Thursday, March 03, 2011

Review SPAM

In amongst my e-mail for my business account today was this SPAM:

Dear Lynn Viehl,

Thank you for purchasing from [online bookseller] three weeks ago.

You're welcome. Now why are you bothering me? I got everything. I paid for everything, too.

According to our records, you haven't yet reviewed everything you bought.

I haven't read everything -- wait a minute. Reviewed? When did I say I'd review anything?

If you enjoyed a title, won't you please take a moment to write your review? Reviews help other [online bookseller] members make more informed purchase decisions and help authors market their books.

Oh, so now you're asking. Or did you change your terms of service so that I have to write a review when I purchase something? Did buy you guys or something?

To write a review, simply follow the link to the book's page and click "Review Book": [Title of novel I purchased] [link]

I just realized: this is review SPAM. I've never gotten review SPAM. Buy my freakin' book SPAM, sure, but Review my freakin book? And it isn't even the author SPAMming me. I'm not sure how to handle this. Do I send it to the author and say "Tell your stupid bookseller to get off my back?" Do I make fun of it? Well, of course I make fun of it, it's SPAM, but otherwise . . . hmmm.

Reviews are also a great way for you to build your own presence on the site.

Yeah, I want my name to be plastered all over a site that used the PayPal address of their unsuspecting buyers to SPAM them. I'd be a complete fool to pass up this incredible opportunity. Sign me up! Now!

Once you write a review, you will be credited as the author of the review and other [online bookseller site] members will be able to click on your screen name to visit your member page, where they can read your other reviews, as well as any other optional information you care to share such as your photo and bio.

What about pictures of my eye surgery last year, now that I've come clean about it? I have them in all stages, from presurgical infected mess to grossly swollen, stitched, oozing mini horrorshow. Or I could just show off some of my other scars. Want to see the knee? It makes strong men weep. Honestly. My doctor doesn't even like to look at it directly anymore. He uses a cardboard box viewer, you know, like when there's an eclipse of the sun?

And of course if you're an author yourself--

Huh? You mean, you don't know that I'm an author? After I offered you all those pictures? I'm hurt. I'm really hurt.

--and fellow readers find your reviews informative--

No, I'm an author, so of course I only write stupid, obtuse reviews that make readers hurl instantaneously. Still want me?

--then your book reviews serve as a nice indirect way to help other readers discover the books you've written when they click on your screenname to view your other reviews.

Jesus Christ. You people are really Machiavellian. I almost like you for it, bless your evil SPAMmy little hearts.

If you no longer wish to receive these reminders--


--please click the following link: [link]

Clicking. Link doesn't work. Why am I not surprised?

Thanks for supporting [online bookseller site] authors!

No, thank you for giving me something funny to post on my weblog.


  1. This was a fun read ;) I'm so glad you got spammed!


  2. Ha, wow...I purchase books online sometimes and [insert online book selling company] will also send me similar spam asking me to rate, review, etc.

    The last line is golden.


  3. Spam, at least it's good for something!

  4. :snort:

    I know who this came from, glad I haven't used PayPal for any of my purchases.

    Love how you handle spam!

  5. Haha. Not only is it good for a laugh, but now it's gotten the Monty Python song stuck in my head.

  6. hmmm... that sounds vaguely familiar.

  7. Huh. I thought this was normal.

    My online dvd rental service does the same thing, begging for reviews of titles I've rented.

    Lately I'm having an increasingly hard time distinguishing between spam & promotion, esp on twitter & fb. Lines are getting blurry for me.

    Of course I have NOT had my eye surgery & I have new toric contacts which are making the whole world askew so that could be the prob.

  8. Interesting, since I order from several online booksellers and never got something like this. I would seriously consider taking my business elsewhere if I did.

  9. I get review emails after purchases from Amazon and Zappos. I sometimes use PayPal on shopping sites but more times than not, I charge purchases. I get the review spam either way. I'll keep shopping from those sites and I ignore the emails, but with books, it could be years before I get around to reading something. Sure, a review on a book now out of print will be very useful! :)

  10. I got one of these a couple weeks ago. I thought it was a nice idea, a reminder for people who don't think to review seeing as I know how much it does for getting the books out.

    However, the opt out link HAS to work. Otherwise it just becomes spam.

    On the other hand, I did enjoy your commentary :). The request I got was much more polite and not wordy. Something along the lines of "We noticed you purchased X. Would you be interested in reviewing it to help other people find it? If so, click here."

  11. *hugs* on the eye surgery.

    I think I've got a review SPAM email like that once or twice. I delete immediately.

  12. A very entertaining read =)

  13. That's great! I've never received a review request from anything I bought online. Maybe my spam filter caught it?

    Anyway, thanks for sharing.