I’m glad to see this idea catching on (“Maybe Bulk E-Mail’s Free Ride Should End,” March 3). The way around some of the hurdles Ken Magill mentions is perhaps to establish a postage charge for e-mail, administered ala the U.S. Postal Service — Cash With Order at the first US ISP the e-mail hits. If the postage were a modest amount (say, a penny a piece), it wouldn’t hurt the average user, who would handle via credit card.
But it would kill the indiscriminate marketer. Any consumer outcry about cost surely would be mollified by communicating the purpose — the demise of spam as we know it.
The money generated by this e-postage could be passed on to the USPS to offset its revenue loss from e-mail and fund anti-terrorism measures, with a percentage given to the ISP as compensation for administration. Tying in the USPS would provide a built-in enforcement mechanism staffed by postal inspectors, with all the force of law needed to encourage compliance.
Terry Nugent, Marketing director, Medical Marketing Service Inc., Wood Dale, IL