"I am a librarian," End User Objects to Verkada's Unsolicited Sales ContactsBy IPVM Team, Published Jan 13, 2022, 11:04am EST
Verkada contacted dozens of employees of the Dallas Independent School District, including nearly 4,000 emails sent and multiple cold calls to many in non-security-related roles, prompting one exasperated librarian to ask a top Verkada sales executive to stop contacting her.
IPVM analyzed more than 3,900 pages of emails from Verkada to the school district for this report, which included electronic messages to dozens of non-security-related employees.
A 2021 IPVM investigation revealed that Verkada has sent more than 10,000 unsolicited commercial emails to 23 US school districts, regularly ignoring senior officials' requests to stop. IPVM found the company emailed dozens of employees unrelated to security, including teachers, assistants, nutrition specialists, and, in the case of the Dallas ISD, a librarian who was contacted repeatedly via phone and email.
Dallas Independent School District
The Dallas ISD consists of 230 schools and has an enrollment of approximately 145,000, with 22,000 employees, according to the school district's website. IPVM recently analyzed more than 3,900 pages of emails between Verkada and the district.
Librarian Responds to Verkada "Misunderstanding"
Verkada senior enterprise account executive Scott Miller sent an email with the deceptive subject line "Thoughts?" to a librarian at a Dallas-area school.
The librarian subsequently replied to Mr. Miller, informing him that she was not the IT manager for the district, emphasizing "I am a librarian" and complaining about receiving calls about "district-level IT issues." The librarian then asked for the San Mateo, CA-based firm to remedy the "misunderstanding":
Miller One of Verkada's Top Sales Reps
The Verkada sales rep in question is Scott Miller. Verkada sales leader Ryan Young boasted that Miller was one of a few Verkada sales reps "making millions". Miller says he was one of Verkada's first 20 employees on LinkedIn and highlights a number of sales achievements in his 3+ years at the San Mateo company:
Some of the Verkada sales reps who spammed US educators' inboxes have since moved on, but Mr. Miller's current title at Verkada, combined with his tenure, are evidence of his status as one of Verkada's top-performing sales reps.
Verkada Continues Soliciting Non-Security Staff
While the Dallas ISD librarian example is from 2019, Verkada continues to target non-security-related staff with its marketing. For example, the California tech company reached out to a contact a Leon County Schools in northern Florida last February (related, see Verkada Deceptive Email Subject Lines):
Similarly, an IPVM subscriber wrote that his wife, a teacher, was contacted by Verkada account executive Sean Kaufman in December 2021:
Verkada: No Response
Verkada did not respond to IPVM requests for comment despite being contacted more than a week prior to the release of this report.
Librarian: Since Retired
IPVM attempted to contact the librarian in question; however, Dallas ISD confirmed that the recipient of Verkada's marketing communications has retired and is therefore unavailable for comment.
Emailing Non-Security Staff Intentional
The fact that one of Verkada's top salespeople sent an unsolicited message to a school librarian, who obviously has nothing to do with security, coupled with numerous emails to teachers and custodians, is more evidence that the California company intentionally spams school districts. These emails and calls waste educators' time and distract them from what should be their focus: educating children.
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