Wednesday, May 28, 2008

eSnailer proves there's no free lunch | Webware : Cool Web apps for everyone

eSnailer proves there's no free lunch | Webware : Cool Web apps for everyoneDespite the ubiquity of e-mail in all of our lives, most of us probably know someone who still doesn't use it. (Hi, Grandma!) And when was the last time any of us wrote and sent a letter via snail mail? A new service called eSnailer promises to bridge that gap by sending your virtual messages to actual mailboxes for free, but the whole process may cost you much more time and aggravation than the price of a first-class stamp.

If eSnailer seems too good to be true, you're right. It is supported by advertising, and in order to have your letter delivered, you'll have to sign up for one of its "free offers." According to eSnailer, "This is at no cost or hassle to you and takes truly no time," but when you go through the actual process of sending a letter, you'll discover that the advertising offers are provided by MyInsiderDeals, a site rated "very spammy" by McAfee SiteAdvisor. After signing up at MyInsiderDeals, the SiteAdvisor team received 240 e-mails per week.

You must select one advertising offer to send your letter via eSnailer.

(Credit: CNET Networks)The other big warning sign for eSnailer is the lack of a privacy policy. On any site that asks for personal information like e-mail address, home address, phone number, or age, you should always read the privacy policy first. If there is none, your information can be sold to nearly anyone who wants it.

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