Prank emails

The times they are a-changin’.

This post seems to be older than 19 years—a long time on the internet. It might be outdated.

I got this in my inbox the other day:

From: Best Buy Customer Service []

To: Andrew Ferguson

Re: Your iPod

Dear Mr. Ferguson,

We received your complaint regarding your desire to exchange your 3rd generation iPod for one with twice as much hard-drive space.

We at Best Buy would like to apologize for your troubles with our customer service. We at Best Buy pride ourselves on our outstanding customer service reputation, and were appalled to hear that it had been tarnished. Who were we to contradict the first person with whom you spoke? Obviously, she had much more authority and knowledge than the store manager and customer service specialists at 1-888-BEST-BUY. We have received word from the Colorado State Attorney General’s Office and he agrees that our behavior was reprehensible. In order to compensate you for your time and patience, we wish to offer you a Lifetime Service Plan that will replace your iPod with the newest available models.

Obviously, any service plan ought to replace your iPod with a newer model whenever such is available. We appreciate your commitment in buying a 4-year service package while still ignorant of the new iPod only days away. We apologize that the sales person who sold you your iPod did not inform you that a new generation of iPod is released yearly. We know that all of our customers may not be “tech savvy” and try to compensate for their “lack of knowledge.”

Once again, we offer you our sincerest apologies and remind you that in future letters to multi-national corporations, you ought to use spell check.

Sincerely Sorry,

Messrs Alec Turnbull and Daniel Bushyhead

P.S. All in good fun, live long and prosper.

Well,  couldn’t let Alec and Bushyhead have all the fun. So I crafted this email:

From: Guy Witherow []

To: Alec William Turnbull

Re:Violation of Columbia University Network and Computing Usage Policies

Alec William Turnbull

During a recent security check of University systems and networks, we discovered that you violated several Columbia University Network and Computing Usage Policies and E-mail Usage Policies by sending a frivolous email to andrew[att]fergcorp[dott]com and forging a from address of “Best Buy Customer Service” <>.

Part 9 of the Network and Computer Usage Policies states: No University system or network may be used for any purpose or in a manner that violates University statutes or regulations or federal, state or local law; and parts 17 and 21 of the Email Policies: No e-mail may be sent or forwarded through a University system or network for purposes that violate University statutes or regulations or for an illegal or criminal purpose; and, Unsolicited e-mail messages to multiple users are prohibited unless explicitly approved by the appropriate University authority. See

All messages must show accurately from where and from whom the message originated, except in the rare, specific cases where anonymous messages are invited.

As you may know, violations of these policies may result in the immediate suspension of computer account and network access pending investigation of circumstances and may lead to eventual revocation. Serious violations of the policy will be referred directly to the appropriate University or outside authorities; unauthorized use of University computing facilities can be a criminal offense. The penalties may be as severe as suspension or dismissal from the University and/or criminal prosecution.

A Judicial Hearing has been set for Monday, August 30 at 4:45pm. Because this is a matter of computing and network abuse, the hearing will take place in the Computer Center located at 3020 Broadway. If you have any questions about the hearing or wish to change your assigned hearing date and/or time, please contact the Computing Center directly at (212) 854-1919.

-Guy Witherow
AcIS Staff






The email actually didn’t go through for some reason, but I showed it to Alec on IM, to which he responded:

(14:49:19) Alec: oh shiiiiitttt
(14:49:22) Alec: hahah
(14:49:35) Ferg: like it?
(14:49:39) Alec: oh man
(14:49:44) Alec: you did your research
(14:49:49) Ferg: yea
(14:49:54) Alec: oh mannnnn
(14:50:12) Alec: scares the crap outta me even knowing you wrote it

Reminds me of the Klingon Proverb, bortaS bIr jablu’DI’, reH QaQqu’ nay’ (Revenge is a dish best served cold).