Ziff Davis Spam Part III: The Solution?

As I reported here, here, and here, Ziff Davis spams people. Fortunately, I found this page. It looks like it was the solution!

Read more below the jump.

I sent the following e-mail to the following people.

The message (sent 12/20/2007 at 12:33 AM):


Despite dozens of attempts to unsubscribe from your company’s e-mail lists, I continue to receive your newsletters and advertising. This is unacceptable. Please unsubscribe me from ALL Ziff Davis and affiliated e-mail lists, immediately and permanently.

Ed Cottrell

The recipients:


The response (from Sloan Seymour, President of Ziff Davis, 12/20/2007, 5:29 AM):

We will take care of it immediately. Please excuse the inconvenience while the unsubscribe works through the system.

Sent from my GoodLink synchronized handheld (www.good.com)

What is shocking to me is that it appears to have worked! I haven’t seen any Ziff Davis spam since that message. The moral: if you want a response, fight fire with fire. When 50+ people at an organization get an unwanted e-mail telling them how much you hate unwanted e-mails, you might actually get some satisfaction.

Ziff Davis is still a spamhaus, but at least there’s a way to make this particular source of spam stop spamming, even if it’s absurdly difficult.

12 Replies to “Ziff Davis Spam Part III: The Solution?”

  1. I sent this mail list out today. I received about 10 out of replies and link to their new addresses. Of course I promptly forwarded my opt out requests to the new addresses. We’ll see what happens.
    This company is one of the reasons congress ends up passing anti-business legislation. They are scum.

  2. I’m one of the addresses on this message and am unusual in that I write for both companies. I’m a freelancer so I’m ont an employee and I have no idea how to stop the newsletters.

    But you should know that most of the complaints I receive are for newsletters from Ziff Davis Enterprise, publishers of eWEEK, Basline, CIO Insight, etc. Their domain is ziffdavisenterprise.com

    The e-mail list you have above is all ziffdavis.com addresses. This is the domain for Ziff Davis Media, publishers of PCMag, EGM, 1Up, etc. Completely differnent company, completely differnt newsletter staffs, in other words your e-mails are definitely going to the wrong people,

    To make matters worse, this address list appears to have been constructed before ZDE was split off, so many of the people in it are actually ZDE employees, but their ziffdavis.com addresses don’t work anymore, So those never get delivered. Plus I can see at least 8 people who just don’t work there anymore, and I’m sure there are more.

    Just click the damn unsubscribe link at the bottom of the message. You won’t do any better than that.

  3. If the unsubscribe link worked – I tried, as I have said, dozens of times – I would have been happy with that. As it is, both Ziff Davis Media and Ziff Davis Enterprise are once again spamming me daily. I have given up entirely on getting removed from any of the offending lists and am letting my spam filter delete anything that appears to be from either company.

    That said, I have no regrets about posting this list of addresses; if these companies feel entitled to spam recipients who are not interested in hearing from them, then I think it’s only fair that people have some means of talking back about it. The obvious place to direct such a grievance is to the employees and, as relevant, consultants of said companies.

  4. If I receive any more of their spam (I’ve unsubscribed too many times to remember), I will simply have to start contacting each of their advertisers and express to them that I could never do business with someone who engages in such despicable practices. Start costing Ziff Davis some customers, and they’ll change the way they do business.

  5. Look, I used to work there in adifferent but related department. It’s less out of malice and more out of stupidity – the Ziff machine is clunky, and unsubscribes don’t work because no one can fix anything. The place is understaffed and overworked, and as a result nothing gets done. Your best bet is to email actual people. Complain enough and they can remove you manually from the database.

  6. I hate Ziff Davis. I never asked to be subscribed to their email list, but suddenly I started getting spam from them. Ziff Davis = Spammers! And if there’s one thing I hate, it’s a spammer. Thus, I hate Ziff Davis.

  7. This company is shameless. It is impossible to unsubscribe from their mailing lists. How about an unsubscribe from all button? Nooooo… that is too much to ask for. Instead they make you tick off a load of checkboxes, and yet, it never saves the preferences. I hope your way works.

  8. Maybe it is time to form a class action suit. These spams consume our bandwidth and resources we’re paying for. Ziff Davis may be an incompetent clumsy large company as one person stated, but that is no excuse for taking advantage of other people’s resources. It is simple, turn off their outbound mail if they cannot control it. Fact is, they are using us to generate advertising revenue and so it is not financially worth it for them to stop – until perhaps they are fined and have to share that revenue stream with people who are sick of being used. I have NEVER subscribed to Ziff Davis publications. Yet I have THOUSANDS of emails from them to not only my account, but hundreds of non-existent accounts that get bounced as undeliverable on my domain. I never use the unsubscribe feature in the emails, because typically that just triggers the spammer that you are a live account. But I DID use Ziff Davis’ unsubscribe mechanisms because I THOUGHT they were a legitimate and reputable company. Obviously I was wrong.

    What I have done to remedy this is sent them a cease and desist order, blocked their domain from delivery but am logging their continued attempts at my firewall. When I have a years worth of information showing continued attempts to deliver unsolicited mail to my domain, I intend to prosecute them as both a denial of service terrorist and for bandwidth consumption.

    Unfortunately, if you don’t own your domain, there is not much you can do but complain to your ISP. If ISPs start blocking them, this will again hurt Ziff Davis revenue streams and maybe they’ll learn to be a bit more ethical if not more competent in the way they run their business.

  9. I actually emailed the Ziff Davis CEO asking to be removed from their list. (Zenfolio is another culprit.) That didn’t work. Their unsubscribe buttons don’t work. You can route all of their emails into your “junk” folder in Outlook (I’ve done that), but they sometimes change sources and evade even that dodge. Even if this company offered legitmate products, I would not purchase a liferaft from them were I drowning in the middle of the ocean.

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