Boxbe – will they ever learn?

Alec Saunders, Markus Göbel, and have all reported about problems with the so-called “anti-spam” service Boxbe:

Alec Saunders: “Boxbe’s spam. A fatal mistake for them and me”.

My email box is jammed with people saying “can you make this thing stop”, “you gotta make this stop”, “I’m really pissed”. Twitter is burning up with Boxbe messages. And those are the people that care enough. I don’t know how many people have just added me to their spam list.

The worst part? There’s no way to opt-out of the service once you’ve signed up. I can’t tell it to stop. I can’t tell it to cancel my account.

Markus “Boxbe anti spam filter – a cure worse than the plague”

After I signed up to Boxbe, more than 500 of my email contacts received annoying invitations, saying “I’m using Boxbe to screen my email and I’ve added you to my approved Guest List. Can you take a minute to make sure your contacts can reach me?”. Many people have received this message already six times. Now I get emails back from buddies saying “could you please stop spamming me and my girlfriend? Boxbe sucks!”.

This sounds like what happened five years ago with Spam Arrest (see “SpamArrest Is A Spammer!SpamArrest Is A Spammer!”)

Beware Spam Arrest Users, Spam Arrest is spamming your contacts! If you are a Spam Arrest user, did you know that the company that is helping you receive less spam is actually contributing to the spam problem by spamming the very people you communicate with?

To add insult to injury, sending to results in a sender verification request email, asking you to go through the Spam Arrest verification process, which will put you on the Spam Arrest Spam Mailing List to receive future spams!

It was a disaster then – I wonder what made Boxbe think it would not be a disaster now?

Here’s an example of the reception this idea got back in 2003 when Spam Arrest tried it:

I’ve already added Boxbe to my spam filtering, so I’ll never see anything they send me.

To learn more about my views on the spam problem, you may want to check out my Spam Rants.

2 comments for “Boxbe – will they ever learn?

  1. Hi David-

    My name is Randy Stewart and I’m the product manager for Boxbe. I’ve responded to each one of the bloggers that you mentioned above. While Markus has yet to post my response to him, Alec actually wrote another post praising us for “Learning Quickly.”

    It’s not clear from your post whether you have used our service or not, but we have made changes to how our invitation process works taking the feedback we’ve received and improving the process as a result of those recommendations.

    The mistake we made was in coupling invitations with adding contacts. We thought we were streamlining our registration process, but it seems that we made signing up more confusing.

    We separated the two pages last Tuesday and at least in theory, made our sign up process more clear.

    I’d be happy to address any concerns that you might have about the site or if you have any other feedback about Boxbe.

    Randy Stewart
    Boxbe Product Manager

  2. I appreciate you posting, Randy. I know it’s hard to face the music and it’s nice to see that your company has.

    Unfortunately, it’s sort of not enough, at least for me. This is too great of an offense to be repaired with “we’re sorry” – the fact that the service got launched with that kind of flawed approach says a great deal.

    I have not “used” the service (thankfully) but I was getting so much spam from the service that I had to install a filter that blocks all email from along with any email that even mentions Boxbe.

    We will have to agree to disagree on this one. You may be a nice guy and all that, but you cannot operate a brand that fills my email with your spam and impacts the credibility of my friends and then expect me to accept “we’re sorry” – in fact, I didn’t even see a “we’re sorry” in there.

    Again, just like I said in my Spam Rants of several years ago this is another service that makes the spam problem worse, in the long haul, not better. It’s another counter-measure that’s as bad as the problem itself.

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