Spam may seem like a silly thing to complain about. We’ve all gotten used to the dregs of the netverse trying to hit our mailboxes with Viagra deals, organ enlargement offers, casino sites and Nigerian hoaxes, after all. Spam blockers have a full time role in our online lives today. But is it too much to expect better from a known company? The company in question is Essar and here’s why they’re coming into my story.

I’ve been receiving emails from a certain ‘Avid-Avidedu‘ for months now. These are generally announcements of events of some sort, usually focussing on culture with a semi-religious undertone. It didn’t interest me the first couple of times and I just deleted the mails without a thought.

After a few more of these came my way, I began looking for a way to unsubscribe. But that courtesy lifeline, provided to mailing list recipients, even if it is in tiny letters, “To unsubscribe, please click here“, was nowhere to be seen.

I took that for a simple (but really, quite unforgivable) oversight. So I emailed back to the addresses, instead, telling them that I was not interested and could they please take me off their list? That mail saw no replies.

Many more days and emails later, I visited their website to look at the ‘Contact Us’ section. All it had was their postal address and a form to sign up for updates. There wasn’t a section to leave a message. Interestingly, now the website is still there but the ‘Contact Us’ section doesn’t lead anywhere. Typing the URL in takes you to a 404 error.

They are also on Facebook but their page does not allow outside posts on the wall. And here is their Twitter stream. I’ve left a comment on one of their Facebook posts, sent them a Facebook message and tweeted to them. No responses to report.

Here’s what their latest email had.:

Look at the quality of text, images etc. There’s obviously a lot of work going on to create this.

Never mind the ranting about whether an ordinary netizen should be subjected to this today. What purpose does this serve exactly? There are emails coming my way, periodically so obviously someone at their end is working and working hard to put that content out. What kind of a bizarre system is this that churns out content, events, updates of those events but makes no response to messages? Being a content provider myself, I can only pity that poor souls who work so hard to create experiences & content. This is only alienating their audience and turning indifference to irritation.

Here are all the ways they’re managing to throw their content out, while shutting out anyone else’s voice to them:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/avidedu
Twitter: https://twitter.com/avidlearning
Email addresses: avid@essar.com
Phone numbers: (from this tweet)

Avid Education, you need to learn how to listen to your fellow netizens and possible audience. Essar, what are you thinking?

Update: I just received a reply to my Facebook message, asking for my email address and saying that they would take me off. Avid, I hope you’ve taken note of this experience to spot a glaring problem in your online presence.

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