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VonageTPA
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Joined: Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 1715
Location: Florida (usually)

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I'm curious about this... just set up a new e-mail address for Vonage and switched Vonage over to that e-mail addy... we'll see what happens from here. 18 character e-mail name, so there won't be any random guessing here.

_________________
ISP: Varies depending where I'm at.
Vonage: Linksys RTP300
Router: IPCop 1.4.10
Phones: various
Total calls since Jul 24, 2005: 4,794 calls
Total Minutes since Jul 24, 2005: 25,552 minutes
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NateHoy
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Joined: Nov 01, 2005
Posts: 2257
Location: New England

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I've been monitoring my Vonage-specific email account VERY closely since the day this topic started, and I have not seen a single spam of any kind.

I got my billing update, and I think one email on the "second line" promo they have been running, and that's it.

Now, don't get me wrong, I do get the occasional spam ABOUT Vonage. But that's going to be true of any company that runs an affiliate program, you'll get people sending out spam hoping to get people to use their affiliate link to sign up. And none of those emails have come through my Vonage-specific account.

_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
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larryathey
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Joined: Aug 11, 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:32 am    Post subject: Vonage utilizing spam to sell itself. Reply with quote Back to top

It's true, either Vonage is knowingly and willingly utilizing spam to sell its service, or they have a hacker problem that is leaking e-mail addresses (and other information) to spammers.

Here's yet another example...2 months ago, I checked on their web site to see if area code 308 is portable yet. When I saw that it wasn't, they offered to notify me by e-mail when area code 308 was available. Today, I got an e-mail from "Vonage Customer Care" <VonageCustomerCare@OfferedBy.net> telling me that area code 308 was now available, and if I signed up now, I would get my first month's service free. However, area code 308 definitely is not available through Vonage.

The message had links all through it that looked like links to Vonage's web site, but when you hover your mouse over them, the status bar in your browser shows that they are all redirect links through Cold Fusion scripts hosted by offeredby.net and atdmt.com with coded parameters being passed to the Cold Fusion script (obviously for the purpose of tracking the spam recipient's activity)...Clicking on any of them takes you to the actual page on Vonage's web site. So, it is clear that Vonage is definitely behind this.

The real disturbing part is that I never gave my e-mail address and a note to anyone else stating that I was interested in Vonage service if I could get a phone number in the 308 area code. Vonage had to have leaked or shared that information. What's more, the only purpose this message served was to get me to sign up as a Vonage customer by lying to me and telling me that my choice of area code was now available. But when I looked at the pre-selected area code on the sign up page, it's not the one I requested, and there is no way to select it.

I have yet to hear any response from Vonage about this, and I sent a complaint to every address I could find on their web site, as well as one to their investor relations. It's safe to say that I won't be one of the next Vonage customers. I'd sooner get a cell phone and a Dock-N-Talk box for my house.
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VonageTPA
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Joined: Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 1715
Location: Florida (usually)

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Hmm... still no spam on my vonage-only e-mail account here, will post again if/when this changes.

_________________
ISP: Varies depending where I'm at.
Vonage: Linksys RTP300
Router: IPCop 1.4.10
Phones: various
Total calls since Jul 24, 2005: 4,794 calls
Total Minutes since Jul 24, 2005: 25,552 minutes
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NateHoy
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Joined: Nov 01, 2005
Posts: 2257
Location: New England

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

larryathey -

By strict definition, what you received is not spam. Vonage uses offeredby as their communications engine, and you requested an email.

Don't misunderstand me - rant all you want about Vonage's decision to go with marketing companies like itdmt and offeredby, and their tracking cookie practices, and I'll sing along with the choir there. But that's why having a good router with site blocking is a Good Thing. Wink

Anyway, spam is, by definition, unsolicited. You provided Vonage with an email address and specifically requested that they contact you when the area code became available, and they did. The fact that the area code was not, in fact, available makes it an honest mistake.

Area codes also come and go, as blocks of numbers become available and are used up. So, it's possible that the area code you wanted WAS available when they sent the note, and all the numbers had been gobbled up by the time you got the message and went to the site.

_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
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larryathey
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Sounds good on paper if you're defending Vonage or somehow in bed with them otherwise...However, I checked it out after reading your message. They never had area code 308 portable, so no numbers got gobbled up within the minute after I received that message. So, the message from offeredby.net was false from the beginning and unsolicited because I never provided offeredby.net with my address, therefore - it's spam. Even your theory of spending money on what you tout as a router with a good site bocker wouldn't have had any effect on the fact that Vonage sold me out to a spammer. Site blockers only work by blocking your web browser's traffic, not someone selling out your e-mail address to a spammer. Sorry, but nice try...I've seen that routine of turning the tables used before, and it still fell apart just like it's falling apart for you right now.

Kinda makes a person burdened with too much common sense stop and wonder how much of their other personal information Vonage is sharing with third parties. Ya think a router with a good site blocker would solve that problem too?

Think again...
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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I have been a customer of theirs for 13 months now, and I know they use third party mailing services. I have done business with a number of companies that use third party announcement management services like offeredby.net.

I'm certainly not "in bed" with them, as you are implying. I don't know why that even needs to be part of the discussion. I am simply trying, as a fairly long-standing Vonage customer, to explain how they do business. If you dislike it, then you dislike it. That's fine. It's a free country, and you can block that email address if you feel the need to and move on to another company.

I have received infrequent mailings from third party mailers on my Vonage-specific email address. All of them have been relevant to my Vonage service, and have referred me back to Vonage for information. I have also seen each offer mentioned on the Vonage web site, so I presume that each offer was sent at the request of Vonage by a third party announcement service.

The most recent example of this is the "free second line" promotion they were running earlier this year. That email was received from an email account other than vonage.com, since Vonage outsourced the announcement to a third party.

Another was the announcement of the Vonage IPO.

Since I have received nothing except Vonage-specific offers on that email address in the 13 months I have been a Vonage customer, I have to assume that the third party has kept my email confidential, in keeping with Vonage's privacy statement. I have yet to receive a single offer for male enhancement or chest enlargement products, or anything else not directly relevant to my Vonage service. I have not opted out of them since I only get a small number of them.

Vonage uses third party mailers to send their mailings. I don't like it any more than you do, but the fact remains that the third party mailers they have chosen have not disclosed my email address in over a year of access to it. Every single email I have received has been relevant to my Vonage service. And, under any definition, if you ask a company to contact you, and they subsequently contact you, that's not spam. Even if they make a mistake and contact you by accident.

Yes, they made a mistake telling you the area code was available. Ooops. That still does not qualify the email as a spam. It's incompetence, but it's not spam.

As to the filtering, I was referring more to tracking cookies from sites like atdmt. You can achieve much the same benefit, on a computer-by-computer basis, by using a web browser that allows you to set per-site cookie preferences, and/or using an ad blocker.

No, using those methods will not prevent your email address from being disclosed if a company chooses to violate their own privacy policy or if you do business with a company with a poor privacy policy. I never said it would, and I apologize if I was unclear.

_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
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ChrisFix
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I've had Vonage for 12 months, and not a bit of Spam for me - I don't do anything extrodinary to prevent spam other than try not to give out my email to many places, and I've had zero after signing up with Vonage on-line.
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