Fun_People Archive
31 Jan
One Person's War on Junk Mail

Date: Wed, 31 Jan 96 17:07:48 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: One Person's War on Junk Mail

Forwarded-by: (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: Phil Agre <>
Forwarded-by: Computer Privacy Digest Moderator  <>

 From: Beth Givens <>
 Subject: One Person's War on Junk Mail

A San Diego man, Bob Beken, recently won an interesting suit in Small Claims
Court against Computer City involving unwanted mail solicitations.  He
purchased some items at Computer City (owned by Tandy, which also owns Radio
Shack and Incredible Universe) and paid by check. When he noticed the clerk
keying his name and address into the computer at the checkstand, he asked
if he was going to get any junk mail as a result. He was told 'no.'

As a precaution, Beken took the check back and wrote a short contract on
the back: "Computer City agrees NOT to place Robert Beken on any mailing
list or send him any advertisements or mailings. Computer City agrees that
a breach of this agree- ment by Computer City will damage Robert Beken and
that these damages may be pursued in court. Further, that these damages for
the first breach are $1,000. The deposit of this check for payment is
agreement with these terms and conditions."

After some discussion with another clerk, Computer City accepted the check.
In the ensuing months, Beken received four mail solicitations from Computer
City. He wrote two letters in protest but received no reply.

Beken then took his case to Small Claims court. The judge agreed that a
contract had been broken and awarded Beken $1,000 plus court costs of $21.
Beken has since written a book (self-published) about his winning method.

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