SpamArrest – You Got Me

I’ve been using SpamArrest.com for years now. I’ve been a big fan of the service, despite its flaws. But, as the years wane on and the flaws continue to persist uncontested, I have become less of a fan. In fact, I officially declare myself no longer a fan.

Here is a big related post from April 2008: http://hamletcode.blogspot.com/2008/04/email-decision.html

I was experiencing email turmoil at the time, and settled on SpamArrest. I would’ve liked to use Gmail, but could not (at least not the way intended).

Since then, 2 significant things have happened with spam arrest:

1 – I bought the lifetime subscription. At the time, I was still a fan. I’ve been using it for years and planned to use it for years more.

2 – They introduced a javascript bug. I reported the bug to them on October 27th 2008 after waiting serveral weeks to see if they would correct it themselves.

My Email to them

Greetings

This has been happening for quite a while now, but I waited incase it was going to be fixed, but it hasn’t.

There’s a bug on the login screen. It attempts to attach an event to the REMEMBER ME checkbox. But, if you’re already logged in (because it remembered you), then the control doesn’t exist, so it can’t attach the event. This results in an error dialog:

A runtime error has occurred.
Do you wish to debug?
Line 1726
Error: ‘addEventListener’ is null or not an object.
Its not a big deal, but after a few weeks its getting a little annoying. (I’m a developer, so I can’t disable the alerts.)

Jay

Rather than trying the steps listed, they instead suggested that my browser must be “acting up”, and suggested that I install firefox or chrome. That’s great… thanks. Great advice. I responded pointing out exactly where the javascript was failing and why, and showed that if fails in firefox 3 too. I listed 3 bulleted steps to reproduce. They responded saying “thank you, we’ll forward that to our development team”.

That was nearly 7 months ago. They still haven’t fixed it. Its going to fail in every browser because it’s just bad logic. When you’re already logged in, there isn’t a “REMEMBER ME” checkbox. The javascript is looking for it anyway, then fails when it can’t find it.

Another of my favorite problems is REPLY ALL. If you click REPLY ALL, and forget to remove your own name from the address list, you get an onslaught of spam messages. Once you delete the messages, you don’t get any more, so its not like it auto-approved them. Its just that you get a whole bunch that you have to cleanup before you’re back to normal.

In my previous blog post, I mentioned the searches I conducted in their help system to find simple things like IMAP and DISK QUOTA. To find DISK QUOTA information, you have to search for “SPACE”. To find IMAP information, you have to read an article entitled “WHAT IS A POP SERVER?” Well, I already know what a pop server is. If I’m looking for IMAP server information, why would I click that?

I strongly regret the life time subscription. I asked for a refund on it, and they responded saying no, but then asked me what the problems were. I didn’t answer. How many times do I need to tell them what the problems are? At this point, I continue to use SPAM ARREST only out of laziness, despite the life time subscription. Maybe I can sell it on EBAY or something.

Now, the webmail client has a REFER FRIEND tab on which they ask me to refer business to them for savings. I already have a strongly regretted life time subscription… how does refering a friend to spam arrest help me? Furthermore, even if I was still a fan, then that tab would be useless anyway. I’ve been referring people to SpamArrest for years, not because I want some type of credit, but because it’s a good service. Only a few of those referrals have actually started using it, but that wasn’t due to a lack of effort on my part. (Most people find GMAIL junk filters to be sufficient.)

My official stance has changed. I will no longer recommend Spam Arrest. Infact, I will actively express dissapointment. Software is supposed to evolve; their web client continues to be stagnant (and broken) where it counts. The pages still say COPYRIGHT 2006!!! Has anyone looked at a calendar recently?

Its ok to have flaws. Its not ok to never fix them. I’m dissapointed in them for not evolving, and I’m really annoyed that I fell for the “lifetime subscription” scam.

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