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Survey: Users Blame ISPs For Spam

Beware, ISPs, your customers may ditch you over spam. E-mail services company Bright Light Technologies, Inc. and GarterGroup Tuesday announced results from its recent spam survey, the largest poll taken to date, and found that more e-mail users are holding their ISP responsible for unsolicited e-mails.

The survey of 13,000 e-mail users found that few respondents felt ISPs are making serious efforts to controlling the problem. Some are getting so frustrated over the problem that they are leaving their ISPs, although Gartner said few customers cite spam as a reason for changing providers.

More than 90 percent of users are spammed on a weekly basis, with almost 50 percent reporting daily spam. The survey also found that the longer a user stays with one ISP, the more spam they get.

"The study showed emphatically that e-mail users resent the time it takes to delete spam, see it as huge invasion of their privacy, and are offended by it," said Sunil Paul, CEO of Bright Light Technologies.

"Unfortunately, the study also indicates that the problem will most likely get worse if it goes unsolved. Changing ISPs is only a short-term solution in that over time, the new e-mail account will prove as susceptible to spam as the old one."

The survey also found that 24 percent think their ISP is handing over their e-mail address to the spammers. While 74 percent believe ISPs should regulate spam, 15 percent think the federal, state or local government should be responsible for the task.

The primary reasons which respondents listed for their distaste of spam were time consumption, privacy invasion and basic offensiveness. The poll found that 75 percent view spam filtering services as a significant advantage when considering a new ISP.

The survey also found that spam is a huge cost to ISPs because of increased churn rate, higher infrastructure costs and additional personnel costs.