The issue is that a lot of companies send out mail from bogus e-mail addresses because they don't want people to respond to the e-mails. They often use firstname.lastname@example.org as the "return address," hoping that a) people will see that and realize they shouldn't reply, and b) if people do reply, the message will simply vanish somewhere or bounce.
Except...there is a donotreply.com, and the guy who owns it gets all those messages:
As owner of www.donotreply.com, the Seattle-based programmer receives millions of wayward e-mails each week, including a great many missives destined for executives at Fortune 500 companies or bank customers, even sensitive messages sent by government personnel and contractors.The social engineering part of the matter is this: good security practice tells one not to click on links in e-mail messages. But that's exactly what these lazy companies are trying to get people to do. So not only are they being weaselly and trying to send one-way messages and make it hard for people to respond, but they're also encouraging what is essentially dangerous computer behavior, because if you want to reply you have to click a link in a message.
What's with these companies, anyway? Is it so hard for them to get that if they send me an e-mail message, if I want to respond I will click "Reply"?
This is vaguely reminiscent of a company I told off yesterday. They have been calling for several weeks now, trying to get me to sign up for a service I don't want. I have tried telling them I don't want their service, I don't want to talk to them. I have tried rudely hanging up on them. Finally, yesterday as they started their spiel, I said "Stop." Had to say it about five times before she actually stopped. "Don't call anymore." She made some reply that indicated she didn't understand. I explained that I didn't want their service, and I didn't want them to call me ever again.
We'll see how well that works out.