I manage a simple web site for my employer (a small charity), and owing to the purchase of a domain name I emailed the details of the new URL to several website owners who were known to have maintained links to us at our old address.
A couple weeks later I received this message:
"Dear John" (my name is not John). "Please send me your advertising rates"
A simple request. The only problem is that we have never carried advertising. I emailed him back:
"Dear ***, Thanks for your enquiry, but I am afraid that we do not carry advertising within our website"
"Dear John" (Doh!) "Yes, I would like to advertise on your web site - please let me know how much it will cost."
I replied in much the same vein as before i.e. We do not carry advertising. We will never carry advertising. We have never carried advertising. There are no rates. Go away.
"Dear John" (I'm getting tired of being called John). "I would like to renew the advertising that I had with you a while back. How much does it cost now?"
By now I'm getting a little pissed. I reply.
"Dear ***, As I have stated repeatedly, we have never carried advertising within our website. You cannot therefore renew advertising that we have never carried. In the unlikely event that we should start to carry advertising in the future then you will be the first to know, but don't hold your breath. In the meantime, I would appreciate it if you would stop sending me requests for our advertising rates. We don't have any. Furthermore, my name is _not_ John (as you may see by reading the sig at the bottom of every message I have sent)."
Message returns yesterday:
"Dear John" (AAAAAAARGH!). "I enclose my copy for the advertising......."
(Several hundred swear words deleted.)
"Dear ***, as you obviously do not understand plain English, try this for size. CONSIDER YOURSELF KILLFILED.
Actually I didn't send that reply - I just wish I had. He has, however, been added to my bozo list. I wonder if the schlemeil is gonna be visiting the web site daily, looking for his advertising.......