First of all, I have not actually used this software - Spamcop 1.3.1. I also use MS Entourage instead of Mail. With that said, I have had some experience using www.spamcop.net as well as the fact that I still believe that any product not worth $10 is not worth charging for.
Please note that we are talking about two products here with very similar names - Spamcop 1.3.1 the shareware Mac product, and www.spamcop.net, a spam reporting site that can process the output of Spamcop 1.3.1.
There is also a site www.spamcop.com that is a software product for Windows users and has nothing to do with the products discussed here but only serves to confuse the issue by its name.
Regarding SpamCop 1.3.1 ,in my opinion anything under $10 becomes more of a nuisance fee for the user that a real income stream for the developer. If customers won't spend $10 for the product, then it should be either improved so they will, or given away at least as donationware. (fee optional).
With regards to Spamcop.net:While on the surface it seems like a great idea - report the abusers back to the hosting site so that they can be shut down. However experience and further inspection of this idea reveled a number of flaws in this philosophy.
- First is the fact that some abusers are the sites themselves. Spamming is how some of them make their income. So reporting them accomplishes nothing, other than to supply the developer of the site data for higher priced services.
- Next is the fact of the way the "free" reporting of www.spamcop.net works. On the free service, and perhaps with the paid service, each message analysis must be manually acknowledged, and analyzed to be sent. I found myself spending more time analyzing spam to report it, then just getting rid of it and reading my "real" mail. It turned out to be a real time-waster. Additionally you constantly get bombarded by the service to convert to a paid account (subscription) whenever you use the service or process a message. While annoying, it was not insurmountable.
The final clincher to cause me to abandon the service was the fact that free users are not allowed to make a single reporting mistake while using the product. If they do, their free access is shut down, supposedly forever. However the site is perfectly willing to allow you to continue using the site, providing you pay for it. The mistake I made for banishment was to accidently report spamcop.net as a spam site, due to some garbled forged or bounced header that I clicked to quickly through in the reporting sequence. Trust me on this. Sooner or later you are almost certain to make such a mistake. I should also say that after several rounds of email with the support person I finally managed to get myself reinstated as an exception. However in order to have this happen, I had to demonstrate that I had created rules in my mail program that would make it all but impossible to flag any messages that contained spamcop.net in the header as junk and endure generally arrogant and unprofessional support messages to accomplish this. I wouldn't be surprised that if the support person at spamcop.net reads this I will be banished again and I might receive some uncomplimentary feedback about these comments. We certainly did not agree about what constitutes quality and professional support. However I would much rather give others the information so that they can make an informed decision on how they want to spend their time and money than worry about being banished from a product I no longer use.
For now, the most professionals recommend the way to deal with spam, is to filter it or toss it without reporting or responding to it. Given the time, money, and aggravation involved in reporting it, I tend to agree with them