Call Center Articles

Harvesting Data From Websites

I’m used to people harvesting contact information from my websites to send me messages, most of which are span. I have a dozen or so sites, with each containing links to many of the others. So it not uncommon for them to harvest an email from one site, jump to the next to harvest a second address, and so forth.  In this manner, I will receive the same spam message multiple times.

Over a year ago, someone harvested information from one of my sites; I think it was They did a really poor job of it. The attached label humorously shows what they did. While the third, fourth, and fifth lines are correct, the second line is the name of one of the call centers listed on that site — not my company. The first line (the “name” field) lists the two languages spoken at that call center: “English Spanish.” Sometimes the errant communication will be personalized, as in “Dear English Spanish…” or “Mr. English…” They even managed to concoct a bogus address in the form of “english@…” Efforts to unsubscribe or be removed have been unsuccessful.

At first, I was amused by the mistake, but to make matters worse, the bad information has been sold to others, who likewise send me email and mail for which I have no interest. Though the annoying flow has somewhat abated, I continue to receive mailings and emails, mostly from ICMI Contact Center Management.  I’m not sure if they were the original perpetrators or if they bought the bad info from someone else, but in either case, it reflects poorly on them. Either their processes are shoddy or they deal with shoddy vendors.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Connections Magazine, covering the call center teleservices industry.

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