Posts tagged “email”

Bizarre request du jour

Another random email comes my way

Hi Steve:

I am hoping to get a picture of a UPS truck/driver delivering packages to horses in a corral. One of the horses needs to have a big pencil in his mouth – like he’s signing for his packages.
This is for a PowerPoint presentation to be used one time. UPS wanted tons of red tape to make this happen. I need it by 6/27/05
Any thoughts?

I did recently blog a photo of a UPS truck, but still, why would someone ask me this? I sought some explanation

sorry. I am searching for UPS pictures and I ran across yours. You seemed like a very creative type. thought you might have some interesting ideas.
Nothing ventured…nothing gained.

Interesting how people use the Internet. As Tom sez It would be perfect to show a monkey clinging for dear life to the antenna of a fast-moving 1972 Nova. Can we get that? Somebody write to that Portigal guy

Chip engineer seeks employment

Here’s an email I just received; presumably in response to my Museum of Foreign Groceries, but of course not someone who pays very close attention.

Subject: my cv
To: steve at portigal dot com

Hi I have 8 years experience in potato chips processing with Heat and
Control,Kiremko,H&H,FMC equipments.Also in frying oil formulation and
potato chips flavor fomulation.If you need some one with this experience
please E mail me.I am food processing technology engineer.I willbe waitting for your E mail.

Reminds me of similar weird and inappropriate contacts received before (here and here)

Data Deposit Box – Customer Horror

I’ve been using this online backup service called Data Deposit Box for a couple of months now. It’s a piece of software that watches the folders you specify and pretty much is running all the time to upload the latest version of your documents. You get billed based on how much you store. Last week I got my first bill (the first month was free) for $19.17, for a month.

And then last night I got three emails from them

To: Steve Portigal
Subject: System – Partner Billing

Name: Interbaun
Systems: 39
Storage: 40.33 GB
Start: 2005-05-01
End: 2005-05-31
Total: 186.82


To: Steve Portigal
Subject: System – Partner Billing

Name: Magma
Systems: 193
Storage: 414.33 GB
Start: 2005-05-01
End: 2005-05-31
Total: 1094.02


To: Steve Portigal
Subject: System – Partner Billing

Name: Primus Resi
Systems: 2
Storage: 38.54 MB
Start: 2005-05-01
End: 2005-05-31
Total: 4.44

Argh, nearly $1300 was billed to me overnight? I just about flipped. I googled the Magma and Primus names and saw them listed as ISP customers of DDB, and was relieved. I sent in an urgent support request and did receive this back

I?m very sorry you received the other 3 emails. You recieved them in error. I can assure you that your credit card was not charge for these amounts and never will be.

A small problem with our email server caused these emails to go to the wrong list. The problem has been fixed and will not happen again.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

and then this broadcast email

To: Steve Portigal
Subject: Important Information regarding incorrect Invoice Emails

Dear Data Deposit Box Subscriber,

Due to an error in our system last evening you may have received three Data Deposit Box invoice emails by mistake.

Please disregard these emails as they were not intended for you.

This error was due to a mistake on our part and was not a result of any security breach.

Your credit card has not been charged.

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

Now THAT is an email error you don’t want to make? They sent all their individual customers the bills from some big clients? Oops!

I [hate] Yahoo

Yahoo is the latest incompetent organization for support.

I’m having very frustrating problems with my Yahoo email account – not the free stuff some people have; SBCGlobal/Yahoo is my ISP, I pay for ’em.

I really only use that account for Undercover, the Rolling Stones mailing list I run. The problems became much clearer when list traffic picked up dramatically over the last few days. Email from members – myself included – was taking hours to get to the distribution list. I went through a process to “whitelist” with Yahoo, but they rejected us, since it’s a mailing list, not an ISP (or something? I don’t quite understand what the problem was – they want it all to trace back to a unique IP address – ironically I’m having almost the opposte problem with AOL, but that’s a separate post).

Here’s what they told me

Since your emails are not sent from a dedicated IP address used solely for your mailings, we cannot systematically exempt your email from our SpamGuard technology.

Please be aware that Yahoo! Mail users are able to set their own preferences for the manner in which they receive your mailings. If the recipients of your messages want to ensure they receive your emails in their Inbox, you may want to ask them to set up a filter in Yahoo! Mail specifically for your emails, or have them add your email address(es) to their Yahoo! Address Book.

The problem goes back; I actually had problems with all the admin messages the list software generates being tagged as “bulk” by Yahoo and no matter how many times I tagged them as “not spam” they’d still end up as bulk. I finally gave up on their filtering software and had them just deliver all the bulk email to me. I couldn’t override their insistence that it was all bulk. Nothing like having something like that out of your own control.

But anyway now my own messages are ending up in the bulk folder. When I post to my own list, it ends up as bulk, and all the other subscribers are finding the same thing.

I put my own address in my Yahoo address book. Which makes no sense, but okay. When I send email from my client software (i.e., I use Eudora, but the same idea as using Outlook) it ends up as Bulk. When I sent it from their web interface, it doesn’t. That seems totally weird.

I responded to the whitelist rejection with this info. Today I got this response.

Subject: Re: Customer Support Request Site Change

Dear SBC Internet Customer,
Our Support Request site has recently changed.
Please submit your question or comment via our new online form available at
Thank you for contacting SBC Yahoo!

Why the heck am I getting email from Ameritech, a company I’ve never done business with? I clicked on their link and am given an opportunity to contact support. And then it asks for my password. I get really nervous – isn’t this a standard phishing technique? I spend a few minutes convincing myself the site is legit, and go through the process of entering all my contact info and then typing up the problem in detail, and I hit submit.

“We’re sorry; there’s been a techincal problem. Please wait a few minutes and try again.”


And when I hit “back” on the browser, all the data I’ve typed in is gone.

This is so incredibly frustrating. Really hair-tearing out stuff. Argh. Yahoo, you sux!

Update: Maybe they did process my response (after that billing@ameritech message telling me they didn’t) because I just received this


Thank you for contacting Yahoo! Customer Care.

We appreciate the information you have provided and are looking into the
delivery issue you reported. Please be assured that we’re continuing to
take steps to make Yahoo! Mail the best email service on the planet.

Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Customer Care.

Update: Seems that my emails getting flagged as spam may have stopped as of May 16, 3 days after I first posted this? I never heard back about any resolution, but I notice that was the point at which the symptoms ceased. Who knows?

Time traveler Spam

If you are a Time Traveler from Dimension D1263GT10, year 2008 or Dimension D2044GT5, year 2432 and or in possession of the Dimensional Warp Generator wrist watch, the Carbon Copy Replica model #52 4350 series or similar technology I need your help! My entire life and health has been messed with by evil beings! I simply need the safest method of transferring my
consciousness or returning to my younger self with my current mind/memory. I need an advanced time traveler to work with who can help me, I’d would prefer someone with access to teleportation as well as a variety different types of time travel. This is not a joke! I am serious! Please send a separate email to me at: if you can help! Thanks

Spam of the Week, Again

I got your email from ICQ, may be it will be interested?
The BEST zoo site on the @net!
Sex With Dogs
Horse Blow Jobs.
Snake Fuck.

Good luck.

And of course, I got four copies of this, one to each of my different email addresses


Today’s interesting spam is not something I will share the details of, suffice to say that it is for the Kegelmaster 2000.

Folks, I don’t make this stuff up.

Huh? Spam of the day


We received a call today from a gentleman who needed multiple copies of EZ Maintenance for his truck centers over a tri-state area. Unfortunately, the caller did not leave a call back number.

If you were not the caller, our apologies for sending you this E Mail. If you did call us, we are quite interested in working with you, and if you would be so kind as to call (661) 286-0041 and leave your call back number, we will contact you immediately.


Wayne D. McFarland
EZ Maintenance Software

How do the spammers know I’ve always wanted to travel to Turkey?

From: “Hotel Asena Beach”
To: steve
Subject: sales dep.
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 02:33:16 +0200

Dear Sir/Madam,
We are hotelier in Turkey / Fethiye
our hotel is by the Oludeniz which is the best beach choise in Turkey.
We woul like to work with your company for summer 2002.
For more information please contact us.Here are our room rates for your company

MAY 18 EURO %50 %50 %50
JUNE 25 EURO %50 %50 %50
JULY 37 EURO %50 %50 %50
AUGUST 37 EURO %50 %50 %50
SEPTEM 27 EURO %50 %50 %50
OCTOBER 18 EURO %50 %50 %50

PS:PLEASE REPLY TO FAX:+90 252 617 0487

With Sincere Best Wishes
Suleyman BUYRUK
Reservation Supervisor

Belcekiz mevkii
48340 Mugla/Turkiye

TEL :+90 252 617 0154
FAX :+90 252 617 0487
GSM :+90 533 650 0239

What’s the frequency, Kenneth?

New spam-attention-grabbing-technique using the ol’ subject line.

I got two messages today, one with the subject line “is everything ok, mrs. burlando” and another with the subject line “is everything ok, mrs. glanzman.” Some sort of prescription drug bypass service.


This is a pretty groovy disclaimer (found at the beginning of a piece of spam email I received):

Warning! This message is intended solely for individuals of legal age interested in sex with animals. Please delete it immediately if extreme explicit materials may be offensive for you or in your community or you are younger than 18 years..


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