I review books.

I submit these book reviews to various mailing lists, where the topic is appropriate.

I also run mailing lists (on Yahoo, Topica, and now Google) that carry the full set of reviews.

Somebody keeps on subscribing “” to my lists. bounces any traffic to it. It tells you to contact Amazon’s help Web site.

As anyone who has tried it knows, Amazon’s help pages are massively unhelpful. (They may be of some marginal assistance if you have placed an order that hasn’t come: not ever having purchased anything through Amazon I wouldn’t know.)

I keep removing and banning from my lists. It keeps coming back.

I have tried contacting It is impossible to get past the first level of what is laughingly known as “support.” Their position is that Amazon doesn’t do that. (It is not entirely clear that they have a firm idea of what “that” is.)

It is possible that someone has been spamming out messages using as a return address. If that were the case, why wouldn’t the address show up on my (many) other mailing lists that are not directly related to books?

It is possible that someone has been trying to set up Amazon by trying to subscribe this address to my book review list. However, if that person were not associated with Amazon, how would they obtain the response that Yahoo (and other mailing list systems) sends back to confirm that the address is good?

It is possible that someone at Amazon, buried deeply enough in the IT area that they have access to the account, is so technically incompetent that they neither know nor care how annoying this is. At the moment, that seems the most likely option …

  • noam

    We run the SecuriTeam mailing list, and for years now the has been subscribed to it. Even though I have more than once unsubscribed it, forcefully – remove and manually – forged an email’s from address as theirs, they keep on sending list-subscribe@ requests to our list.

    I wasn’t able, nor did I ever try, to understand where these list-subscribe@ emails are originating from. I simply stopped caring about the bounces it generates, as it is 4-6 (on average) emails in the sea of SPAM I receive :)

  • André Carezia

    What do the Received: lines tell you?

  • Linda McDougall

    I’m slowly going insane trying to contact Amazon about a lost order which they happily charged me for. Their help pages are simply awful, and anything I send them gets returned. I’m a long time customer, and I simply MUST communicate with them. Their Marketplace sellers are great, but what a mess Amazon itself is! Anyone any ideas?

    Thanks so much, Linda

  • Richard Godfrey

    I have ordered dozens of books and cds through Amazon, most of which arrive without a hitch. However, when there is a problem, it is simply impossible to get help from the Amazon web site. The claim form will keep showing up error messages no matter what information you put in the spaces.