always find that to be useful.
    Nick Hudson - Prevail Host LLC - http://www.prevail.host/
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  5. #5
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    Yeah, I just rec'd it too. I'm reporting it as well as letting all of his customers mentioned in that email know that he's attaching their name to his spam.

    Brian, if you read this, SPAMMING IS NOT COOL UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE!!!

    --Tina
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  6. #6
    Hi, this is Brian Shin from Bonavio. Sorry to cause trouble but I don't get paid to sit around and wait for a sales call. I go to individual websites and check them out before I send emails. We have good products at good price and I thought some company may be interested. As I say in the email, I don't have a mailing list of any sort. If you don't respond then you don't get another email from me. I do understand that it is/was an unsolicited email but I feel that it is not quite a SPAM as I visit each of potential client's site and see where they are located and see if the colocate or do own a datacenter.

    As for using clients name in the email, they are either our current clients or have done business in the past. We deal with Universities, Army, Navy, etc... There is no lie involved in our claim.

    Thank you and I apolagize if I caused any harm to anyone.

    Brian
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  7. #7
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    Brian,

    You can justify it in your mind any way you wish...but what you're doing is spamming. Why do people spam? Because it works.

    You think its okay just because you visited our website? Its not, and according to Alabanza, one of the companies you mention in your spam, they were not happy about it and asked that you immediately remove their name from your SPAM. Yes, they called it SPAM.

    We spent probably $50,000 last year in server purchases and a few years ago we even purchased equipment from your company. Personally, I don't do business with spammers and your company will never get another sale from us. Processing spam mail costs hosts a huge amount of money and I won't reward that.

    While you're not as bad as the scumbags that make a living spamming for Viagra, etc. - its still spam and liable to make you quite a few enemies. Are the sales you get worth tarnishing your reputation?

    --Tina
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonavio-brian
    I don't get paid to sit around and wait for a sales call.
    It looks like you need advertising dollars. Spam isn't the solution.

    Quote Originally Posted by bonavio-brian
    but I feel that it is not quite a SPAM as I visit each of potential client's site and see where they are located
    I'm sure most would agree that still falls under spam. I work closely with the Sendmail Consortium, the people who bring the open source variant of the most popular SMTP daemon to life. I hate spam, but what I hate more is someone trying to reason with the accusations of such doings.

    Quote Originally Posted by bonavio-brian
    We deal with Universities, Army, Navy, etc... There is no lie involved in our claim.
    With a client list that impressive, you shouldn't have to send anyone random e-mail advertising to get a sale. Just my two cents.
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  9. #9
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    No matter how you look at it, the baseline is you sent unsolicited (did they request it?, no) emails advertising your service.

    Define: Spam
    To indiscriminately send unsolicited, unwanted, irrelevant, or inappropriate messages, especially commercial advertising.
    Enough said.
    Rob Greenwood
    RedHat Certified, Unix Consultant
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/bilco105
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  10. #10
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    Yea, I received this email as well, from what I read it actually seems like a decent company.

    In reality this is NOT spam by defination of the can-spam act. OPT In is not actually requires as long as the sender provides a clear way to OPT out or does not send more then one notice which Brian seemed to comply with here.

    I guess there were better ways to go about it, but it was legal and it may have worked in getting some peoples attention as in my case where I am now considering an order after talks with Brian.
    Ryan Dubois
    Director of Sales
    Hostbusters Web Solutions
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  11. #11
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    Who cares what the can-spam act says? The can-spam act is NOT the definition of spam authority, by any stretch of the imagination. "Legal" - actually, if he signed up for hosting and one of the requirements of that contract was "don't spam"...then he broke it and that's all that matters. Further, I know Alabanza was pretty upset to find out that he was including their name in his SPAM and asked him to remove it immediately.

    What he did was wrong. Plain and simple. There is no rationalization.

    The fact that you are considering buying from a spammer is why this problem will never go away. Its free for them (costs ME money though) and it works.

    SHAME ON YOU!


    --Tina
    ||| 99.999% Uptime SLA!!!
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  12. #12
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    I wouldn't mind doing business with him. It's nice to see what vendors are offering so long as they're not calling me up about it.
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  13. #13
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    Tina, I sent you one and ONLY one email containing our product line. As I stated previously, I apolagize if I offended you or anyone. Whatelse do you want me to do? Why are you so against us? I admit it. I wasn't quite clear on the SPAM issue but I didn't do it knowingly. Now, we're planning on advertising on different medium (thanks for the idea). Just drop it, Tina.
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  14. #14
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    Bonavio i've reported you to the mods, for breaking WHT rules your not allowed to have two accounts
    8i Networks - Advanced Web Solutions
    Web Hosting, Web Design, Domain Names and E-Commerce
    Providing Affordable, Reliable and Scalable Web Solutions Since 2000.
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  15. #15
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    Has anyone ever heard of this company? Most "large" companies don't need to go around the web and mass email to try and pick up clients...
    Last edited by sgarbus; 12-28-2005 at 04:15 PM.
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  16. #16
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    See now, I have to disagree across the board with people who regard this as spam. It would be one thing if this was a business-to-consumer message, then that would be a different matter, due to its unsolicited nature. But a singly sent, business-to-business correspondence about one business's wares is what the offline world calls a "sales call," and it is an integral component in how very legitimate business gets done and happy b2b relationships are formed.

    If you make your contact information available for business correspondences, expect to get other businesses talking to you about their services. What's so unusual or wrong about that? No one's compromising your privacy. No one's selling off your information. No one's greatly disturbing your life. Politely decline, or don't respond, and go about life.

    Brian, I don't personally see a thing wrong with what you did. Your message was polite, your references (assuming they are in order) are solid, and your policy of not sending a second message when you get no response to a first is in fact generous in the business world.

    Oh, one other thing. Users may only have one login ID. Please choose one, and the other will be disabled for you. Thanks!
    Studio1337___̴ı̴̴̡̡̡ ̡͌l̡̡̡ ̡͌l̡*̡̡ ̴̡ı̴̴̡ ̡̡͡|̲̲̲͡͡͡ ̲▫̲͡ ̲̲̲͡͡π̲̲͡͡ ̲̲͡▫̲̲͡͡ ̲|̡̡̡ ̡ ̴̡ı̴̡̡ ̡͌l̡̡̡̡.__Web Design
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pm
    See now, I have to disagree across the board with people who regard this as spam. It would be one thing if this was a business-to-consumer message, then that would be a different matter, due to its unsolicited nature. But a singly sent, business-to-business correspondence about one business's wares is what the offline world calls a "sales call," and it is an integral component in how very legitimate business gets done and happy b2b relationships are formed.

    If you make your contact information available for business correspondences, expect to get other businesses talking to you about their services. What's so unusual or wrong about that? No one's compromising your privacy. No one's selling off your information. No one's greatly disturbing your life. Politely decline, or don't respond, and go about life.

    Brian, I don't personally see a thing wrong with what you did. Your message was polite, your references (assuming they are in order) are solid, and your policy of not sending a second message when you get no response to a first is in fact generous in the business world.

    Oh, one other thing. Users may only have one login ID. Please choose one, and the other will be disabled for you. Thanks!
    I totally agree with you on all of your points.
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  18. #18
    GroveStreetNetworks wrote:

    "Bonavio i've reported you to the mods, for breaking WHT rules your not allowed to have two accounts"

    Can't you be just a little bit more considerate of newbies? By reporting to the Mods you noticed that I have "bonavio" & "bonavio-brian" both with only 1 post. Doesn't that hint you at all that I'm new at this? You don't have to run off to the Mods as if I committed a serious crime. Since when did our world become so up tight?

    PE-Steve wrote:

    "Has anyone ever heard of this company? Most "large" companies don't need to go around the web and mass email to try and pick up clients..."

    I don't know how else to explain other than the fact that I did not "mass Email" anyone. I sent one specific email to one address (usually [email protected]) containing all my contact information including company name, address, telephone number and my email.

    I don't know how to contact Mods so if you read this I would like to keep "bonavio-brian" and you can disregard "bonavio"

    Thank you

    Brian
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  19. #19
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    Brian,

    While I also don't really agree that it's spam (although it is unsolicited: but so are flyers that come in the snail mail): There are better ways to get sales.

    Welcome to webhostingtalk nonetheless!

    Now.. want to buy my v|agr4?
    We also offer c|4L!S at a low, low price of...

    Note: Feel free to forward me a pricing list!
    David
    Web hosting by Fused ó For businesses with more important things to do than worry about their hosting.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonavio-brian
    I visit each of potential client's site and see where they are located and see if the colocate or do own a datacenter.
    You are full of crap, I lease at both EV1 and the Planet, EV1 does not even allow you to colocate so I would go over your steps again and try and get them in better order.

    I am not sure how anyone can find this as not being spam, unless I signed up wtih a company and entered my email with them I do not expect to have to weed through any extra emails.

    I think an apology and a promise to never do it again would be a good thing to do at this time and if you are looking for find new clients then open up your wallet like the rest of them and spend some of those bigs bucks you are raking in from those high profile clients.
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  21. #21
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    I see nothing wrong with this message. In my eyes spam requires some kind of automation and in this case seems like Brian "does" one business at a time. One of my business relations that is now entering its 5th year started by me receiving similar message.
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  22. #22
    OK-Paul,

    What made you think I said anything about EV1?

    We are planning on openning up out wallet.

    Thanks for the advice, though.
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  23. #23
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    Honestly people, grow up! If you can't handle receiving such messages from vendors, get out of the business or make your contact details private. Brian and Bonavio have not kidnapped your grandmother! The man is simply trying to make a buck. Perhaps you may not *agree* with his form of marketing, but then, you're probably missing out on the advantages of such types of marketing yourselves.

    His products are good, his service is great. Cold call yes, Spam No.
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  24. #24
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    Here's the thing...spam costs hosts money. Its not about the one email I rec'd in my inbox. Its about the bigger picture. Spam, on any level, is wrong.

    --Tina
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by AH-Tina
    Here's the thing...spam costs hosts money. Its not about the one email I rec'd in my inbox. Its about the bigger picture. Spam, on any level, is wrong.

    --Tina
    Well if its not about the one email you received in your inbox.... then how can it be wrong on any level? But really, you are too quick to jump on this calling it spam, by legal defination its not and in any B2B relationship this would in no way be considered spam. In what other business can you iniated business dealings with someone without getting in contact with someone. Thats what business is, you see a need that someone has and you attempt to fill it hence B2B! Its nothing like consumer business where a company is trying to force an unneeded product down the consumers throat.
    Ryan Dubois
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  26. #26
    Tina,

    Here is what you have wrote:

    "Brian,

    You can justify it in your mind any way you wish...but what you're doing is spamming."

    "What he did was wrong. Plain and simple. There is no rationalization."

    "Here's the thing...spam costs hosts money. Its not about the one email I rec'd in my inbox. Its about the bigger picture."

    So am I off the hook with you, Tina? Also, you said,

    "We spent probably $50,000 last year in server purchases and a few years ago we even purchased equipment from your company."

    So technically you are/were one of our clients? So technically I emailed one of our clients? Why is that a SPAM? Furthermore, I was under the impression that you were upset about the SPAM (one persnalized email) I sent but you made it sound like I cost your company, along with other hosts, a lot of money. I could understand if others (non of our clients) were upset but I think there might be a deeper issue. If there's anything that we did wrong to your company then I would like to know what it is so that we make it right.

    I have nothing against you, Tina. I wish to put bad feelings behind us and let us concentrate on our business/future.

    Brian
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by DuBz
    Well if its not about the one email you received in your inbox.... then how can it be wrong on any level? But really, you are too quick to jump on this calling it spam, by legal defination its not and in any B2B relationship this would in no way be considered spam. In what other business can you iniated business dealings with someone without getting in contact with someone. Thats what business is, you see a need that someone has and you attempt to fill it hence B2B! Its nothing like consumer business where a company is trying to force an unneeded product down the consumers throat.
    Spam is wrong on any level because it costs hosts money - and I have never seen any host that didn't have an anti-spam clause in their ToS, for that very reason.

    "Legal" definition doesn't apply here. The internet is a global entity and no country's laws are applicable to every user.

    "In what other business can you iniated business dealings with someone without getting in contact with someone."

    Totally irrelevant. Spam is spam. Where would you draw the line? I get emails every day from companies that wish me to purchase their opt-in lists, outsourced tech support, hosting (haha), toll free numbers, business cards, ergonomic keyboards, imitation sunlight lamps, computer parts, computer software, and on and on and on. All spam and all unwanted and all against every major ISP and host's ToS. Pick up the phone and call the person on the phone if you want their business.

    Do I think Brian is a horrible person? No - I think he honestly didn't see himself as a spammer. Do I think he deserved a slap on the wrist? Absolutely.

    Looking at the big picture, spam is not acceptable. You can't pick and choose who you're going to let spam - just because the spammer happens to be a pretty nice guy and isn't selling v1agra.

    --Tina
    ||| 99.999% Uptime SLA!!!
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonavio-brian
    Tina,

    So am I off the hook with you, Tina?
    Not quite - because you don't understand that you spammed and that's not cool at all. Do I hold anything personally against you? Nope.

    Quote Originally Posted by bonavio-brian

    Also, you said,

    "We spent probably $50,000 last year in server purchases and a few years ago we even purchased equipment from your company."

    So technically you are/were one of our clients? So technically I emailed one of our clients? Why is that a SPAM?
    Because I purchased under a different company and it was all done by phone. There's no way you could have known that the email address you sent to was connected to our previous purchase (at least five years ago).

    Quote Originally Posted by bonavio-brian

    I have nothing against you, Tina. I wish to put bad feelings behind us and let us concentrate on our business/future.

    Brian
    Good luck in your future business venture...as long as it doesn't include spamming people, which it sounds like you've given up. Good.

    --Tina
    ||| 99.999% Uptime SLA!!!
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  29. #29
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    Totally irrelevant. Spam is spam. Where would you draw the line? I get emails every day from companies that wish me to purchase their opt-in lists, outsourced tech support, hosting (haha), toll free numbers, business cards, ergonomic keyboards, imitation sunlight lamps, computer parts, computer software, and on and on and on. All spam and all unwanted and all against every major ISP and host's ToS. Pick up the phone and call the person on the phone if you want their business.
    C'mon Tina, give the guy a break. I just went to AxisHost, and there isn't a phone number to call even if he wanted to do business this way. It's spam if he tries to establish contact with you via email. It's not spam if he tries by phone. He goes to your site, only finds the option to email you, and he's somehow supposed to know that you'll only accept b2b sales inquiries by phone? Sure he could try whois, but doesn't he have every reason to believe that email is the preferred method of communication?

    Waaaaaay harsh sister! He emails you from a functional email address, solely to you, to discuss products/services his own company provides. That's not spam. Spam is some basement troll sending out messages from [email protected] through a proxy trying to get you to buy v1agra from a company in the North Pole who paid him to harass you. Let's not lump Brian's message into that category
    Studio1337___̴ı̴̴̡̡̡ ̡͌l̡̡̡ ̡͌l̡*̡̡ ̴̡ı̴̴̡ ̡̡͡|̲̲̲͡͡͡ ̲▫̲͡ ̲̲̲͡͡π̲̲͡͡ ̲̲͡▫̲̲͡͡ ̲|̡̡̡ ̡ ̴̡ı̴̡̡ ̡͌l̡̡̡̡.__Web Design
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  30. #30
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    There is no phone number listed because we DON'T WANT SALES CALLS. Our customers are given our phone number, privately.

    Its not Brian's RIGHT to contact us to sell something to us. Its our RIGHT to not want to be contacted.

    --Tina
    ||| 99.999% Uptime SLA!!!
    Plenty of space and bandwidth to fit your needs!
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by AH-Tina
    There is no phone number listed because we DON'T WANT SALES CALLS. Our customers are given our phone number, privately.

    Its not Brian's RIGHT to contact us to sell something to us. Its our RIGHT to not want to be contacted.

    --Tina
    Now that he knows you're not accepting sales communications, I absolutely agree. But ya harshed out on a guy who was otherwise conducting a perfectly normal business function. A polite, private "we're not accepting sales calls, please don't contact us again" would have been sporting at least.

    I think Brian has every right to assume that someone in the same industry as him who fits the audience to which his products are geared would at least be understanding of a single, solitary effort to establish communications for business purposes, until he's told otherwise. I guess he got the message loud and clear...
    Studio1337___̴ı̴̴̡̡̡ ̡͌l̡̡̡ ̡͌l̡*̡̡ ̴̡ı̴̴̡ ̡̡͡|̲̲̲͡͡͡ ̲▫̲͡ ̲̲̲͡͡π̲̲͡͡ ̲̲͡▫̲̲͡͡ ̲|̡̡̡ ̡ ̴̡ı̴̡̡ ̡͌l̡̡̡̡.__Web Design
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pm
    I think Brian has every right to assume
    No, he doesn't. That's my point.

    Every major ISP and host (even most minor ones) have a clause in their Terms of Service that states that unsolicited commercial email is NOT acceptable.

    Unsolicited: Didn't ask for it
    Commercial: For the purpose of selling something
    Email: Electronic Mail - a means of communication

    It wasn't just me that he spammed either. There were many people here that came forward and said he contacted them too. How many people did he contact that didn't post here? Certainly you're not saying that its okay to send spam to a bunch of people, as long as you think they'll want your product AND you only do it once???

    Not sure how much clearer I can be on this, so I'm walking away now.

    --Tina
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonavio-brian
    OK-Paul,

    What made you think I said anything about EV1?

    We are planning on openning up out wallet.

    Thanks for the advice, though.
    You stated:

    I feel that it is not quite a SPAM as I visit each of potential client's site and see where they are located and see if the colocate or do own a datacenter.
    And I was stating we use EV1 for most all of sites and a few at the planet which offers both colocation and dedicated servers through server matrix and directly through the planet so my point is your investigation and reasoning for sending these emails is not correct.

    I did not post this first because it was really not that big of a deal I get a ton of emails everyday offering crap to me but seeing someone else mention and realizing you are probably harboring your contacts through WHT I figured I would chime in.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by AH-Tina
    There is no phone number listed because we DON'T WANT SALES CALLS. Our customers are given our phone number, privately.

    Its not Brian's RIGHT to contact us to sell something to us. Its our RIGHT to not want to be contacted.

    --Tina
    HYmm.... didnt you just say that he should call people instead of emailing them... now your saying that you don't want sales calls. Getting confusing here.

    Also the legal defination dosent matter? Thats a bold statement considering its ALL that matters, different countries have different regulations... so what? His company resides in the US therefore he is under the juristiction of US laws and the can-spam act. If you get down to basic law then if you reside in the US you are under the same laws, and classifying his email and himself as spam/spammer is a liable comment since the clear legal definition classifies this email as non-spam. Since classifying himself under this category is technically a false statement which is possibly damaging to his reputation and may harm business then legally you are liable and he has the right to sue. Not saying that this would ever be the case since itís only a forum but from a legal since out of the two of you, you are the one practicing illegal business methods not Brian. Just a law studentís point of view, no harm meant to either party over it.
    Ryan Dubois
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  35. #35
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    I stand corrected. It does appear when UCE rules were introduced to the market, less-than-adequate effort was made to designate separate B2B and B2C rules, even though every other means of communication regulation does so. How abysmally shortsighted of the folks who come up with these regulations, but it looks Tina like your gripe is quite legit.

    Welp, Brian, it appears you might just have been naughty after all. For what it's worth, back when we launched our new site, we specifically wrote in a clause allowing for unsolicited B2B communication, so long as the following criteria were met: the correspondence was unique (we were the sole recipients), the subject matter was legal in Canton, Ohio, no referral links or tracking devices were used and the return address was functioning and used. Things being what they are, I would encourage those business owners who accept this sort of communication to enact a similar policy, and those who choose not to allow this should be left alone. It's a personal choice to allow these, and it appears unless the receiving ISP has rules to a different effect customers have an expectation of privacy in this regard, regardless if they are consumer or business customers.

    Sorry Tina

    My research was pretty quick, but it consisted mostly of the California UCE laws and an assumption that these are pretty close to how ISPs state their own rules, which they can do in addition to CAN-SPAM (which is just the federal baseline).

    If you get down to basic law then if you reside in the US you are under the same laws, and classifying his email and himself as spam/spammer is a liable comment since the clear legal definition classifies this email as non-spam.
    Just to clarify, I believe you meant to say "libelous." The statement makes more sense that way.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by DuBz
    HYmm.... didnt you just say that he should call people instead of emailing them... now your saying that you don't want sales calls. Getting confusing here.

    Also the legal defination dosent matter? Thats a bold statement considering its ALL that matters, different countries have different regulations... so what? His company resides in the US therefore he is under the juristiction of US laws and the can-spam act. If you get down to basic law then if you reside in the US you are under the same laws, and classifying his email and himself as spam/spammer is a liable comment since the clear legal definition classifies this email as non-spam. Since classifying himself under this category is technically a false statement which is possibly damaging to his reputation and may harm business then legally you are liable and he has the right to sue. Not saying that this would ever be the case since itís only a forum but from a legal since out of the two of you, you are the one practicing illegal business methods not Brian. Just a law studentís point of view, no harm meant to either party over it.
    I really hope your studies improve as you go. You're aware of the legalities of contracts, correct?

    --Tina
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_pm
    Just to clarify, I believe you meant to say "libelous." The statement makes more sense that way.
    Yea, hehe your right, wrote it really quict

    And what do contracts have to do with anything here, you entered into a contract stating that you were allowed to make false accusations about Brians business practices?

    Contract law is totally irrelevant in this circumstance as contracts only happen after an offer and an acceptance, who offered and accepted here? So whatís that have to do with anything?
    Ryan Dubois
    Director of Sales
    Hostbusters Web Solutions
    www.thehostbusters.com
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by DuBz
    Yea, hehe your right, wrote it really quict

    And what do contracts have to do with anything here, you entered into a contract stating that you were allowed to make false accusations about Brians business practices?

    Contract law is totally irrelevant in this circumstance as contracts only happen after an offer and an acceptance, who offered and accepted here? So whatís that have to do with anything?

    I'll repost it for you, since you missed it the first time:

    Every major ISP and host (even most minor ones) have a clause in their Terms of Service that states that unsolicited commercial email is NOT acceptable.

    Unsolicited: Didn't ask for it
    Commercial: For the purpose of selling something
    Email: Electronic Mail - a means of communication
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  39. #39
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
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    This may be correct however doesnt matter in the least. If you read the actual bill introduced then well... put simply the law dosent give a **** what thier AUP states, the most they can do is terminate services. From a legal standpoint he can-spam act bill quoted "overrides any other laws and agreements between parties" and as long as he is in compliance with their guidelines he is in his full legal right to do so rendering the AUP's nulled. Any US Govn't bill will always override any smaller level agreement no matter what simple laws of precedent.
    Ryan Dubois
    Director of Sales
    Hostbusters Web Solutions
    www.thehostbusters.com
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  40. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
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    What, exactly, is the point you're trying to make? You've totally proven MY point - which is what he's doing (if he continued) is wrong and liable to piss off alot of people and get his services terminated.

    --Tina
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