– How Not To Send Email

Rojo is an RSS reader. I tried it out for a week or so last year, but soon decided that I still prefered Bloglines and forgot about Rojo.

That is, I forgot about them until a couple of weeks ago. Then I got an email from them. They had decided that they would start to send a weekly email to all of their users which summarised the last week’s exciting news in the world of RSS feeds.

There were a couple of problems with this. Firstly, I had never signed up for this. Whenever I sign up for a user account on a web site I never tick the boxes that say “I’d like you to send me marketing emails whenever you like”. I supposed that when I signed up with Rojo, this option didn’t exist. So they’ve now added that option. But they’ve added it for all users with the “please spam me” option turned on. So I had to go into my user account and specifically turn it off. They should have added it with the option turned off and allowed users to opt in rather than having to opt out.

The second problem was worse. I’ve mentioned before how (and why) I don’t read HTML email. My email program is configured to show me the plain text version of any mail I am send. Except Rojo sent me an HTML email which was labelled as plain text. So in my mail program I got a dump of raw HTML. For a technical company this is a basic error. It just makes them look completely unprofessional.

I replied to their mail, explaining these problems. Only to find that their email had been sent from an email address that didn’t accept email. I know this is becoming more common, but to my mind it’s just plain rude. But by rummaging around in the HTML I found a feedback address and sent my complains there. I got a nice reply saying that my mail had been passed on to the technical department.

And that was the situation a week ago. I had changed my account options to ask them not to send me mail and my points about the HTML email problem had been passed on to the technical department.

So imagine my surprise when I got another email from them this morning in exactly the same (broken) format. Their “please don’t spam me” account option doesn’t work. And they haven’t fixed their email.

I really wouldn’t consider using them. They obviously have either a total lack of knowledge about basic internet standards or they have chosen to completely ignore them.

Update: I’ve exchanged a couple of emails with Chris Alden the CEO of Rojo and I’m convinced that these were honest mistakes. They were mistakes that a serious technology company shouldn’t make, but they were mistakes none the less. Chris has also blogged on the subject.

4 thoughts on “ – How Not To Send Email”