The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Thursday, July 31, 2014


 I found a lovely piece of spam in my spam folder the other day...

It looked like this:

  Registration Confirmation View Online Logo
  Textbooks   |   Apparel   |   Offers
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Dear Darrell,

Thank you for registering and welcome to the York Technical College Bookstore! We have everything you need to succeed in school -- and to show off your school spirit.

To access your account, just visit our website, click Login/Sign Up at the top of the page and enter your username and password.

Your user name (email address):

Now that you're all set on our website, why not register here to receive e-mails from us, too? You'll receive promotions, updates, discounts and more.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at (803) 327-8011 or email

Thanks for choosing York Technical College Bookstore!
  B&N CollegeYork Technical College Bookstore
452 South Anderson Road
Rock Hill, SC 29730
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This email was sent to   |   Unsubscribe
barnes & noble college 120 Mountainview Boulevard Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
 So I replied with this:

I never signed up and do not want to receive anything from you.
To my surprise, I received a reply:
"Dear Darrell,
       We apologize for any problems this may have caused. If you would like to stop the emails, there is an 'Unsubscribe' button at the bottom of the original email. If you click that you should stop receiving emails.
Best Regards,
York Tech. Bookstore Staff.

York Technical College Bookstore
Barnes and Noble #032
Phone: 803.981.7293
Fax: 803.325.2895

I was amused. Those who know me know my name is not "Darrell" but "Douglas" but I ignored that. After I sent the reply to them, I unsubscribed from all future mailings from them.

It is obvious to me that it is BARNES & NOBLE who started this and is engaging in spamming. This saddens me a bit because I thought legitimate businesses did not stoop this low. I am obviously naive.

And, so, I replied to their reply with these words:

"Then your organization is engaging in fraud to entice registrants through SPAM. Disgusting"
Just thought I would pass this on to my readers and let you decide if you wish to do any business with  BARNES & NOBLE


Steven said...

I'm guessing it was the college bookstore and not barnes & noble proper (IIRC, a year or two before I graduated a new gatech bookstore opened that was a subsidiary-type deal of B&N)

Also I'm guessing that somebody mistakenly gave them your email address (or purposefully gave them a wrong address that happened to be yours) - I get probably 10-20 emails a week meant for other people because they messed up and gave my ( address to somebody. Realtors, family members, business partners, dating websites, people trying to contact other people with my name for whom they have no address...I see it constantly.

Steven said...

Oh, and when I'm sure it's a legitimate business where this situation happened I always unsubscribe (never click Unsubscribe on a fishy email since it's just confirming that they've hit a valid email) and leave nasty comments about confirming received addresses before spamming them...some email list providers have an option while unsubscribing to report spam/abuse, and if I've been subscribed manually (say a person putting their address down on a signup sheet and getting it wrong, or a data entry person getting it wrong, and then getting added to the list without a confirmation ["are you sure you want to subscribe?"]) I leave extra nasty comments about the proper way to confirm an address for a mailing list.

Douglas said...

Steven, while what you say is possible, I think it is unlikely that someone used my address (it went to my personal one and, as you know, my last name is rather unique). Additionally, I blame B&N because they are the parent company and permitted the practice of not verifying email addresses. This was not a verification process. Also, today I received another email from them with the subject of "There are still items in your shopping cart!" Obviously, there are NO items in my shopping cart and there aren't any in "Darrell's" cart either. It is a trick to get someone to start an account with them.

It is SPAM, pure and simple. And, if it is not then the bookstore is not honoring their "unsubscribe" nor are they verifying email addresses.

BTW, I do unsubscribe from spammers quite cautiously and only from legitimate sites. These are easy enough to check.