• Category Archives La Bodega
  • Creative Ways of Pissing off Your Customers

    I have written before about restaurants in Kuala Lumpur with poor service, poor quality, poor hygiene and general poor value.  Don’t however think for one moment that Malaysian companies will limit themselves to such simple means of pissing off their customers.

    La Bodega seems to take this to a whole new level.  For the past year or so they have literally bombarded my email inbox with spam advertising.  We are not talking an occasional email – we are talking in average about 8-16 a month – no kiddin’.  They all end with this disclaimer:

    The Privacy Policy link, which at least appears to be working, will display the following page:

    It appears that the owners of La Bodega is using some third party service, and they claim not to be spamming.

    I have written emails to aliya@gastrodome.com.my, I have written emails to postmaster@gastrodome.com.my and I have clicked on the links to no avail.  I am STILL receiving countless emails.  In fact I got a sneaking suspicion that each time I click those “click here” I just get more emails as a result.  I sincerely hope that “aliya@gastrodome.com.my” end up in every single spam filter on this planet (and I have reported this to spamcop for a start).

    I have also written several times to info@gastrodome.com.my – the email listed on their web-site, but I guess they already got so much spam on that one that it is a waste of time to even mention that here.

    The first link with their privacy policy, appears to be working:
    It mentions that you can write to abuse@weblite.com.my – I have done that too.

    Trying to get removed result in a page like this:

    Well – it state that I have been successfully removed, however take a look at the top left corner.  I would not go so far as to claim that was a success.  And notice the campaign named “LB Set Menu 090712″.  What is the point of getting removed from a campaign that you already received the spam from, when apparently a few weeks later they make a new one and put your email into that too.

    Trying to get removed completely is even worse:

    This time TWO SQL errors – and need I say – the emails keep coming.

    I tried to call the phone number in the email, only to be asked to call another number to talk to the people responsible for marketing – someone named “Shani”.  However, Shani was conveniently on leave.  I did however talk to some assistant who informed me that when people call to complain she would “USUALLY” (I am not kidding – those were her words) remove them from the database manually.  In other words – I am not the first and they are very aware that their system does not work.  I asked the assistant how Gastrodome intended to compensate me for my wasted time – but to this she had no reply.

    Well – screw that – I will punish them by never again spending any money in any of their outlets.

    Update July 10, 2012:

    After 2 calls and still receiving spam I published this blog post and send them the link.  THAT at least provoked a response.  I received the following mail from them:

    RE: Link
     From: “Aliya”
     To: “‘Lars Boegild Thomsen'”
     CC: “‘Matthieu Lartigue'” , “‘shanee'”

    Hi Mr. Thomsen,
    Your email has been removed from our database. You will no longer receive
    any email from us in the future.
    Thank you.

    To which I replied:

    Re: Link
     From: Lars Boegild Thomsen
     To: “Aliya”
     CC: “‘Matthieu Lartigue'” , “‘shanee'”

    On Tuesday 10 July 2012 11:15:55 Aliya wrote:
    > Your email has been removed from our database. You will no longer receive
    > any email from us in the future.
    That would be appreciated, but it is simply not good enough.  I just counted
    and I have received exactly 473 spam mails from you over the past 3 years
    although I can guarantee you that I have never signed up for anything.  473!!!
    I have on several occasions clicked on the “Remove link” which have failed for
    years.  I have on several occasions written to you, to info@gastrodome.com.my,
    to postmaster@gastrodome.com.my and asked to be removed, I have for the past
    weeks copied your messages to spamcop.net – all to no avail whatsoever.
    Not until I made a blog post (for all – AND Google to see) and spend time
    calling you (which I had to make several calls since calling the number on
    your web-page I was asked to call another number) did I get a reaction.
    YOU are sending unsolicited mail – a.k.a. SPAM! and you are doing so using a
    broken system that will not allow the recipient to get removed automatically.
    That is NOT responsible and ethical email marketing practices as you claim in
    the email.  It is annoying and it’s a huge waste of time for the people you
    want to attract as customers.  I have now wasted more than an hour on this
    crap and I expect to get compensated significantly.
    And the fact that you – during our conversation on the phone – said that you
    have received many emails asking to be removed, and that you usually do so -
    strongly indicated that I am not the only person you have annoyed to no end.
    Responsible and ethical email marketing practices my butt – irresponsible and
    unethical is what it is – period!

    It is just not good enough!