Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Apologies to all those who received Jaxtr invitations from me

This is my huge apology to those who received a Jaxtr invitation from me and the subsequent reminder email this week. Those for whom I have multiple addresses on file I especially apologise to as you probably received multiple invitations.

I was experimenting with the tool as a blog enhancement and stupidly (yes, I should know better) gave it access to my Gmail address book and it automatically emailed all 700 odd contacts in it with Jaxtr invitations.
This initial invitation was done without my permission. Jaxtr support is claiming otherwise. I leave it to you to choose who to believe. (Hint: Do a Google search for Jaxtr and spam to see how many other folks got caught in this same trap)

Today it sent another email to those same 700 contacts, something the support at Jaxtr maintains was a "reminder" email. I know for sure I did not authorise this, however it seems that Jaxtr cached all the addresses it sent the initial email to and sent a subsequent "reminder" email. I really hope the included email is accurate when it states this is the only reminder email they will send. For me it was two emails too many. There should have been no need to spoof my email address to send these emails.
Send it as yourself, Jaxtr, don't put my username in the from field, it is obvious that such a technique is your ploy to get past spam filters.

So as a warning to all those who still want to sign up for Jaxtr, don't give it your Gmail/Hotmail/other webmail username and password for it to access to your address books. More trustworthy sites such as Facebook may have lulled us into the false sense of security giving such access freely is beneficial, but sites like Jaxtr are a rude reminder of how damaging unsolicited emails on your behalf can be. Believe me, you'll save yourself much more grief by limiting what applications outside of your webmail provider should have access to your contacts' email addresses.

My account with Jaxtr is now deleted, and hopefully according to the email I received from their support about my querying their breach of trust in sending so many emails to my contact, this will be sufficient to stop these emails from occurring again in future.

For posterity here's the reply email I received to my initial complaint to Jaxtr, which came several hours after I finally figured out how to delete my Jaxtr account.
---Begin message---
jaxtr Privacy and Abuse to me
12:11 PM (1 hour ago)

KEY: 07-11

I'm sorry if there has been a misunderstanding. As a member, you have the ability to upload contacts into jaxtr and send those contacts invites to join jaxtr. Jaxtr has no ability to accomplish this automatically. Do you recall performing such an action, perhaps when you initially joined jaxtr? If so, this also schedules a one-time reminder email sent to these same contacts informing them your invitation is about to expire (assuming the contact has not responded). But under no circumstances does jaxtr send a message to any of your contacts without the interaction and approval of the jaxtr member.

According to our records, you have already canceled your jaxtr account.


Jenny Ringquist

---End Message---