Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Annoying Emails

This past weekend started out pleasant enough, that is until I received a flurry of emails to just about everyone of my email accounts from the same individual. Not only did they send the emails to me but they cc'd my siblings, mother and a nephew too! Way over the top.

Now I am NOT that hard to find. In fact there is a contact email address on this blog site, so I'm not really sure why they thought it was necessary to send so many yet they did.

Turned out that the individual was making a request for some exclusion of information on my genealogy site. Not a problem. Tell me what needs to be excluded - and for heaven's sake where it's located. I haven't a clue where every piece of information is located on ALL those pages. Anyway, the request that I received was vague and I had removed information previously on this family way back in 2003. In responding to this particular individual I sent a link to the removed information page to remind them that it had already been removed.

This started what was to be a very stressful weekend. Another flurry of emails descended upon me with demands that additional information be removed. I removed the information and replaced it with a statement that the information had been removed by request. Yet this was not good enough for the individual in question.

A barrage of messages were sent to me through Facebook - all while I was sleeping. Apparently there are some people who can't let things go during the night. So that when I awoke there were at least six messages all about removing the information that I had already removed. Plus new demands that I change the genealogy pdf that I have been giving away for 15 years! After sending what I thought was one last message that the information had been removed and the pdf wasn't going to be changed, I was done with this individual. Or so I thought.

More emails plus a phone call plagued me Sunday. Complaints that the information that I had was incorrect - but wait - they'd already ask me to remove it from online (which had been done). I had become quite frustrated by the time the phone call came, which had immediately been preceded by yet another email. Now I will admit that I was a bit put out and not as pleasant as I normally am, but come on. When someone has asked you in writing three times to leave them alone and then they still contact you, they are pretty much getting what they deserve.

After letting this individual get to me for most of the day on Sunday, I finally broke down and called our local police department's non-emergency number for information to see what recourse if any that I had in this situation. They advised me to send one last email to the individual and inform them that I did not want "any contact" from them, and provide them with the code section that the police offer had provided me. Done!

Now did that work...No! I received yet another email. I didn't reply and even held off doing anything until Monday evening - but the content of the email disturbed me enough to actually go down and file a police report. I didn't swear out the warrant for the individual's arrest - I still wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt that they were just being hardheaded. Yet I still can do so if I receive any further contact. The police department will keep the report on file for a year so hopefully I can just let it drop, but if need be it is there.

In combating this individual I have found out some pretty useful information.
  1. You can BLOCK an individual on Facebook, whether they are your friend or not.
  2. It is possible to BLOCK phone number on your home phone line (if you know them) so that if the individual calls they will receive the message that you are not accepting calls at this time.
  3. There is a law in Virginia Section that deals with annoying or harassing email; other sections also deal with electronic devices and phone calls.
  4. You can file a police report - that will remain on file for a year.
I hope that no one else has to deal with a situation like this, but if so I hope that just some of the things that I learned will be of value to you.

1 comment:

DBowen29 said...

Some people are just common and ignorant! I think you explained everything very clearly. If this person and his family are still bent out of shape too bad!