A number of years ago, the State of Florida established a “Do Not Call” list with which Floridians could register to stop junk phone calls.
Violators were subject to fines of thousands of dollars per call.
In my experience, having registered several times with this list over the years, it is about as effective as those little devices that clip to your belt and drive away mosquitos with ultra-high frequency sound waves.
Just how effective is Florida’s “Do Not Call” list? Even Florida’s governor ignores it, regularly showering us with recorded messages proclaiming his greatness.
In the past couple of weeks, as my number of junk e-mails has begun approaching 100 per day, I have resolved to try to “unsubscribe” to junk e-mail lists that I never subscribed to in the first place.
For instance, I have no need for:
• Women’s hair care products.
• Condominium sales.
• More credit cards.
• Credit scores or reports.
• Surplus iPads selling for $17.57.
• Automobile price lists.
• More life insurance.
• More health insurance.
• Leads on real estate sales.
• Commercial rental property in
• Aluminum wallets.
• New dentists.
• Fifty-year-old single women.
• Memory tricks.
• Another college degree.
• A new job.
• And perhaps more than anything
else, a Genie Bra.
At first, I just clicked on the “report as spam” button. Clearly nobody cared.
The spam continued to arrive like mystery meat at an Army mess hall.
So then I started clicking on the “Unsubscribe” links.
They are easy to spot, because they are at the bottom of the junk e-mails, printed so small they are all but impossible to read.
Most of my “Unsubscribe” orders are met with a promise to remove me from the list within one day, or three to six days, or 10 days, or two weeks.
A few tell me that my request has been honored instantly.
Several even told me that my request already was on file, but without explanation as to why I was still getting their junk e-mails.
On the other hand, some inform me that the entity to whom I am sending the “Unsubscribe” notice cannot be accessed through the link provided in the e-mail for that purpose.
Some express regret, and others ask me why I want to be removed.
A couple have removed me, and in the same message, invited me to ask for more information.
Some warn me that I will no longer be favored with their e-mails. (Well, duh!)
A few arrogantly tell me that while the sender will remove me from its own junk e-mail list, it will continue to sell my e-mail address and whatever personal information it has amassed about me to other parties.
When it comes to junk e-mail, like junk phone calls, you can run, but you can’t hide.
(S. L. Frisbie is retired. The president of the publishing company to whom he and Mary sold their newspapers nearly five years ago has called him the patron saint of lost causes. Trying to get off of junk e-mail lists is his latest one.)