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An angry exchange has broken out on a mailing list dedicated to Cisco resellers after the networking giant sent twelve copies of the same message to channel partners.

The offending email, which invites European partners to sign up for MxU (multiunit) Solutions sales update training, was sent out a dozen times yesterday, and has provoked a storm of further messages as people have complained to all list members about receiving the message.

Gordon MacKintosh, the hapless Cisco employee who sent the original message, has left a message on his answer machine apologising for his part in the message storm.

"If you're calling with regard to the email storm, I'd like to ask that everyone stops replying to the message. I want to apologise for any problems or inconvenience caused. I'm doing everything possible to stop this email storm before it causes any more problems," the message states.

This advice is markedly different to that issued by Cisco last year when it advised that the best way to respond to spam was to retaliate with abusive messages. That advice, contained in a Cisco booklet called "The Easy Guide to Network Security", and published on Cisco's Web site was subsequently pulled when Cisco admitted flaming, whilst normal among its staff, was not appreciated in the wider world of work. ®

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