Rick Avery is a spamming douchebag.

In response to my third or fourth request (over several years) to have this guy stop filling my (physical) mailbox with his glossy postcards trying to sell me overpriced real estate, I got this reply explaining why he considers it impossible for him to stop spamming me:

From: rick@rickavery.com
To: Jamie Zawinski <jwz@jwz.org>
Subject: RE: remove
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2008 17:46:37 -0700

Hi Jamie,

I do apologize for not taking you off my list, but it is updated every so often with a master database.

I'm sure you receive other unwanted mail so I am sending you this helpful site where you can take your address off mailing lists:


I hope you find this helpful.


Rick Avery

Sotheby's International Realty
117 Greenwich Street San Francisco, CA 94111

Cell 415-710-5014
Office 415-901-1782
Fax 415-901-1701


Dear Rick Avery,

Please die in a fire.


As mentioned before, I use GreenDimes, and it works great. Pretty much the only paper spam I get is from shitbag realtors like Rick Avery, and from AT&T.

Tags: ,

22 Responses:

  1. phreddiva says:

    "MASTER database! Why didn't you say so? And where is this... MASTER database housed?"


    • wdr1 says:

      Wait, a master database! So all we all have to do is email Ricky and ask him to remove us? Sweet! I'm going to email him right now.

  2. sc00ter says:

    We used to send out all kinds of crap, but let me give you the general rundown. Keep in mind this was in 2004.

    We had databases for our current "customer" list. Not once did I ever remove anybody from this list.

    Once a month we would get a new list from the company we were sending mail for. This would come on mag reel tape. I would load it up and read the database into our AS/400 and scrub the data and remove crap we never used and then add it to our current DB removing only dupes via a script.

    I would either print out HUGE stacks of mailing labels via a dot-matrix printer, or load the information into a different computer that would print them onto the junkmail itself.

    Based on this, I can see where what he's saying -might- be true depending on how they do their mailings.

    • merovingian says:

      I don't think jwz ever asserted that the guy was lying about not having a process in place to remove names from his mailing list.

      If I'm reading correctly, jwz was saying that this person who has no process to remove names from his mailing list is a spamming douchebag who should die in a fire.

    • houdini_cs says:

      You were a spamming douchebag too, evidently.

      Hint: people who repeatedly ask to not be on your list? Maybe not good customers.

      • sc00ter says:

        Hey, it was after the dot com bust and I needed work.

        We managed the lists in accordance with our customer's request (our customer being the people sending the mailings). There were some that didn't use the mag reel tape that we could remove people from the list.

        I mean, these are big companies.. Think discount big box stores.

  3. loftwyr says:

    There are all kinds of mailing lists out there that he might appreciate receiving.

    Have him signed up for all of them and keep doing it. Let him know that it's you and you'd love to stop but you can't find a way to delete him from your asshole list.

  4. strathmeyer says:

    Yes, your list of phone numbers should be very helpful.

  5. encapsulate says:

    Does he have an 800 number on his site? Post it, and ask people to call it from payphones, gently leaving the receiver off hook after they dial!

    800 numbers are like forced collect calls!

  6. violentbloom says:

    how handy he sent you an address so you can send him a box of poop!

  7. fayanora says:

    Spam him back. Take an envelope and fill it with garbage and mail it to him.

  8. taffer says:

    I wish GreenDimes worked in Canada.

  9. jkonrath says:

    I just moved and started DSL service with AT&T. When I ordered, they fucked something up and I had to call and reorder. So I am in the system as "Jon Konrath", but I am also in their system as simply "Jon" (one name, like Prince) and they sent me a second set of hardware and connect letter and everything else to my address, as just "Jon". I now expect a second set of all paper spam to all of my addresses for the end of eternity to just "Jon", and it will be doubly impossible to ever cancel it, because it doesn't have a last name.

    Also not sure what the fuck to do with an extra DSL modem. I do know if they send me two bills, I will encourage them to sue the artist known only as "Jon" and see how that goes for them.

    • jahiel says:

      #348,653 in a list of great reasons not to use a monopoly as your internet service provider. Search DSLReports for highly-rated non-monopoly ISPs, or just use someone known-good like Sonic.net, RawBandwidth, etc. (Depends on where you are, of course.)


    • wfaulk says:

      Good way to find out who AT&T is selling your address to, though. Wait for all the junkmail addressed to TAKOAJ.

  10. danestabrook says:

    Hey Jamie:

    I work at GreenDimes and if you have been a member for at least 3 months, we've already removed you from that list. It sounds like he doesn't want to remove you - many of the local realtors get their lists from city/county records and not DMA and other direct mail parties anyways - he should honor your request. Let me know how this goes!

    Dan - Editor, TONIC/Greendimes News

    • jwz says:

      Hi there! Yeah, I've been a GreenDimes member for almost two years now, and I've asked this bozo to take me off his list multiple times. I'm sure he has no interest in honoring any unsubscribe requests. Why would he? He's a soulless spammer douchebag.

  11. slacktide says:

    Nice... if you search google for "Rick Avery", with or without quotes, this post is the #4 result. I think your readership can do better than that.

  12. gpeters says:

    I'm no lawyer, so this is probably crazy and wrong, but here it is for your amusement:

    Send him a letter. In it, thank him for his latest submission, indicate that you found it was nice, all spelled correctly, and apparantly factual. Tell him that you won't be able to review his advertisements for free anymore, you'll instead charge $800 per flier. Tell him that you understand that's expensive, so if he doesn't want to use you, it's OK, he shouldn't send anything. Tell him that sending any advertisements will be considered acceptance, etc...

    Next time you get a flier, invoice him.

    When he doesn't pay, sue.

    (tell me how it goes)

  13. spurious_logic says:

    I had a problem like this a few years ago with Radio Shack. After I informed the phone droid that the Postmaster and I were bringing legal action against them if they didn't stop, I got someone in charge.
    I sat on the phone with this guy (who was actually very nice, but not so savvy about databases) and walked him through how to search for my name and address against their mailing list. I was in there three different times under different versions of my name.