Sunday, February 10, 2008

What Other Moms Are Saying About Mamasource

Many have implied that it was just me having trouble with the email harvesting that took place, even Mr. Artie Wu himself in a personal email he wrote to me today.

Upon further investigation,

I can tell you that I am not the only one - this has happened to countless others!

Here are some random thoughts and snippets of other moms who've experienced the same thing, and if you'll notice the dates on the forum, this has all taken place recently.



Random talk from the Urban Baby Community Board:

why do I keep getting e-mails to join mamasource. did they hijak someone's mailbox?

Is Mamasource a new hip thing? i just got a tree planted through it.

no, it sucks, and you're spamming it

Apparently, it's akin to a parasite, sucking off your contact list. Please don't spam it here

okay but i don't know how it would get my contact list.

okay but nobody has told me that they got any emails from me about it. i didn't give out anyone's emails

oh! sneaky

How do i UNSUBSCRIBE from HELP ME. (there is no working UNSIBSCRIBE LINK!)

mark as spam

i do not want to be a member. how do i get out?

omg me too. they are so annoying!! i dont even know how i am a member!

i'll post it if i do. but they suck.

thanks i am sick of their mail everyday

in the "contact me" section, you can email them. no idea if they will respond

I signed up for mamasource and everyone in my email address book keeps getting 'flowers' sent to them. I don't know how to get it to stop.

my friend planted a tree in my name - perhaps it hijacked her address book, too

I can't get it to stop!!

what is this? i keep getting emails from friends for it

There has to be an opt-out (according to the CAN-SPAM ACT there must be an opt-out!)

I just wrote to them asking to cancel my membership immediately

anyone know anything about mamasource? an acquaintance keeps inviting me but it sounds hokey

what is it?

i checked it out yesterday on advice from someone on ub. it was very hokey.

I'm so embarrassed. I signed up for that mamasource site and it sent a freaking flower to EVERYONE in my address book. I thought I deselected it. Grrrrr.

happened to me a lot of angry emails from people i had not been in touch with for a long time. so bad!

What do you mean "a flower"? And how the fuck does it get access to your e-mail addys?

what is it


that site is creepy


watch Mamasource - I got spammed when my friend joined and gave them addresses of her friends. It was annoying.

Anyone know anything about Mamasource? Someone sent me an email wanting to plant a free tree on my behalf? I do know this person, but never heard of this.


Do you really think that a site like this is trustworthy??? Do you really think I am barking up the wrong tree here?

Please leave your comments, tell me your thoughts!

Let's get to the bottom of this mess...NOW!


Anonymous said...

did he send you an email? i thought you said no one was responding to you.

what did he say? can you just post his email?

Mama What? said...

Artie Wu sent me an email today, but I don't feel it is appropriate to post it in its entirety here, although I will elaborate with some quotes.

On having control of my address book with with the Trees For The Future invite, he did say, "During this process, at all times, the user has full control over which contacts are invited or not. If a contact is not selected, no email (invitation or otherwise) is ever sent."

We know this is NOT true. Not for the Trees For the Future Email Invite, and not for The Breast Cancer Cure Flower Invite.

As far as not having an unsubscribe link, he states, "Regarding emails, we are in full compliance with all regulatory statutes like CAN-SPAM and others. If you have unsubscribed from our emails but
are still receiving them, please let me know as I would be very surprised to hear that."

This is very interesting as there is NO working unsubscribe link and there is not one person I know of, not even among those members who love Mamasource, who have been able to unsubscribe, or opt-out, because there is no way to opt-out, unless you email support.

It is specifically stated in the CAN-SPAM ACT of 2003 ""Your email must give recipients an opt-out method. You must provide a return email address or another Internet-based response mechanism that allows a recipient to ask you not to send future email messages to that email address, and you must honor the requests. You may create a "menu" of choices to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to end any commercial messages from the sender."

This is clearly not the case with Mamasource's unsubscribe link.

See for yourself here:

There are too many unanswered questions and too many other women who have fallen prey to these sneaky, underhanded tricks. I don't want anyone else to lose sleep and endure the wrath and ire of their friends and colleagues, like I did and like countless other moms did as well.

I wrote back to him and as of 10PM Sunday evening, have not heard back.

This was my reply:

Hi Artie -

Nice to hear from you personally.

The things that happened to me have happened to many other women,and when I hear from them personally about how they've been spammed, I feel very justified in continuing what I've started.

There are several things you need to fix in order for me to let up:

1. create an unsubscribe link that actually goes to an unsubscribe page, not an email preferences page. A user must be able to opt-out with one-click. At this point, none of your subscribers can do that...none. This IS in violation of the CAN-SPAM act.

From the CAN-SPAM ACT:

"Your email must give recipients an opt-out method. You must provide a return email address or another Internet-based response mechanism that allows a recipient to ask you not to send future email messages to that email address, and you must honor the requests. You may create a "menu" of choices to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to end any commercial messages from the sender."

Other moms have said:

"i used to be a member of mamasource and it used to be okay. i changed email addresses because i tried for a year to unsub and it wouldn't let me and was ticking me off royally!"

"I tried unsuccessfully for a while to unsub from the INDIVIDUAL emails because it got to be so many. I finally just switched it to the daily digest, so it's not flooding my mailbox all day, but I usually delete them without looking at them now."

2. I am not the only one whose email address book was harvested. There is no indication that users can select people from their address books...the emails go to everyone in their address books, andthis is spammy and unethical. And using The Breast Cancer Fund to solicit moms in this way? Pathetic. That page you get when you sign up is a blatant pitch page encouraging moms to enter their email passwords so you can harvest all their addresses? Equally pathetic.

Other moms have said:

"I joined Mamasource this morning look for cakes/bakeries for my daughter's upcoming birthday. Now a couple of my friends have emailed me and thanked me for the "flower"? In my profile(on mamasource) it shows members I have invited, flowers I have sent...whoa! Hold on,I didn't send anything to anyone. What is going on?"

"What a shady way to spread your everyone in my gmail address book will get a flower? Oh niiice....So not cool."

"I recently got invited there to plant a tree or something, by a friend of mine. So, I clicked the link and did the tree thing, but when it asked for permission to invite others by getting into my email, I bailed. I thought it was kind of weird."

"I received the tree planting invite from a family member and I was disappointed when it signed me up to mommasource. Maybe I'm naiive but that email was really misleading. I'm not interested in being a part of something that has to be sneaky to get members."

"a forum spamming my friends, a little tacky on their part."

"I've been spammed several times by my unsuspecting friends, who I am sure only wanted to plant a tree. I, like alot of people i'm sure, want to be kind to our environment. However, something bugged me about the fact that when I didn't respond right away, the email requests just kept coming. It smelled like spam; so before i clicked on the link, I decided to google mamasource first, and i ran into your site. Great job in helping me avoid a spam nightmare!! Thanks! I'll be reporting them to the site you suggested."

3. Fix your mailservers. Come on, you ran a huge Internet company so you really can't tell me that your mailservers are configured like those of other spammers incorrectly by accident.

DNS Report

Missing Reverse DNS record for MX records. It is required by RFC 1912 that you have reverse DNS (PTR) records for all of your mail servers. If you do not have reverse DNS entries, your email may not arrive some of the strict mail servers.

WARN Mail server host name in greeting WARNING: One or more of your mailservers is claiming to be a host other than what it really is (the SMTP greeting should be a 3-digit code, followed by a space or a dash, then the host name). If your mailserver sends out E-mail using this domain in its EHLO or HELO, your E-mail might get blocked by anti-spam software. This is also a technical violation of RFC821 4.3(and RFC2821 4.3.1). Note that the hostname given in the SMTP greeting should have an A record pointing back to the same server.Note that this one test may use a cached DNS record.

FAIL Acceptance of postmaster address ERROR: One or more of yourmailservers does not accept mail to
Mailservers are required (RFC822 6.3, RFC1123 5.2.7, and RFC2821 4.5.1) to accept mail to postmaster.

WARN Acceptance of abuse address WARNING: One or more of your mailservers does not accept mail to Mailservers are expected by RFC2142 to accept mail to abuse.

4. Nothing to fix here, but on the matter of your private registration, it is toobad no one can get through to your hosting company and the private registrar you use also protects porn sites and equally unappetizing domains of that sort.

I don't buy it Artie. But maybe, just maybe, if you fix some of these things and stop sending email invites, you will stop being labeled as a spammer by me and many other moms who have had less than stellar experiences with your site,with its shady email tactics and harvesting techniques.

All the best,