Get your email from Yell?

Well, spammers are replying to my emails to them. I have not taken any more to court - waiting to see how we do with Huxley.

However, I am concerned that many are saying that they bought a list from a "reputable list provider", and in one case named "Yell" as a supplier.

Obviously if I had put my email on a list it may be argued that the spam was not "unsolicited". Though I have to wonder what list one could opt-in to where you agree to be sent junk mail.

Then you have the interesting point that if someone else put one of my email addresses in to such a system, that is not me, so not valid. Though they claim to be people that check the emails (emailing them to double check you did sign up), which should avoid that.

Clearly this is a ruse as I did not put the email address on any such list of site. The email address in question is one I never use.

Anyway, to try and thwart that annoying argument I have set up a new email address specially for this, that I will never ever use to send emails and I will never ever put in any web sites or opt in lists.

So, don't email me at adrian@i-hereby-opt-out-of-any-marketing-emails.me.uk

The idea being anyone saying that I opted in to a list gets told to read the email address and think again. No idea if a judge would understand the point here. Maybe one day I'll find out. But it is a clear English statement that I am very much not opting in.


  1. I once attempted to use copyright law to get at some spammers. The honeyed email address was a haiku... a haiku that explained its terms of use only permitted reproduction of the haiku as part of a unsolicited email upon payment of a fee.

  2. The ICO has previously confirmed to me that if you opt in to junk telephone calls from company A, who then sell those details to company B, company B is required to screen calls against TPS, whilst company A isn't - i.e. the "opt in" does not carry over from one company to another. So I would presume the same is true for emails.

    The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 says that someone can't send junk email "unless the recipient of the electronic mail has previously notified the sender that he consents" - it would seem to me that if you notified Yell that you consent and they then sell your email address off, you would not have not have notified the "new" sender of your consent, and therefore the new sender couldn't legally send you marketing email.

    If they claim to email you to check you really did sign up, presumably you could produce SMTP logs showing this never happened (and demand that they produce logs showing it did).

  3. Have you thought of offering email addresses to customers for all these domains that you have? :-) On of my personal domain, used for Jabber/XMPP and not for email is chat-with.me.uk, since registering, I've had a few people create accounts on the server. All people I know.

    1. I have a couple of rather special email domains, including fuck.me.uk. I probably should set up a system to sell email forwarded addresses on some of these even if only for a nominal sum.

  4. I'm not sure there even any 'reputable' suppliers of lists of emails, because having a list doesn't give you permission to spam anyone on it... So how does the list have any value? The buyer was scammed.

    If yell are indeed selling such lists then need to be called out on it (DPA?)

    1. Indeed, I was tempted to buy such a list from Yell, and see what it has, and discuss the use with DPA. If they sell a list to allow spamming and the rules are that one cannot use it, then the selling of the list is a scam.

  5. I've started handing out email addresses to companies in the form:


    but they're rather hard to read out over the phone...


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