The reason for this report is mainly to warn other potential users of the mailermailer.com
service, so what happened to me won't happen to anyone else.
Like anyone else new to dealing with large email lists, I was looking for a good value for an auto responder service. So I signed up for a free account at mailermailer.com
and started to experiment with the features and settings on April 23,2012.
I liked the features I was seeing, the way you can build a newsletter from a webpage, etc. I have a subscriber email list of almost 12000 addresses, so I wanted my monthly newsletter to be just perfect. I spent quite a lot of time designing, adjusting and tweeking. After getting the newsletter very close to completion I started looking into how to upload it to my subscriber database.
It looked simple enough. You hit a link that is titled "Add Members" and then you are taken to a page that says "Add List Members" on top. (see image 1)
Now pay attention, the selection I make is the one on the bottom left. Clearly the command written on the button to submit the next function is simply "IMPORT LIST". Easy enough.
At the bottom just about the "IMPORT LIST" submission button, there is a checkbox that is for a sentence that reads "Send Invitation (Recommended for lists older than 6 months. Contacts must click a link within the invitation email to be added to your list.)" (see image 2)
This box cannot be unchecked unless you have a paid account, which was going to be my next step, as I was liking everything, so far. I also had a large email list to deal with so a free account would have not come close to handling it. If you try to uncheck you get a drop down window that states: "Free accounts are required to send invitations. Please upgrade to add addresses directly without sending invitations."
(see image 3)
So that all seemed simple enough to me. After all, the submit button simply says "IMPORT LIST". After that I would sign up for a paid account and make further adjustments as necessary before doing any mailing. The button does not say "IMPORT AND SEND IMMEDIATELY". Although that is what it did and that is what it should say. And after that there should be one or two "ARE YOU SURE?" confirmations before such an action would be executed.
Any new user would be only in the early stages of learning the system here. Being very careful to go back and forth over things, checking settings, etc, before doing a mass email.
But that is not what happened at all. It did not just "IMPORT LIST" as the button states. It sent almost 10000 emails out instantly to my entire "subscribed" list. With no confirmation before execution. With no "Are you sure you want to Mass Email 10,000 invitations to emails that already subscribed to your websites newsletter???"
I am pretty green to emailer services, so I am very careful with every step as I am setting things up. I have used the internet and computers for years. As anyone with my knowledge would know, is that there are always confirmation questions and buttons all over the darn place that ask you to confirm any little move you make. For example:
- Are you sure you want to delete this file?
- Are you sure you want to quit this game?
- Are you sure you want to save this file as you will overwrite a more recent save?
- Are you sure you want to shut this down?
- Are you who you say you are, please re-enter password.
- What's your first pet's name?
The list goes on and on, ad nauseum. We are asked to confirm just about everything on computers, game systems, smart phones etc.. Even when you specifically mouse over a drop down menu to quit, which cannot be done by accident, you are asking if you are sure?
So I have to ask why in the world, would some company think it is okay just to blast out over 10,000 emails without warning or confirmation? After all, you are a new user, on a free account (so far). Chances are pretty darn extreme you are a first time user and are just learning the ropes.
It not only sent out these mails, but without any brand background in the messages it sent, and on top of that it used my personal email address with my name in it. The address I entered on signing up for a free account. And the company name I entered. Nothing to do with the website I am promoting.
I tried to re-create the process a day late, and guess what? It did not do the same thing. All my freaking out on them must have prompted them to make a change.
I asked them to do something to make up for this ridiculous situation. This outrageously and blatantly inconsiderate action. They did nothing but blame me for what occurred. This is the important thing here.
I cannot take back what they did to my email list. But I think they could have offered something...anything, to make up for what they did. Remember, all I was clicking was an "IMPORT LIST" button. That say very clearly what the command should have been.
Now that they changed the function there, my only proof is the email I received to my own email address. (see image 4)
I also have the entire chat with customer support, the emails from some CEO, or something, Raj Khera. He continued with the same flippant kind of attitude the support chat person had. Ultimately blaming me for what occurred.
Know what? I have been self employed since 2001. I never treat a customer with such disrespect. in return, I have great customers who are happy with the service they received from me. If I make a mistake, I tell them up front. I don't wait to see if they may miss it or not. I respect my customers.
Here are some emails back and forth to Raj Khera: Mark, my support team forwarded me the transcript of the chat you had
with them earlier today. I'm sorry you didn't have the experience you
were hoping to have with our tool. I'd like to help.
If you would like to talk about it, please call me: 1-301-825-5658 ext 800.
Thanks for your response. How can you help? As far as I can see, the damage done is irreversible. Certainly ruined my day.
That being said, you know what occurred and if you have a solution or some help to offer, please email me with your offer. Hard for me to fathom why a website providing a service such as yours would be so sloppily and inconsiderately designed.
I do not get into the habit of chatting over the phone especially with serious issues such as these.
Mark, I appreciate your feedback on our site's design and I will
certainly share your comments with our team. I'm very sorry to read that
the experience ruined your day. If there is something you would like me
to do to help, I can explore it with you.
I think that would be up to you. Not up to me to make that decision.
If you are willing to do something to make up for this huge screwup, the ball is in your court.
If you do nothing to try to make amends for what occurred, that lack of action will speak volumes for the integrity of MailerMailer.
Mark, as per my earlier emails, I am trying to reach out to help. I
would offer to refund your payment, but we didnt collect any payment
because you were using our free trial version to see if our tool was a
fit for your business. Since I am unclear on what you would like to see
happen next, if you can give me a sense of what you would like, I can
try to help.
Listen, you are supposed to be handling your job as whatever you are supposed to be doing there.
I don't make the decisions for you, you do.Your website screwed with my large email list which took years to build. What's that worth to me? A lot.
You want to pay me $10 for every mail you sent out without my approval then do so. Because that could be what your website may have screwed out of my pocket. If that is not to your liking, you had better think of something or I will. Your liability, not mine.
Not only that, you sent out my personal email. My name is in it. Big error there. I already spoke to my lawyer and she is quite interested in what went down here. She cant believe the fashion in which your website took control of executing such a move without proper authorization.
Don't bother sending me any more lame responses. You broke it, so you can offer to fix it any way you deem appropriate.
Mark, the box on the page in question that read "Send invitation" was
checked. When you clicked to continue, our system processed that
request. As far as the email address that was used, it was the one you
entered and activated when you set up your account. If you have further
questions on this, please call. Thank you.
When you, when you, when you. You did it, you found our website, you signed up. Your fault we screwed up the design here.
Yet a day later there appears to have been a big change on the website. I could not re-create that process. Tried it 3 or 4 times. It did not come back with " (X number of) Requests Submitted" at all. It did not send anything out. Something smells fishy.
So at no time does this Raj acknowledge any problem at his end. When I finally give him a response as to what he can do for me, as he was asking me in every email, rather than suggesting something like a responsible man should, he completely ignores it. "How can I help?" over and over in each email. What is that? Lip service is what that is. No intention there to make up for what happened.
Here are some of the customer service comments that confirm the function that I cannot replicate on their website today:
daniel : You have imported a list with the invite option enabled. Once your import goes through the invites will go out. The invite can not be stopped once it is enabled.
daniel : As I have previously stated the invite option is shown on the import page, the invite option is automatically enabled on free accounts, and once the invite is sent there is no way to remove it from a recipients inbox. If you feel the need to contact your lawyer please feel free to have them contact us.
So when any of you click a button that simply states "IMPORT LIST", what do you think it should do?