Rankyn Phyle.com

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Archive for May, 2012

I’m About to be a Spamex Ex

Posted by Rankyn Phyle on 27th May 2012

I’ve been using a disposable email address provider called Spamex for years.
It’s a pay service ($10+/year) but it’s been run on auto-pilot for a long time and it’s become unreliable lately so it’s time to abandon ship.

I really enjoy the ability to give a different email address to every website where I register and then simply turn that address off if they start spamming me.
It’s much easier than trying to use my email provider’s tools to protect myself from all the auqwekx.com’s and other randomly generated addresses that spammers use to bombard me.
Additionally, if I start getting spam, I know exactly where the leak originated.

Anyway, I’ve got nearly 500 of these disposable addresses, many of which have been dormant for ages, and now I need to 1) figure out which ones I still use, 2) set them up on a new service, and 3) update my contact info all around the Internets.

I decided to go with Yahoo for this.
There’s lots of throwaway email sites, but most of them are either 1-use or public for anyone who knows the disposable address.
I needed something that was both reliable and provided account-based security.

I really hate throwing another master email service (in addition to Hotmail & GMail that I already use) into the mix but getting the email directly rather than relying on a 3rd party service to forward it should speed things up considerably.

The down side?
Well, to get the service from Yahoo, it’s $20/year.
There are a few other things that come along with it, but they weren’t major selling points for me.
Also, this isn’t exactly a small undertaking and I figure the best way to approach it is to swap things out as emails trickle in.
Unfortunately, my Spamex subscription expires on 6/28 and it’s very doubtful that I’ll have everything swapped out by then, especially if their site keeps giving me as many problems as it has been for the past week so that’s like another $10 I’m gonna have to cough up.

So what’s wrong with Spamex?
I think my biggest complaint is that the people who run it appear to have abandoned it years ago.
Oh sure, they show up every few weeks to make sure that the server is still turned on and they’re more than happy to take your money (when they remember to) but sometimes the site can be absurdly slow and your email can be delayed for days.
I would be dead in the water if they suddenly discontinued the service and, as time goes by, my fear of such an event grows.

The first hurdle is logging in.
If that happens, I have to click another link to display my all my addresses.
Can’t search for one until I’m on the list page.
Hopefully it’s taken less than 2 minutes to get this far.
Heaven help you if you didn’t open the address in a new tab because if not, you’re going to have to re-load the list view once you’re done doing whatever it was you needed to do.

The delivery delay is another problem.
Usually it isn’t too bad if the website is working, but right now it’s taking hours for mail to come through.
As I set up new addresses with Yahoo, I need to update the address with the various service providers.
It’s usually not a big deal: Log in, enter new address, click the link in the verification email at the new address.
Unfortunately Rift has decided that they need to re-verify my account (I haven’t logged in since they forced password resets) before I can do anything so they send a link to my existing email that will expire in 15 minutes.
I tried several times to have it re-sent last night to no avail.
I woke up this afternoon to find that they had all finally arrived… FIVE HOURS after they were sent.
Needless to say, the 15 minute links in them had long since expired.
I’m just going to have to keep trying and hope that I eventually catch Spamex on a good day.

The thing I liked most about Spamex was that I could save login information along with the record for each email address.
That kept me from having to write down or remember which websites used an email address or a username for login and which one of my password variants I had used.
Don’t worry… I stored my password info in coded shorthand so it would remind me of which one I had used but would be completely useless to anyone else.
But this also means that I have to pay a visit to the Spamex website any time I can’t remember my login info.
If the website is running like cold molasses then I’m at its mercy because I need that info to access whatever site I was trying to reach.
Now that I use LastPass for that functionality, losing that part of Spamex won’t be such a big deal.

Oh, and here’s the last really big head scratcher for Spamex… They forgot to bill people for years.
I tend to be the type of person that never remembers to pay you until you stick a bill in my face.
It seems that something happened with their billing system that kept our accounts active but never charged us for it.
Since I didn’t get a bill, it never crossed my mind.
I think this started back in 2007.
A few years later they fixed the problem.
No big deal, right?
Wrong.
On your next renewal date you had to pay for all those missed years before you can renew your subscription or you got cut off.
So if you wanted to walk away from it, that was a good time to do so but I was so entrenched in it that I couldn’t afford to and really had no option but to pay.
It wasn’t that big a deal to me because I had been using the service and would have been paying for it all along if they had bothered to bill me so I ponied up.

Pardon the rant but I just needed to get that off my chest.

TL;DR version:
Spamex has become slow and unreliable and I’m screwed if it goes dark.
Yahoo is better but more expensive.
Swapping everything over to the new service is going to be a nightmare.

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