Imagine, opening your email Inbox — that sanctuary of friendly communications — and receiving the following message:
My first thought: This is a new Nigerian email scam, attempting to persuade me to click a link and enter my passwords. ... On second look, the message did appear real — or, surreal — coming from a company that I've purchased many a product from. Legitimate businesses and organizations should never send threatening, spam-like emails. Rather than wasting time investigating the genuineness of this genre of "do-it-or-else" emails, I prefer to send them to my trash folder immediately.**SECOND & FINAL NOTICE**
A few weeks ago, we sent you an email about preserving your online photos at Snapfish. TO AVOID DELETION, YOU MUST VISIT SNAPFISH AND MAKE AN ONLINE PURCHASE WITHIN THE NEXT 10 DAYS.*
HOW TO RE-ACTIVATE YOUR ACCOUNT
To re-activate your account and preserve your online photos, please visit Snapfish and order prints, photo CDs, photo gifts, photo books, 4x8" photo cards, or download high-resolution photos within the next 10 days. Even buying a single 12¢ print will re-activate your account. Your account will be re-activated for 12 months with each purchase you make.
IF YOU DO NOT RE-ACTIVATE YOUR ACCOUNT BY DEC 20, 2007, YOUR ONLINE PHOTOS WILL BE DELETED.
Legitimate businesses and organizations should never send threatening, spam-like emails.
The last time I looked, there were dozens of online places to store photos. Photobucket is superb; as is ImageShack. The photo-service Shutterfly says that they have "never deleted a photo." Flickr is popular. Mediafire and Box.net offer free storage for not just photos, but all varieties of files.
Snapfish should have titled their email message: "How to Lose A Customer". I could continue my Snapfish account by buying a photo for 12 cents. But this kind of bullying must be discouraged. I will remember the words of Robert Goodloe Harper (shown above): "Not one penny for tribute!" — and let my Snapfish account expire.