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 If you have a problem concerning unsolicited or spam email, please read what we consider a valid Complaint before filing.

    The subject of email spams is as controversial as talking about abortion. Since there is no exchange of money for a product or service, we do not consider it a Consumer Complaint. Some people believe they should not receive anything in their "in" box that they didn't request. Others don't seem to mind at all. There are two sides to this debate. We understand it is currently politically correct to condem all commercial email, but lets look at it from both sides for the moment, in an effort to understand why it is a problem.

    Mass commercial emailing is not an acceptable practice. There are plenty of sites on the net pertaining to netiquette. This should be required reading when people get a commercial account from an Internet Access Provider.

    A few individual States have passed legislation; one being that of the Washington [June 1998]. Until specific federal laws are passed to define this, Netcheck will remain neutral. There are hundreds of people on Usenet posting complaints about email spams every day. We believe they are justified. Usenet is topic specific and should remain so.

    If you look at history, advertising has a way of becoming something we do not have a lot of control over. TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines are all made possible or cost controlled by advertisers.

    The problem doesn't seem to be going away for a few reasons. On one side, it isn't fair to waste someones time reading unwanted junk email. Especially the type sent by companies only interested in turning a fast buck with some offer of instant wealth trying to find people who still believe that you can get something for nothing. The spam is usually a mile long and sent out bcc: or cc: to hundreds of addresses. This is not an ethical way to do business. You can't really blame anyone for getting mad.

    We don't accept complaints anymore on spam mainly because we found 80% of it is being sent from offshore foreign accounts to avoid US Laws.

    As far as the small companies with something of value to offer maybe a little tolerance is in order. They won't be in business very long on page 14 of a search engine and they can't afford to buy ad space on a major search engine. Most of what is suggested as alternative ways to increase traffic doesn't work very well. If the email notice is kept short and only sent individually to someone ONCE, we will not consider this a spam. Complaints about a single, short email will not be accepted by Netcheck.

    So here we have defined the two sides of the unsoliciated email problem. Rather than consider any email notice not requested as a spam, we choose to promote a little tolerance, only because the possibilities that accompany government and legal intervention look a lot worse to us, than the effort it takes us to glance at an email header, and hit the trash button. This does not mean that we condone mass emailing, MLM scams, or ghost software products. However, we have to limit our involvement on the subject of Email Spamming Complaints and concentrate on the Goals of Netcheck. . .

. . .To protect consumers and to promote a safe and ethical Internet

    We have started a page for your intelligent opinions. Obviously there are people on both sides of this issue. If after a period of time there is a general consensus which differs greatly from the policies set above we will consider changing them. We have based the definition of ethical business practices not on our version of right and wrong, but on simple common sense from the start. We are only as strong as the amount of people that use our services. Netcheck is here for the people, so let us know your view on this subject. You can read the public opinion submitted so far in our Point/Counterpoint section.


    Thomas Abbott

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