Mark D. Roberts

Mark D. Roberts


Amazon.com Responds

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Amazon.com responded to my complaint about the inappropriate promotional email (see yesterday’s post). They get credit for responding, especially since it looks like a human being actually was involved here. Gopi N’s response was pretty much boilerplate, and didn’t respond to my request that an apology email be sent to those who received the first mailing.
Here, for your information, is the bulk of the note I received from Amazon.com:

Thanks for writing to Amazon.com to bring this to our attention.
We build our web site information from many sources, and we really appreciate knowing about any errors which find their way into it.
I’ll see that this error is corrected as soon as possible.

[MDR: I’m impressed that these last two paragraphs seem to accept that there was an error made. Usually letters like these allow only that somebody perceived errors to have been made.]

For future reference, at the bottom of the product detail page of every item on our web site, you should see a blue Feedback or Suggestion Box where you can report any inaccuracies in that item’s listing on our site.
Thanks again for shopping at Amazon.com.
Please note: this e-mail was sent from an address that cannot accept incoming e-mail.
To contact us about an unrelated issue, please visit the Help section of our web site.
Best regards,
Gopi N.
Amazon.com Customer Service

It will be interesting to see if Amazon.com does anything else with this complaint. I’m not crossing my fingers.



  • Evan

    You might want to explain how it is that you “appear” to be getting spam from Mark@markdroberts.com, which obviously you did not send to yourself. If it is happening to you yourself, it may be happening to others. I THINK I know what you are talking about, so let me lay out what I believe you meant:
    It seems that some hackers can send out spam in such a way that it appears to be coming from a different (and trusted) source, instead of the actual sender (ie, Spammer@Spamalot.gov) and that the term for this is “spoofing.” A lot of email filters now weed such things out, but the ingenuity of spammers is never to be underestimated. An email server I must use in my vocation screens out millions, but some still get through. The sheer volume of Helpful Medications and Nigerian Officials With Huge Bank Accounts is quite stunning.
    Of course, it really ups the ante when things sent out in your name range from very poor taste to downright pornographic.
    Now, you may have meant something else entirely, but in any event, I thought you might want to clarify what is happening, and if anyone else does receive something “from you” that you obviously did not send, if there is any action they should take that would help you stymie such bogus email.
    So far, nothing from you on my end that is suspect. :)

  • Richard A. Cramer

    I’m not sure how soon Amazon planned to correct the problem, but I received one of these e-mails dated today 2-29-08 at 0800 PST. I’m glad I read your post yesterday so I knew what was going on.

  • Mark D. Roberts

    Evan: I was not familiar with “spoofing,” but you’ve hit the nail on the head. Out of thousands of emails I get, including zillions of pieces of spam, I’ve only received a couple of spoofs from “myself.” Thanks for the info.

  • Evan

    Mark: Some of the email coming from “yourself” could also be from a computer where a regular reader of yours has added your email address to their address book. Some viruses and spamming programs that infect computers can read the address book and send out spam or infected messages to everyone in the address book, using a random name in the address book as the “sender.”
    Nowadays, you really have to have a Firewall, an Realtime Antivirus program, a Spyware eradicator and (especially if you have kids)an Internet Badstuff Filter before you can venture out into the Internet. And rest assured, people you have never met are working hard to overcome all your defenses to do you and yours harm. Hello, sinful nature of mankind. Oh Well.

  • Tom Wannamaker

    Pastor Mark: My “macho sexual promiscuity” promo came in email this morning (Sat 3/1, 6:21 MT). It took me all of 2 minutes to make the Mark Roberts / good Don Williams / not-so-good Don Williams connection in Amazon’s personal recommendations list for me. So I fired off a note to Customer Service right away, about such a dumb PR mistake like this. Then came out here to markdroberts.com to see if there was any blogging on this. I was all set for my piece … “Hey Pastor Mark, do you know what Amazon just did? You gotta SEE this …” :)
    Thank you for the Strange Bedfellows, Pt I and II commentary. Excellent, as always. I’d say it’s mostly lip service so far that Amazon is giving out — I’d say it’s nigh to 48 hours now since the promo first appeared? I’d be curious to see if anyone else reports in to markdroberts.com or elsewhere in the next few days.
    More pleasant note: I so much enjoy your books and blog writing. You are my frequent companion, and I appreciate it! God bless you greatly.

  • http://rightcrosspuns.blogspot.com Gary Karr

    As someone who works in the Washington political world, I’d call what amazon.com said a “non-denial denial.” I also sent them a note about their e-mail, which I had received as well. I wonder how many curious 15-year-old boys who are smart and seeking Christians got that e-mail? I shudder to think about it.

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