Is It Possible to Unsubscribe from Democracy for America’s List?

I have been trying almost a year to get off the Democracy for America spam list. I call it spam, as only the fact that Democracy for America is not a corporation prevents Tom Hughes from being thrown in federal prison for his tactics.

To date, I have tried:

  1. Using the unsubscribe form linked to in the e-mails, multiple times.
  2. Replying to the e-mail.
  3. Using the general contact form on the Web site.
  4. Calling the hucksters on the phone and politely demanding to be taken off. An exploited member of the underclass working for slave wages assured me I’d be taken off. This was weeks ago. Update: They are no longer exploiting wage-slaves, as they have stopped answering their phones–the hallmark of a transparent, democractic, and open organization. You now must know an extension or a name to contact anyone there. I may have to try Tom Hughes.

At the moment Tom Hughes is criticizing Tom DeLay–for ethics violations. Tom (Hughes), how ethical is it to fake an unsubscribe form? This puts you in the ethical companionship of pyramid-schemers, fake penis-enlargement pill-pushers, misogynistic porn peddlers, and Nigerian scammers.

Tom Hughes, consider cleaning up your own house before you criticize anybody else.

Now there’s something I haven’t tried–maybe this is a way to solicit a bribe a la his brother-in-ethics, Tom DeLay.

As a guy who writes Web applications like this for a living, I can tell you–it is not hard after NINE MONTHS to find and fix a problem with an application that takes an e-mail, matches it in the database, and removes it. It’s a trivial problem, even if you want to put in fancy features, like preventing someone from unsubscribing masses of e-mails maliciously or finding close matches of e-mails provided you. IT IS NOT HARD, so I can only conclude that Democracy for America is beyond incompetent and is now actively fraudulent.

Maybe I should take up a collection to put up some billboards in Vermont.

Tom Hughes, you owe me and the public an apology.

Update, continued. It seems that organizations with the initials DFA have a history of spamming and not being open and honest about their setup or whom is to blame for the practices they use. So this behavior is fairly typical.

And slimy.

2 thoughts on “Is It Possible to Unsubscribe from Democracy for America’s List?

  1. Hi Sandy,

    I’m sorry for your continuing frustration. We found that a field in our database wasn’t being set correctly by a vendor — leading to a group of people never being marked as unsubscribed.

    We’ve fixed the problem, and are now ensuring those people are taken off the list. If you email me at address above, I’ll manually check your address.

    (By the way, we’re still answering the phones, the phone tree picks up when our front office volunteers are on another call.)

    Tara, DFA


  2. Tara,

    Thanks for your personal offer of assistance, but as an organization: not good enough. I could have told you (and in fact in several e-mails did tell your organization) that your script wasn’t updating your database. I told you this months and months ago.

    So why should I believe you now that it really works after all this time, especially given DFA’s history?

    Let’s see a little transparency. Who is the vendor? I am frequently asked to recommend broadcast e-mail solutions, and I am certain you wouldn’t want to help out an incompetent vendor by covering up for their failures on such a basic part of e-mail list management.

    I also called your offices and left my name and number in addition to my e-mail address. How come you never input the list your not-even-living-wage-volunteers were compiling into a simple delete statement?

    It’s really trivially simple. You can even do it on Microsoft products. Even corporations can do it. In fact, I have a better track record with soulless corporations than I do with Dean/Democracy for America.

    So let’s have the name of the vendor and a post on your blog letting people know there was an error, apologizing, and inviting them to unsubscribe.

    That would go a long way to separating yourselves from commercial spammers in my book.


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