Elston Partners & Spam (@elstonpartners )Posted: October 16, 2012 | |
I have received spam on several occasions from the Australian “Wealth Management” Company Elston Partners.
Of particular annoyance is their insistence on starting correspondence with “Dear Australian Expat”. Not Australian. Never been there. Didn’t sign up to this. Unsubscribing didn’t work.
Because it bugged me and, yes, because I’m under employed, I Googled around, found a few senior email addresses and sent them messages requesting to stop.
I received one back from direct investment manager Anthony Castellaro who apologised for the inconvenience and told me that I’d been taken off the database. He blamed it on an “email marketing company” which they had employed.
But then I get another email “Dear Australian Expat” spam from them today. Bugged, and still under employed, I left a message (see above) on their Facebook page with its one follower.
They essentially accused me of signing up to the spam, presumably after being removed from the database last time. Perhaps they think I missed the spam. Then when I tried to respond to that they either changed the Facebook wall settings or blocked me – I’m not sure but I could no longer message them. Which is just lovely.
That’s not communicating, that’s putting your hands over your ears and shouting: “LA! LA! LA! CAN’T HEAR YOU!”
Anyway, I’m writing this for two reasons. Firstly getting this in their Google results will be more of a pain to them than me bugging them and secondly because of the wider issue of spam in Vietnam which was made illegal this week. Beyond the banning of non-signed up for emails and text it includes the line: “A copy of any advertising mail and SMS sent out must also be sent to the Ministry of Information and Communications’ designated server.”
What really bugs about Elston Partners beyond their clunky rude comms is that they must have received my email from someone I trusted. This is not the first time this has happened. I’ve been phoned at my old British Council job by wealth managers. Who gives them my email and even my desk phone number? When I’ve asked they’ve always said “let me check that for you” and never got back to me.
It’s very easy to sneer at the waves of spam you can get from less than subtle Vietnamese operators but there are western organisations playing ball too. Someone is selling business cards.
That said, I’ve been genuinely shocked by some of the online tactics of even large international organisations in Vietnam. I’ll write more about them one day. This doesn’t begin and end with Old Quarter hotels writing false reviews on TripAdvsior.
In the meantime, Elston Partners, can we stop this now?
Update 19.10.12: Finally had a proper response from Peter McVeigh, a director at Elston Partners which reads as follows:
I have spoken to the people involved and they assure me that your details have been removed from the marketing list involved. By way of background your information was provided to us by a Singaporean based financial services businesses who we are collaborating with. We did not buy this list from them but it was provided to us in good faith and we were of the understanding that the contacts on the list had previously dealt with this firm and were Australian expats.
Great to see some transparency and actual communication finally but it still begs the question – where did the Singapore firm get the details from?