Trying to Get ZoomInfo to Remove Your Company Page and Email Address Is a Challenge
Spam. Ever tried to add up how much time you spend reading and deleting unwanted emails? Ever wonder how those folks found your email address in the first place? One likely source is ZoomInfo.com. But, in an effort to cut down on spam, if you’ve ever tried to get ZoomInfo to remove your company page, or even to correct its contents, you’ve found yourself on a wild goose chase, right? This blog post shares tips on how to get your company page and email address removed from ZoomInfo.
One of my clients recently asked me to help them get ZoomInfo to remove their company page because not only were they getting lots of spam email, there were many contacts on their ZoomInfo company page that were not nor never had been employees. Each time they submitted support requests, they got back the same gibberish response about how ZoomInfo is not responsible for the content on their website, and how ZoomInfo cannot remove web pages from its own website. Really? You’ve got to be kidding!
How Does ZoomInfo Work, and How Do They Get Your Contact Information?
Let’s first consider how company and contact information gets on the ZoomInfo website in the first place. According to Wikipedia, “Zoominfo acquired and maintains its database by copying data from the internet using a proprietary web crawler called NextGenSearchBot, analyzing the copied data to extract information, and storing the information in a database.” However, the ZoomInfo site mentions that it goes far beyond scraping email addresses from the web, in their discussions about their Contract Contributor: “The ZoomInfo Contact Contributor is a lightweight software application that Microsoft Outlook users must install to share business contacts and take part in the ZoomInfo Community Edition program. This software works with Microsoft Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013 or 2016 on a system running Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows XP or Windows Vista. Outlook must be used regularly to send and receive business email. “
So when a ZoomInfo user wants to find email addresses, and they partake in the ZoomInfo Community Edition program, it scrapes contacts from the user’s Outlook contact list or Google Apps for Business: “When you take part in the ZoomInfo Community Edition program, you agree to share all of the business contacts in your email database, including names and email addresses found in email headers and job titles, company names, phone numbers, and locations found in email signatures. Anyone who uses a supported version of Microsoft Outlook or Google Apps for Business to send and receive business-related emails is eligible to take part in the ZoomInfo Community Edition program.”
Is Zoom Info Legal?
I’m not a lawyer and cannot give you legal advice. But something seems inherently wrong when the owner of a company account finds fraudulent information on their company’s ZoomInfo page and has no way to correct this. Is ZooomInfo Legal? Certainly, with GDPR, they must be wondering that themselves. Whether or not ZoomInfo is legal, check out their BBB page and view their rating and complaints.
How Get ZoomInfo to Remove Your Company Page
Writing into support got me nowhere. I tried 6 times and got the same nonsensical reply back each time, that was copied from their website:
“ZoomInfo is a specialized web search engine, similar to Google but focused on finding information about companies and professionals. ZoomInfo’s information comes from corporate websites, press releases, SEC filings, other public websites and contributions from our Community. ZoomInfo mostly contains information about business professionals found in these sources, including title, company name, and work experience.
As a company policy, ZoomInfo only allows the person associated with a web profile to request its removal or register to make updates. Although someone may no longer be employed by your organization they may wish to keep this historical information on the web for future job verification.
Keep in mind that the web sources you see on a ZoomInfo web profile were originally found on external websites, and the content of those web sources is not under ZoomInfo’s control.”
So if you want to update or remove a company page on Zoominfo, don’t bother writing to email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com – you will get the same, annoying, repetitive response back. Finally, I got so fed up that I wrote to the CEO, Yonatan Stern, and yes, I got a response.
To Get Your Company Page Removed on ZoomInfo (or Updated), try sending emails to these people:
- Yonatan Stern, CEO, Founder and Chief Scientist, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Evan Nelson, email@example.com
- Leo Laferriere, Laferriere@zoominfo.com
I hope that helps you.
Update as of June 3, 2018
Thank you, Evan Nelson from ZoomInfo for taking my request seriously and removing my client’s profile!