HitNet Inc. Spam Compliants
Revised: January 05, 2009
We believe the customer is always right. Except for when they're wrong. Or when they're unethical. Being a unethical includes (but is not limited to) the following:
- Sending spam
- Being rude and offensive for no good reason
- Using our bandwidth and resources inappropriately
- Abusing our system in any way
If you're taking the time to read this, you're probably not a spammer. But legitimate email marketers get accused of spamming all the time, and we've had to shut down accounts for accidentally spamming. So let's prevent all that. If you use HitNet, you must read, understand, and agree to the following terms.
How HitNet Defines Spam
When you send an email to someone you don't know (such as to the president of a company you'd like to become your client), that's an "unsolicited" email. Sending one unsolicited message to someone is obviously not spam. That's "doing business."
But when you send an unsolicited email to an entire list of people you don't know, that's spam.
Permission Lists Only
You can only use HitNet to send emails to lists of people that gave you permission to email them. If you send emails to a list, and you get an unusual amount of spam complaints (more than 1 out of 1,000), ISPs will begin blocking future emails from your company. They will also request (that's putting it mildly) that HitNet shut down your account. So if you don't have proof that each recipient on your list opted-in for your emails, don't import them into HitNet's Network.
- No purchased lists (no matter how expensive).
- No rented lists (even if they "opted in").
- No 3rd party lists whatsoever.
You should only use HitNet to send newsletters, updates, and promotions to your own customers, or to people who specifically requested email marketing from you.
Don't have a permission list yet? Maybe your company's too new, and you have no customers. Feel free to setup a HitNet account, run through the List Setup Wizard, and add a signup form to your website so that you can grow your list.
We're In This Thing Together
We do what we can to keep our system clean, but you agree to pitch in too. Here's how:
- Sending your first campaign to an old list? Many recipients won't remember you, and will report you for spamming. Do everything in your power to remind them of who you are, and how they got on your list (here's an excellent example).
- Clean your customer list before you import. Take out any addresses older than 6 months. Bad addresses lead to bouncebacks. Too many bouncebacks, and ISPs block HitNet (and you). We'll shut your account down if you import an old list that gets too many bounces.
- Don't just import your entire Outlook Address Book. Export them into a spreadsheet, then take some time to clean out bad addresses (like Sales@Amazon, or Support@Comcast). If you import even one address by mistake, that person can get you blacklisted and shut down (here's a real life example).
- Importing from a CRM? Break it into separate segments or interest groups so you can send relevant content to your customers ("We met at a tradeshow, You bought xyz from us in the past, You are a client of..." etc). Don't just mix a bunch of different lists together and send one "blast" to all of them.
- Sending on behalf of a client? Educate your client about responsible email marketing. They're depending on you to be the expert. Here are some email marketing resources for you.
Don't use HitNet to send anything offensive, to promote anything illegal, or to harrass anyone.
- In general, don't send anything you'd be ashamed to show your mother.
- No Pornography
- No campaigns selling illegal substances
- No campaigns that violate the FTC's CAN-SPAM Law
Who Can Use HitNet
If you do not meet these eligibility requirements, you may not use the HitNet services:
- You must be at least 18 years of age to use HitNet, and can form legally binding contracts under applicable law.
- HitNet reserves the right to refuse service or to terminate accounts for any user, and to change eligibility requirements at any time, in its sole discretion
Fees, Refunds, Account Suspensions, Etc.
- We don'’t provide refunds for unused email credits or monthly subscriptions (even/especially if we had to shut down your account for violating these terms).
- HitNet reserves the right to (reasonably) change our fees at any time. We will send email notifications to users if and when we do.
- If a user violates any of the terms outlined above, we reserve the right to cancel accounts, or bar access to accounts, without refund.
- If, for some reason, we are unable to process your credit card order, we will attempt to contact you by email and we will suspend usage of your account until your payment can be processed.
- You agree to pay for all emails you send from your account, even if messages are blocked by any third party (we have no control over your recipients' email servers, ISP availability, personal spam filter settings, etc)
- For pay-as-you-go (prepaid) accounts, your email credits "roll over" and do not expire. However, if you do not log in to your account at least once in the last 12 months, your account (including all campaigns, lists, and other data) may be deleted permanently from our system. No, we're not evil. This policy is more about keeping our database clean and efficient than making you buy email credits.
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