Mindshark.ca seems to think this is a business. Keep in mind it took more than 3 years for this site to make enough money to cover its own monthly bill. So far my experience has been the people either come here to look for a host or to complain about a host. The most bizarre request is from hosts that don’t use fake reviews, is to get me to do a review on them. You would think the last person they would ask to write something would not be me – the guy that has bad things to say about the very hosts that he uses. But in the end, the people that are looking for a host are disappointed because I don’t recommend anyone, and the people that come here to complain are not inclined to buy.
So why the rage with Mindshark.ca?
Back when I first started I had asked a friend to set me up a contact form, I am not known for my non-graphic web skills which are still lacking, requiring me to pay for professionals. Keep in mind I have stated this site makes enough to pay for its hosting, but it’s not paying for experts I bring in to assist me. Anyway getting back to that contact form. It was set up to send to a Gmail account, one in which only my YouTube account was sending mail to. So after adding the contact form, there is only one way to get my Gmail account, and that is used by the contact form. Mindshark.ca used a third party “overseas” to Phish/harvest my email. After a contact with me, they added me to their mailing list. Once again I did not opt-in or authorize the use of this email address for their marketing/spam purposes. This week I got tired of them sending email to the Gmail account I use exclusively for hosting-reviews-exposed.com. Here is the comment I got when I gave them 24 hours to remove my email or suffer a review and complaint to netfirms (funny didn’t I just do a post about them last month http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/endurance-international-group/netfirms-com.html). Here is the response I got this response from Zamir of Mindshark.ca:
“You are off the list. Cheers 🙂
FYI you did opt in on August 9th thx
1.877.MSHARK 1 xtn 730
“Bullshit, I have the emails to prove that your full of it. I will be filing a complaint with netfirms and my own review of your site.”
Yes that’s right, I used profanity. I did not opt in, I did not authorize them to use my email to spam or market to. Frankly, I was a little tame in my response. But I am not about to be treated like I “forgot” that I signed up for their spam.
I get the following response from Zamir of mindshark.ca,
What emails….please send so we can review.
“You can review them with everyone else on my blog. Your company contacted me by my forum when I responded to someone in your company you added my email without my permission to your mailing list. Hence you are spamming. Benjamin of hosting-reviews-exposed.com”
Zamir of Mindshark.ca response:
“I have reviewed your site. You are an extortionist company like ripoffreport etc.
We are an internet marketing firm. We have not done anything wrong. If you have further questions please direct them to me and I would be happy to respond and address any concerns.”
Yes, I am a terrible person, I told him I would do a review and report him to his upstream provider if they did not remove my email from their mailing a list. An email that I did not authorize/opt in for them to spam me. But why did they bring up ripoffreport?
Its a bit difficult to read, but it appears that this person also had their email harvest and on top of that their cell phone number.
Ripoffreport.com may very well be extorting, after all, they do offer a paid service to deal with a complaint. I on the other hand only offer a chance to plead your case on my blog, I offer no service to clean up a complaint. But I guess on the surface because I placed a few ads in hopes of re-cooping my costs, it appears I am in the business of extortion.
So my response:
You’re a bit full of yourself, but I have to wonder what ripoffreport has on your company. Thanks for the material. Your company did harvest my email through my contact page. Your an idiot and so is David Abramovici (the dumbass that thought it would be a good idea to add my email to your list) to think I had my sights on your company as your not a host or a hosting review site. But I really passionately hate spam, and you have the nerve to say I opted into your list. You can call me an extortionist because you glanced at my site, but the truth is you have no idea who I am.
By the way, netfirms is moving to the U.S.
Here is where Zamir of mindshark.ca admits it without knowing it that they are spamming:
“Yes I know netfirms is moving. Lol I have no clue what this conversation is about any longer.
Anyways….we do use a lead generation company from overseas.
IT seems maybe they are the ones that did something on your site, If you can forward whatever info they sent we can review to try and forward it and put a stop to this.
We hate spam with a passion as well and do not engage in any of it.
I have my reason for mentioning netfirms, which sometimes I might explain to him. But here is the point where Mindshark.ca admits they are not the marketing experts that they claim to be because they used a “a lead generation company from overseas“. Translation they did not gather the emails themselves, nor did they make sure they were opt-in. There is no integrity to the list, and so far there seems like two complaints that prove this.
Just to be clear if you purchase a list from a third party to gather your contacts, that does not free you from spam complaints. If anything its more damning.
Now you’re telling me that your not even sure if people have opted in because you used a third party. When I owned hosting companies I did not accept that as an excuse. For that matter, if they could not prove their system was double opt-in after a spam complaint their account was shut down. Seriously if I were you I would get rid of your existing mailing list and start from scratch. After all, you sent your mailouts to me when I did not request or opt-in to your service. Nor would I have reason to do so, if I needed marking assistance, which is not something I need for this site I would contact my previous business partners.
I am not going to send you the emails that were sent to me, you can find it when it hits my blog along with these wonderful emails you keep sending me, sorry but I don’t take kindly to being called an extortionist. After all the only thing I asked for was to be removed from your list.
As for what netfirms moving has to do with this conversation…….
Zamir of mindshark.ca tries to deflect the facts:
“Thanks for your email. Again as I stated earlier. We get hit with spam ourselves and we do not engage in any spam ourselves. If there is any email or information you feel is spam related we would be happy to review it. You are in our system as an optin from a third party lead source.
I understand you business relies on this type of thing to keep you busy with posts etc. However I am extending our offer to assist you in whatever you are looking for. If your intention is to keep responding with vulgarities please refrain.
However if you do have any requests for information or would like us to review any matter we are more than happy to help“.
I would like to think that my last response to mindshark.ca covers that:
If this was a business it would have failed miserably, its taken 3 years to finale start paying for its own hosting. A post on your site would go against the grain of what my site is about. But you do not realize that a post about your site has nothing to do with web hosting. Though I guess I can work on the angle of how netfirms will deal with you once I send my complaint. But the truth is, my feedback on hosts that use fake review sites discourages people from buying, a wonderful business model when you want people to buy. Coming up with assumptions that I do what I do just for money is at best a poor defense for your spamming me.
Your receiving spam has nothing to do with the fact that you spammed me. I am doing a post because you have indeed spammed me, I did not -REPEAT- I did not authorize or opted for mail outs under this email address. Therefore any mail out sent to me from you is SPAM. Use of a third party does not liberate you from any spam complaints, as clearly the netfirms terms of service indicates.
As for vulgarities, there were none in my last response. Should you not have stated that when I called you an idiot, or when I said what you were saying was bullshit, or that David Abramovici is a dumbass. The world can see exactly how many vulgarities I have used which has been very restrained.
Looking forward to another email where you defend the use of mail-outs to people that did not opt into your list because you used a third party “overseas” to collect peoples emails. While telling me that I am being vulgar and extorting you. By the way if I was extorting you I would have asked for a lot more then removing me from your list. Your claim that I opted in has been rejected. Furthermore the use of a third party to get emails has proven that your mailing list is tainted with other people that did not opt-in.
You can of course continue to lay the blame on me by stating
- I opted in. (which you have already shed doubt on this claim of yours).
- I am an extortionist (for which the only thing I asked for was to be removed from your list).
- I am doing an article for my business.(despite it being totally off topic for my site).
- Complain about my limited vulgarities. (which honestly who would not be vulgar with a spammer).
And you can suffer more complaints then just mine, as I will be providing an outlet for other people that experienced the same thing as me. Not to mention information how to register their complaints.
Or you can start your list from scratch and make sure you double opt-in your contacts.
Because I typed this from my phone I over repeated some details, but I think it serves the purpose of getting my point across. Anyway, I did not hear from Zamir of Mindshark.ca again.
Do you have a spam complaint against Mindshark.ca?
First off I enter the domain mindshark.ca into http://centralops.net/co/DomainDossier.aspx
To find out where mindshark.ca is hosting in most cases the network whois will tell you where to send abuse complaints.
The whois tells me that they are with netfirms, it also tells me they are just a little over a year old I will have fun with this on another post where I will discuss mindsharks.ca’s seo skills. But another thing is mindshark.ca appears to have recently moved to netfirms.com.
So if mindshark.ca harvested/phished for your email like they did mine, I suggest sending the mailout they sent you to email@example.com.
You’re also more than welcome to place your own complaints in the comments area of this post.