Spam weeding moves to India

Toronto ISP has launched a spam filtering service that includes the option to have employees in India review a company’s sequestered spam for false positives: wrongfully blocked e-mails.

According to Ashok Kalle, president of Pathway Communications, more than 99 per cent of spam can be filtered by combining his firm’s recently launched NetPulse appliance with this “last look” false positive-checking service, which costs $1 per mailbox per month.

“Our customers…can either choose to tag the spam and sequester it; or drop the spam into one large folder and access it themselves; or they can have it looked at by one of our employees sitting in India,” Kalle said.

The service is designed to make spam filtering “as non-intrusive and non-intensive as possible,” he added.

Besides spam checking being “much cheaper to outsource” the service also saves internal workers some sanity, Kalle said. “Someone only looking at spam all day would probably go crazy.” False-positive checking is a “no-brainer job” Pathway’s Indian inbound call centre employees can do while between calls.

Lawrence Hobbs, president of Calgary-based consulting firm Chinook Solutions, said false positives have caused huge problems for his business.

One of Chinook’s OEM partners has a Web site that generates about 15 sales leads a day from people who provide their contact information in order to download articles, and e-mails them to Chinook. These e-mails were recently flagged as spam by Chinook’s ISP, Telus, which, without informing Chinook, blocked the e-mail leads as spam because they were all coming from one domain and going to the same recipient: Hobbs.

“It took about week to find out who blocked it and why, and when we finally got them to unblock it, the other company’s ISP transmitter blocked it…after which it took about two more weeks to resolve the issue,” Hobbs said.

In the end, Chinook decided to throw its doors wide open to spam, turning off all blockers. “From a business point of view, we have to be open to it – we need everything that comes in.”

Hobbs suspects the turnover rate for Indian spam-checkers will be high.