ISPs Blamed for Spam Problem

A survey by the Gartner Group found that email users are not only annoyed by unsolicited commercial email (UCE) or spam, but many blame their ISP for the problem.

The survey, commissioned by Bright Light Technologies, a maker of anti-spam products, found that more than 90 percent of users receive spam at least once a week, and almost 50 percent get spammed six or more times per week. The study also discovered that the greater the length of time spent with an ISP, the greater the probability of getting spammed and the greater the amount of spam you are likely to receive.

“The study showed emphatically that email users resent the time it takes to delete spam, see it as a huge invasion of privacy, and are offended by it,” said Bright Light CEO Sunil Paul. “Unfortunately, the study also indicates that the problem will most likely get worse if it goes unsolved. Changing ISPs is only a short-term solution in that, over time, the new email address will prove as susceptible to spam as the old one.”

Other findings of the survey include:

  • 84 percent of respondents had been a recipient of spam and a whopping 83 percent dislike spam
  • Over 40 percent loath the time it takes to handle spam, 30 percent consider it a significant invasion of privacy and 15 percent find it offensive
  • 25 percent would be willing to pay an extra fee for a spam-filter service and most respondents would look favorably at an ISP that offered a filter service as part of its program
  • 75 percent of respondents view a spam-filtering service as a key advantage when considering a new ISP
  • 24 percent believe their ISPs provided spammers with their email addresses, yet fewer than 1 in 4 complained to their ISP

The survey was done among 13,000 email users. The ISPs with the heaviest representation in the poll include America Online, AT&T WorldNet, Concentric, Juno, MSN/Microsoft, and Netcom (now Mindpring). The majority of respondents to the survey acknowledged that email was indisputably the most important Internet application, causing a constant battle amongst ISPs for the Internet customer.

“Many ISPs are losing ground and customers because email users are packing up and heading elsewhere in search of an email world with no spam,” Paul said.

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