Today I encountered the wrong end of SpamCop. My encounter was indirect in that I was contacted by my upstream provider informing me that a user had submitted a complaint. After a bit of frantic investigation to avoid conflict with my provider, I reached these conclusions:-

  • It wasn’t spam. The SpamCop user had complained about an email sent individually to them just because they didn’t like the content.
  • SpamCop completely ignored the Abuse contact address given in the message headers, preferring to sporge their complaint to no fewer than four guessed upstream addresses. The complainant also ignored the provided Abuse contact address.
  • The complainant is unreachable. SpamCop doesn’t provide email contact details to allow me to respond directly to the person who submitted the complaint, I can only respond through a SpamCop pseudo-address. This makes it impossible to block further emails reaching the complainant as I don’t know who they are!
  • All in all this one false complaint has eaten up my entire morning and I’ve really achieved nothing. Now I need to provide explanations to my upstream providers which will take more time. I need to make contact with the original complainant via SpamCop in order to find out what address they would like blacklisted to ensure they don’t get further emails from my users and I’ve had to write this Blog entry in order to blow off steam about it.

    In summary, SpamCop should be called Spam Cop-out. It’s yet another example of a service that attempts to dumb-down the Internet so that people who got a computer for Christmas don’t have to learn anything about it. Good job they didn’t get a chainsaw!

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