Spacelocker, A Social Network You'll Want To Avoid Like The Plague

I had never heard of Spacelocker before, have you? Apparently, it’s a social network where you can go to “meet friends and connect to online stuff” but not to upload and store photos, videos, or music. So essentially it’s like Facebook or MySpace but without the goodies. Or Twitter, but then offering an “evocative experience that is fun, free and functional”. I have absolutely no idea what that means either, and I won’t find out either because I never actually signed up.

We got an e-mail from Son Lee yesterday, who wanted to alert us to the misleading registration process Spacelocker boasts and particularly the way the company handled her complaint about it. After reading through the communication and taking a peek at Spacelocker, we’ll gladly oblige.

What happened was Lee registered for the service using her Gmail account, and Spacelocker didn’t waste any time sending all of her contacts an e-mail with an invitation to try it out too without her explicit consent or knowledge. These sorts of things regretfully happen all the time, but there’s more to the story.

When Lee complained to the company about the whole situation, she not only simply got her account wiped out, but she also received this jaw-dropping, unprofessional response:

Hi Son,

You obviously can write English. However I think you have a problem reading English; or are careless when you read. The sign up page has 2 forms on it. One form is to be used by those who want spacelocker to automatically invite their friends. The other form is to be used if you do not want to invite your friends. There are big red letters on the left side form that tells you to read the note on the sign up page before you sign up. The note on the sign up page tells you about the sign up procedures. There is a link to a blog on the sign up page which further explains the sign up procedures in detail. The terms of service and privacy policy of Spacelocker clearly set out what you have agreed to by signing up. You obviously failed to read any of that before you signed up and now you want to blame us for your carelessness!!! Incredible!!!

Her is a link to the sign up: Read it and think if you can!

Spacelocker Ltd
the happiest space on earth

The rudest space on earth, more like it.

Technically, sure, the company has a point. There are in fact two separate forms one can use to register for the service, and only one has the annoying habit of spamming the hell out of your relatives, friends and colleagues. The problem is that it’s very misleading and obviously designed to confuse users as much as possible while steering clear of doing anything illegal. Just take a look at the sign-up page.

The registration form on the left reads “use your aol, gmail, hotmail or yahoo account” while the form on the right lets your register with a different e-mail address. But if you don’t want to spam all your contacts, the latter would actually be the form you’d need to use, even if you use a webmail account. Despite the fact that it reads “don’t have webmail? sign up here!”. How’s that for misleading?

Oh, and does the company effectively say they’ll be sending out an invitation to all your mail contacts when you sign up using the form on the left? Sure it does. See that microscopic line at the very bottom of the screenshot above? There’s that clear policy of theirs right there!

My guess is the red line that reads ‘please read the note below before signing up’ was added only after complaints started trickling in, but to me it’s clear that Spacelocker is purposely trying to trick new users so they can get some extra e-mail addresses to spam. And to add insult to injury, they feel the need to behave so rudely when a user files a formal complaint.

Classy, Spacelocker, very classy. I think I’ll go look for an evocative experience that’s fun, free and functional elsewhere.