A few days ago, I was somewhat annoyed when an offer for listing one of my domains in “20 search engines” came in the mail, disguised as a bill. Of course it’s not REALLY a bill because it says on the back of it “THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A SOLICITATION. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED ABOVE UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS OFFER.” Yeah, that makes it legit I guess.
These jerks want $47.50 A YEAR to list my site in whatever search engines they submit them to. Never mind I can get it listed for free in several engines by submitting it myself. They also have some ranking position reports and other crap that I don’t really care about because, what, five people visit this site a day?
I briefly considered sending something back to spite them before I noticed the envelope they provided for doing so was not postage-paid. I then tossed it aside on my desk, where it sat until today. This offer was from “Listing Corp.” at 305 W Broadway Suite #118 in New York city.
Today, I was blessed to receive not one, not two, but THREE pieces of junk mail from “Domain Registry of America”. Actually, two of them said “Registration Services Incorporated” on the envelope and came from a different return address, but the (non postage-paid) envelopes they provided all pointed to Domain Registry of America, on 2316 Delaware Avenue Suite #266 in Buffalo, New York.
Strangely enough, the company I’m hosted with, 1and1, has a FAQ dealing with just this. These frads want $25 a year, when all the domains I have right now are costing me nothing because they’re included with my hosting package. Even if they weren’t, I’d only be paying $5.88 a year for each.
All four of the return envelopes mentioned on the back about not sending correspondence with my “payment”. Well, since I didn’t send any payment, I guess I followed that guideline. Also, the glue on these envelopes tasted pretty bad.
I also happened to get an offer from American Express about one of their “Blue” cards, and their postage-paid envelope lightened the load this would take on my finances. (Actually, I’m lying. I’m using my mom’s stamps. I do pay for the printer ink, though.) Strangely enough, the American Express reply envelope’s ink tasted a lot better than the others.
“Printer ink?” you say? Yes, indeed. Since these companies are in the business of sending things to people that they don’t want, I thought I would return the favor. What better to send back to them than porn? Not just any porn, either.
That’s right, hardcore furry porn. Using the magic of the Internet, I grabbed several pieces of “artwork” suitable for printing on plain 8.5 x 11 inch paper. This picture doesn’t show all four, though, because I had already put one in an envelope and sealed it. Whoops! My printer also didn’t use any cyan ink on one of them for some reason, so I cleaned the print head half a dozen times and reprinted it.
The American Express offer wasn’t originally going to be included in this, but I figured since I had an extra printout and the envelope was postage-paid that I wouldn’t be in the hole. I also stuffed some other junk mail crap in the envelope to make it a bit heavier.
On the back of each printout (except the one that got screwed up), I included a courteous message to the company the picture was being mailed to about how I didn’t need their services. I also surreptitiously placed the confirmation numbers they gave me in one of the corners of the page. If they’re even somewhat inquisitive, it should be cake for them to track it back to me, but I don’t really care if they do or not.
Yesterday, the letters got dropped into a blue public mailbox outside my place of work. I would’ve taken a picture but I wussed out of doing so, because I was right out in the open next to a busy street.
I really doubt anything is going to happen because of this, but I’m ignorant as to whether I’m breaking any laws or rules about using our postal system. Anybody out there have any idea as to the legality of this? UPDATE: There’s this (scroll down to Obscenity & Sexually Oriented Advertising), but does it really fit?