Aug 022013

Why do really smart startups do ridiculously dumb things? This isn’t a rant but an honest observation and a sincere tip for a great startup that I like and admire. Coinbase, please stop spamming. No, really.

For those who don’t know, Coinbase is a really neat startup that promotes Bitcoins among merchants and makes it really easy to get paid in Bitcoins and convert those Bitcoins into cash. In fact, the donate Bitcoins button you see to the right is from Coinbase. I like their idea and I really like where they are going. They obtained VC funding from Union Square Ventures already and recently stole a really smart programmer from Google who also happens to be the co-founder of Litecoin. Even Khan Academy is using Coinbase for Bitcoin donations.

Now you know their credentials, here’s my complaint: They cannot handle the simplest of requests on their side: Stop spamming your customers!

Here are the last 6 mails I received from them.


That’s right, they’ve sent the same mail 20 times! Google makes it easier to handle, but it’s a real pain for my email client on iPhone. Or anywhere else really.

I contacted them twice about this. And no progress at all.


Here are some mistakes they’ve already made:

  • Provided no solution, no estimate of the time when this will be fixed or even a workaround.
  • I cannot unsubscribe. If I want to stop the spam, I have to delete my account.
  • The messages and spam are random. I have several deposits into my Coinbase wallet and the mails and spam just randomly show up. No warning.

I wonder how many customers they are losing because of this. How hard can it really be to fix?

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