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Mr. Spammer Should Use Mr. Google
What's the big deal about spam? Well, this sort of thing, from The Standard in Hong Kong:

Media professional Vincent Wong says he almost lost a customer when he failed to spot a HK$5,000 order among the 300 junk e-mails he gets daily.

In my case, unless you're a friend, a relative, my boyfriend, or a reader of my blog or column, you don't get my time without paying for it. You don't get to clog my e-mail box with spam to make your marketing cheap and easy. And, when I tell you I want my life back, you'd better remove me from your spam list, pronto.

Robert Sexton wouldn't do that. A few days ago, I posted a detailed blog item about my travails to get off his lists.

redSextonblogitem.jpg


In short, Robert Sexton ignored my repeated requests to be removed from his lists until I contacted a woman mentioned in almost all the spam I received from him. Finally, finally, after being spam-blasted by Sexton since as far back as February of this year, I was removed.

FebSextonspam.jpg

After all that, because I'd noted the brag in Sexton's spam, "Proud member of the Better Business Bureau," I thought I'd weigh in at the Los Angeles Better Business Bureau with my experience of Sexton's business practices. Here's my complaint:

Complaint Description - Posted 8-30-2007

Sexton spams me daily and calling and e-mailing to ask to be removed from his spam lists was no help. Google his name and you'll see numerous others who have been spammed by him.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=Robert+Sexton+spam&btnG=Search

Complaint Summary

Sexton appears to be a notorious spammer -- his way of getting business.

Resolution Sought

Stop spamming

Now, before we get to Robert Sexton's response, a little aside: I love a man who bills himself as an Internet business expert, yet who doesn't seem to be in the habit of Googling before he posts to see who, exactly, he's dealing with, and to see if maybe she'd posted some sort of pesky evidence corroborating her claim. Such as this:

sextonstop.jpg

And this:
sextonstop1.jpg

But, without further ado, here, from the Better Business Bureau site, is Robert Sexton's uh, inventive, response to my complaint:

Initial Response - Posted 8-30-2007

Ms. Alkon contacted our company about three weeks ago after having found our site ... and when we told her the cost of what we do, she became extremely irrational and she hung up, and has since harassed not only my company, but my business references as well. Ms. Alkon has already been given a cease and desist letter from us to not contact us, or any of our customers further. We appreciate Ms. Alkon actually providing her full contact info in this BBB complaint .. this will make having her served for her court summons that much easier. We're not sure what Ms. Alkon's issue with us is. I do recall an Amy Alcon who used to work for one of our competitors. Whether she is the same person, slightly misspelling her name, or someone else entirely, is unclear to me. In any event, we are not in any contact with Ms. Alkon, and she'd do well to simply walk away before she's sued for tortuous interference with a business establishment. As for the google link she mentions, it's a common tactic for our less reputable competitors to do that - posting fake emails, posing as disgruntled clients and do on. One such notorious competitor is a man named Charles Lloyd, whom the Amy I knew used to work for. A search on FTC.GOV will outline his fraudulent history, and if she's in fact the person I knew, she'd be well advised to seperate herself from him.

Initial Response Summary

Ms. Alkon needs to calm down.

Guess Sexton thought it would be his word against mine. Guess it didn't occur to Sexton that I might've taken screen shots of the little e-turds he kept hurling over my transom, and posted a detailed telling of my experience with his company.

Oops!

My reply on the BBB site:

This guy is lying. I'm a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, published author, and blogger. I don't work for spammers, I didn’t contact this guy after having "found (their) site," or ask for prices. Like many people, I have been being spammed by him for months on two different e-mail addresses, and complained because Sexton ignored my repeated e-mails asking him to stop. All the documentation to refute what he says above is here:

http://www.advicegoddess.com/archives/2007/08/how_do_you_feel_1.html

Or just google "Robert Sexton" and spammer

-Amy Alkon, syndicated columnist, advicegoddess.com

Sexton's a litigious little fucker -- or likes people to think he is by throwing out terms like "penal code" and "cease and desist" and by threatening legal action. I wasn't scared. Neither was this guy. Or this guy.

Of course, you gotta love a guy who intimates that he's going to come after me for "'tortuous' interference with a business establishment." Hint to Sexton: If you're attempting to seem all legal-like and intimidating, it's best if you spell "tortious" correctly. Furthermore, don't you think it's kind of rich for somebody who's been interfering with my business multiple times a day on some days, for over six months, to whine that I'm the one getting in their way?

Oh, and I almost forgot, about the existence of the mysterious "Amy Alcon"...strangely, for a woman supposedly in the employ of an Internet business, there doesn't seem to be an iota of evidence of such a person on the web! Google that and you get only one entry -- a misspelling of my name. Hmmm...could "Amy Alcon" actually be a figment of Mr. Sexton's hardworking imagination? I'll let you be the judge.

Now, in case anybody is under the slightest impression that I would have any reason to even consider doing business with a company like Sexton's, the way I get traffic is merely by posting stuff people want to read and link, and sending the links to my blog syndicator, Pajamas Media, to put up on their site for more people to read and link. And then, there's the occasional Insta-launch, a number of Breit spots on the horizon, and the occasional Nightline appearance and such. I dunno...something tells me I'm better off writing and gabbing for traffic than I am paying for it.

Yoohoo, Sexton...see the ads to the upper right? People pay ME because I'm blogging. I mean, when I'm not too busy trying to stem the flow of spam from asshats like you.

Finally, Mr. Sexton, out of a deep sense of remorse I hope you'll come to feel for taking my time and mucking up my e-mail with your crap, I suggest you do the ethical thing and go over to the left and click either the PayPal or Amazon link, and send me $1,000.

$1000?!

Well, yeah. You think my time comes cheap? Then again...it seems you do.

Posted by aalkon at September 3, 2007 11:16 AM

Comments

Love it. I sued a car dealership for their spam and they settled before going to small claims. See the check at

Posted by: Don at September 3, 2007 2:23 AM

It reminds me of a message scrawled on a door:

"You live in the vicinity of assholes".

Posted by: doombuggy at September 3, 2007 5:16 AM

Don, your link didn't post. We wanna see!

And doom, yes, exactly.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 3, 2007 6:08 AM

I have to laugh that Sexton was dumb enough to give me the name of Charles G. Lloyd. He wasn't hard to track down, thanks to Sexton's tip about about the case against Lloyd at FTC.gov. Apparently, according to postings on a BBS, Lloyd's new product is a toolbar for MySpace. I have the phone number of the company and I'll call him and ask about this "Amy Alcon" -- just for confirmation that she doesn't exist...it's not like I think she does. (I was going to e-mail to the contact number on the site but I thought better of it!)

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 3, 2007 6:59 AM

Ugh, reading about this man makes me feel dirty. And I'm not talking about the fun-with-my-boyfriend kind of dirty. I'm talking about "I need to go soak in a bathtub of bleach" dirty. What a CREEP.

Bravo, Amy, on your ability to keep cool/calm/collected. Please keep us all posted as this issue develops (though I'm sure you've already planned to do so!).

Posted by: Gretchen at September 3, 2007 7:28 AM

Thanks, Gretchen...I will.

I'm hoping other bloggers will take a similar tack against spammers. You can't really go after the ones in Romania, but it seems worth it to do something substantive to let the ones here know they can't get away with this shit.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 3, 2007 7:41 AM

Brava Amy, brava.

I was irritated reading his boldfaced lie, but I have to admit it seemed especially inventive of him to not only lie about your actions, but to turn it into an opportunity to sling mud at his competitor. Pretty sneaky.

Posted by: Elle at September 3, 2007 8:29 AM

He sure showed what he was made of!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 3, 2007 8:49 AM

the way I get traffic is merely by posting stuff people want to read and link,

How dare you!

Posted by: jerry at September 3, 2007 9:08 AM

Well, when I'm really desperate, I've been known to stoop a bit lower; ie, Will Show Undergarments For Traffic:

http://www.advicegoddess.com/archives/2006/03/one_more_thing.html

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 3, 2007 9:13 AM

Hey Amy, I see you tried to sign up for my site probably because I've been posting a log of Mr. Sexton's spam activity.

I have manually activated your account, check the thread for more info on what is being done to combat him.

This time he really is playing with the wrong person.

Posted by: Linsys at September 3, 2007 10:08 AM

You got that right!

And thanks, Linsys, and great site. Fighting the good fight.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 3, 2007 10:14 AM

Keep fighting the fight! zabasearch and ussearch both confirm that there is only one Amy Alcon and she has never lived outside Phoenix, AZ. Zaba has her phone number.

Posted by: Piper Elliott at September 3, 2007 11:04 AM

Ha! Thank you for looking that up. On double deadline, so the help is much appreciated!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 3, 2007 11:18 AM

Whatever you do, don't make fun of his hats... he'll have you charged with cyberterrorism!

Posted by: Lyle Zapato at September 3, 2007 12:28 PM

Off topic, but...

Hey Amy, I thought you might want to see this:

Fear of being "Insensitive to Muslims" gets Opus cartoon strip censored. The punchline is when you read the strip of concern.

It seems that more and more, even MENTIONING Muslims in ANY context is "insensitive". But then, hey, it's one step from putting an image of Mohamed in a cartoon...and we know what happens when you do that!

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/09/03/the-opus-cartoon-youll-only-see-at-salon/

Posted by: RedPretzel in LA at September 3, 2007 12:55 PM

Off topic, but...

Hey Amy, I thought this might be up your alley:

Fear of being "Insensitive to Muslims" gets Opus cartoon strip censored. The punchline is when you read the strip of concern.

It seems that more and more, even MENTIONING Muslims in ANY context is "insensitive". But then, hey, it's one step from putting an image of Mohamed in a cartoon...and we know what happens when you do that!

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/09/03/the-opus-cartoon-youll-only-see-at-salon/

Posted by: RedPretzel in LA at September 3, 2007 12:57 PM

The spammer I sued and won out of court for $500, you can see their check at http://www.1world-design.com/soundfordspam.html >

Posted by: Don at September 3, 2007 1:16 PM

His...hats? Please explain!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 3, 2007 2:06 PM

Anybody got a picture?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 3, 2007 2:41 PM

A spam of his about hats that I made fun of was what prompted the accusation of cyberterrorism against me:

http://zapatopi.net/blog/?post=200510012820.seeking_a_good_source_of_different_types_of_hats

(I neglected to link to that on the blog post of mine you linked to above. It's updated now, so the ridiculous context of Rob's accusation can be better appreciated. Parenthetical Summary: Mr. Sexton needs to calm down.)

Posted by: Lyle Zapato at September 3, 2007 6:55 PM

Well, what a coincidence, since the guy is an A-1 asshat.

Of course, the hats are just some weird bullshit tacked on, and is the key part of the e-mail:

I will a) demonstrate how you would benefit from what we do and b) answer any and all questions you have.

For anyone who's sincerely looking for a hat -- great hats, and a great guy who sells them -- I highly recommend Fedora Primo in Santa Monica, where I get groovy hats for myself and Gregg. Frank is the proprietor. Tell him Amy Alkon sent you. Or not.

http://fedoraprimo.com/mm5/merchant.mvc

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 3, 2007 7:10 PM

They have some really high-quality detective'y ones there:

http://fedoraprimo.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=FP&Category_Code=menFelt

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 3, 2007 7:11 PM

Ms. Alkon contacted our company about three weeks ago after having found our site ... and when we told her the cost of what we do, she became extremely irrational and she hung up, and has since harassed not only my company, but my business references as well...

How long is this guy's nose?

Posted by: Doobie at September 4, 2007 4:10 AM

Wrong question doob. The right one is "how short is his dick?"

Posted by: brian at September 4, 2007 5:02 AM

Here's Don's link, from an e-mail he replied to from me:

Hi Amy,

Yes that was me. In the preview, some how the link showed but not when posted.
http://www.1world-design.com/soundfordspam.html

A nice image of the check and simple story of what they tried to pull.

Don


Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 4, 2007 5:36 AM

'Tortuous Interference' is the legal term for when you are preventing maggots like him from torturing other people with spam.

Posted by: Russputin at September 4, 2007 1:14 PM

Exactly the way I see it.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 4, 2007 1:25 PM

Wrong question doob. The right one is "how short is his dick?"

Interesting concept! If a guy's dick got shorter the more he lied, would it get bigger if he told the more he told the truth?? O_O

Posted by: Flynne at September 4, 2007 1:41 PM

I meant "would it get bigger the more he told the truth." SHeesh, I cannot type today to save my life!

Posted by: Flynne at September 4, 2007 1:42 PM

Yeah. Huh. Just thinking about a truth-telling man got you all flustered, didn't it.

Posted by: brian at September 4, 2007 6:31 PM

Yeah. Huh. Just thinking about a truth-telling man got you all flustered, didn't it.

Caught me out, brian! o_

Posted by: Flynne at September 5, 2007 5:49 AM

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