Don't Spam to Apologize for Spam

The Consumerist headline says it all: Pizza Hut Sends Unsolicited Email To Apologize For Sending Unsolicited Email

Or does it? Let's talk it through.

Look, I can see something bad happening accidentally. For as many email platforms I've worked with, there are just as many ways to accidentally send the wrong thing to the wrong list. I've seen it happen more than once (far more than once). And since CAN-SPAM came into effect, sometimes a legitimate, non-spamming company has to do things like receive a suppression list (and keep it, and use it as such) from another company, if they're going to advertise that company's product. (Example If a pizza restaurant chain were going to send out an ad that advertised a specific cola, they'd probably be required, under CAN-SPAM, to take the cola company's suppression list and ensure they send no email to anybody on the list. The transfer of data involved irks me, but it can't always be avoided.)

So, sometimes somebody will send an email to the wrong list. Or to a list of people that was never intended to be mailed. People who didn't opt-in to receive emails from that company, or didn't opt-in to that list. What do you call that? Spamming. So, if everything I've read is correct, then Pizza Hut apparently spammed people.

That sucks. That's not good. But, they recognized that they made a mistake. They fixed whatever happened, and hopefully, it'll never recur. Great? Great. Almost....

Almost, except for the fact that they spammed again to apologize for their original act of sending spam.

I don't know who served the Pizza Hut email; if it was some internal system or some email service provider. But, if it was sent via an email service provider, and if they have an online help section, there apparently needs to be a FAQ question & answer like the following:

Question: We accidentally emailed people we don't have permission to send email to. Should we email them an apology?
Answer: No. You don't have permission to email them to begin with. Sending them email is sending spam. Don't send spam! The way to fix an accidental spam issue is not to send more spam intentionally. Vet your practices, fix your issues; stop retaining data you shouldn't be retaining. But, do not send more spam!

It seems me. Apparently not everyone sees it that way.

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