By now you’ve heard about my frustrations with BoxBe earlier this week. As irritating as the initial experience was, it was impressive how they handled the mistake and there’s some good learning for all startups.
To re-cap, BoxBe’s sign up process encourages users to add their address book to the application so that email can be filtered on the basis of who you know. Several people, including me, did this. None of us read the remainder of the text on that page, which also let you know that the application would also email everyone that you added to your BoxBe address book to invite them as well. And nowhere did the application inform you that two days later, those folks would be sent a reminder.
On Saturday, I uploaded my entire address book (thousands of entries) to the application, and unintentionally spammed them. Two days later (on Monday) Twitter was alive with furious messages from folks that had done the same, and were now (as I was about to a couple of hours later) discovering that BoxBe was spamming their email addresses a second time.
To BoxBe’s credit, though, Product Manager Randy Stewart responded to my emails, and:
- Deleted my account so no more spam would go to my contacts.
- Explained what they were doing to correct the problem. They will limit the number of emails that can be sent to any user, and separate the sign-up and invite pages so it’s clear when people are inviting others to join.
- Created a BoxBe twitter account so that anyone who wants to contact the company can.
Nicely done. I’ll give BoxBe another try in the future when they’ve delivered a version that works with Outlook 2007 and Windows Vista.