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Indiatimes.com - India's spam champion

March 18, 2004

That wonderful Indian portal we all love, Indiatimes.com, affectionately known as Indiaslimes (and various other names), has clearly taken some lessons in usability from the mistakes of other mail services like Yahoo and Hotmail. Hotmail and Yahoo, as part of their registration process, offer you several pages of newsletters and information services that can very quickly fill your inbox with unwanted junk mail. This extra step is of course an annoyance to new users.

Therefore, Indiatimes has decided to make the sign-up process simpler. It does not ask whether you want to sign up for any newsletters. Instead, it decides by itself that you like spam and happily fills up your inbox for you.

For instance, I had to sign up for an Indiaslimes account to read some crap on their site some time back. I never intended to use their email because I don't need yet another email address. However, curiosity about their much-touted APIC (which deserves another blog entry of its own) led me to log in to my never-used account and see what the fuss was about. Bear in mind that I have never given this email address to anyone or used it for any other purpose.

After logging in, this is what greets me:

Wow, so many "special offers" and all of them from Indiatimes. I really appreciate their concern for me getting the best deal for my money.

No, no, no, this isn't "spam" at all. Most spam messages include some cheesy way of getting yourself off their "subscription" list. Indiatimes, to prove that it doesn't spam, dispenses with that completely.

Here's what one of the messages looked like:

See? Not a single "get me off this fucking list" link anywhere. Saves them the trouble of even programming the feature. That's efficiency!


When I saw this, I wondered, "was there some fine print in the sign-up screen that subscribed me to so many damn mails?" To be sure of that, I created a new account. Like I said earlier, the sign-up process is only one screen. And this is the screenshot of it. Do you see a "spam me liberally" checkbox anywhere?

and this is the next screen:


Indiaslimes is fond of another method of spamming. All you have to do is give Indiaslimes your email address for anything. (For instance, if you give your real email address for posting an ad on their classifieds site.) The next day, you will start getting discount coupons, "special offers", etc. from their e-commerce group. To make it harder for you to unsubscribe, they are all on different mailing lists so you have to remove yourself separately  from each one.


Indiatimes.com - India's #1 spammer. Richly deserving the title of IndiaSlimes.

PS: if you need an Indiatimes ID, I have created one dummy account for you.

username: moronuser
password: moron


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Reader comments

I couldn't believe this ... only yesterday I has made a post on my blog on the same issue with a screen shot !


Posted by Murali at March 18, 2004 3:37 PM

Ha ha! Not just Indiatimes even Fabmart spams you. I wrote to them saying I would sue them if they keep spamming me and they took me off the list.
Are there any anti-spam laws that take care of unsolicited commerical e-mail?

Posted by suman at March 19, 2004 4:18 AM

Ha hahahaha! Wonderful MadMan:-) But don't you think 'twas a waste of your energy to rip apart the IndiaSpammer?
Hope they rot in the Fifth Circle of Hell.

Posted by Sandeep at March 19, 2004 9:51 AM

yeah i agree with that.. the good old days of clean mail systems are gone ...

Posted by pallavi at March 19, 2004 1:22 PM

I'm getting spammed by anita@indiatimes.com

Posted by Manish Jethani at March 22, 2004 5:02 PM

Manish, do not make ANY contact with Indiatimes.com using a real email address. It is instantly harvested and used for spamming. For instance, all you have to do is send them an email saying, "I'm getting error XYZ when accessing Indiatimes.com" and boom! you're put on their mailing list.

Posted by MadMan at March 22, 2004 5:11 PM

I created an indiatimes mail id some months back. Indiatimes was one of the mail server, not blocked by my internet proxy.
My inbox looked exactly same as moronuser's.
Indiatimes and Times of India SUCKS. I hate them from the bottom of my heart. They are an evil monopoly without brains.

Posted by moronuser at March 23, 2004 8:52 AM

I notice an optional "Alternative E-Mail ID" field. Did you fill that in? and do you get spammed there too? now that would be fun :-P

Oh, and moronuser, you are not alone. Times of India totally sucks(im talking about their website, I wonder how the paper is). Check this link http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~mahim/toi/

Posted by Lalith at March 25, 2004 3:40 AM

Given that all these are *dated* comments, I'm late...

This is GREAT! I knew I couldn't be 'only' one FUMING at indiaslimes! I refuse to click on anything which requires me to sign into that! but 'moron' is now an option!?!

BTW, is it only me... or, is there a prob. w/ yahoo? Its my homepage AND I do belong to many yahoogroups, but of late, I'm having to spend a LOT of time for pages to load. This happens both on IE & Firefox and only for yahoo pages. Ofcourse, I also have MSN- so could that be slowing yahoo or is it just paranoid me???

Thanks in Advance (there, no short forms- & yes, I NEED to meet you soooon)

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Posted by ROHIT SAHU at March 6, 2007 9:52 PM

Dear Team,

My Indiatimes E-mail id is mohit.sheth@indiatimes.com

So, I need to configur in outlook
so, i can configur to this

Pls Do need Ful.

Thaks & Regards,
Mohit Sheth

Posted by Mohit at May 5, 2007 1:52 PM

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