I got this email today:
Hi, I’m out the office until Thursday 28th April 2005. Please contact me again after the 28th and I’ll be able to reply to your e-mail then.
Head of Region: Southern/ East & Central Africa
I don’t know this guy and I certainly didn’t send him any email.
This person, for his own convenience and that of his friends, has set up a vacation auto-responder. Whenever someone sends him mail, he replies with this message. Whenever someone sends him spam with a forged sender address, he replies to them (in this case to me). So not only do I have to deal with my own spam, I have to deal with spam belonging to Mr. Head of Region. Multiply him by all the people in the world who think vacation responders are a cool thing, and it becomes a problem for me and for everybody else.
I have no problem with vacation responders so long as they are smart enough to send their replies only the the person who sent the original email. Any automated process that indiscriminately sends emails to anybody a spammer forges is abusive and should be prohibited by ISP terms of service.