Crikey
is the best way for me to apologise to the couple of hundred
journalists I managed to spam on Tuesday night. I wasn’t game to send
an email to them, after what I’d done.

I was sending out the
first ever Consumer Movement update from the Consumers’ Federation of
Australia (the peak body for consumer groups). Unfortunately, I managed
to set up the email mailing list incorrectly. This wouldn’t have been a
problem except that a couple of the rural newspapers had auto
responders. This set off an endless loop of responses as emails
automatically responded to auto responders (I think that you can
configure auto responders to weed out duplicates, but who knows?) –
some people said they received about 500 emails. I’m told I also
managed to shut down one of the servers at our long suffering ISP.

Anyway
– profuse apologies and it won’t happen again. It is obviously ironic
that an organisation that supports a “do not call” list and controls on
telemarketing had this happen to them. Carolyn Bond, our chair, emailed
me saying “this is very embarrassing.” Luckily she only emailed me once.

The
update actually had some important snippets: why the banks should stop
sending out unsolicited credit card increases to people who don’t pay
their card balance off in full, that psychic hotlines rip off
vulnerable people and should be closed down and that the credit
reporting agency (Baycorp Advantage) should purge all listings of
Telstra debts sold to Alliance Factoring.

My apologies again. You were one of the journalists on the list.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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