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Cheap attempt to trick.

Why do major companies risk their image like this?

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Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator07/04/2015 23:22:43
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I received a card today from the Royal Mail telling me they had a parcel for me but that customs payments where due on it and I had to pay these first (plus of course their totally outrageous £8 "handling fee" but we'll leave that to one side).

So it turns out I can pay on-line - great. But I have to register on their site first, OK off I go to register.

There is all the usual stuff: name, email, address, post-code etc. Then we get to the "sales" bit,....

"We would like to contact you about special offers we have from time to time,..blah, blah, blah" (three lines of it in quite small print)..."If you do not wish to receive these tick the boxes below."

So, I have to actively opt-out by ticking four boxes: mail, email, mobile, SMS. Mmm, slightly irritated I read it all again, yeap definitely tick the boxes to opt-out. OK I tick the boxes.

Next bit comes up. "We have carefully selected special trading partners and can pass your details to them,...blah, blah, blah", three lines of small print again about what a wonderful opportunity this is...then they say "tick the boxes below if you want take advantage of this offer" Again same four boxes.

Hang on,....tick if I want to, so don't tick if I don't want to,....er.

What a cheap trick. Surely not worthy of a major company? Tick the first set if you don't want to opt-in, don't tick the second lot if you don't want to opt-in. In my humble opinion this is deliberately designed to trick anyone scanning over this stuff.

When will companies learn that in the long run they lose so much more by cheap stunts like this. They just annoy their customers and their trust rating plummets. The people who advise these companies to do this are fools in my opinion.

BEB

ted hughes08/04/2015 04:30:31
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I agree with you about the annoyance of being bombarded with advertising disguised as "specially selected trading partners. I also get a load of bumf delivered by RM, which goes straight into recycling.

The problem is,RM has a lot of competition in parcel delivery, which they are trying to compete with.Overall, I think PM is good value for money, and they also pay their staff better than Yodell,etc (though still not well) so I am prepared to put up with it to help keep them in business.

cymaz08/04/2015 06:50:47
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Passing on details....should read selling your details to make a bit more money at your inconvenience.

Tim Mackey08/04/2015 07:53:49
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Ive seen this many times - very naughty and thinly disguised trickery.

Cuban808/04/2015 08:10:06
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My wife was looking at something on Amazon a couple of weeks ago - just browsing for a certain DVD. Although she didn't buy anything and was adamant that no other warning was flagged up or request was made, she received an email from Amazon thanking her for signing up to Amazon Prime and debiting her account £79. Luckily, it was easy to cancel, so no damage done.

I remember reading about the widespread problem of Amazon's customers being duped into signing up for their 'Prime' service and with the attendant adverse publicity, thought Amazon had learned their lesson. Apparently not, so if you do use Amazon, be very careful or you might wind up with an unwelcome and unwanted £79 bill from them

Edited By Cuban8 on 08/04/2015 08:13:09

Nigel Day08/04/2015 08:31:10
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I agree entirely BEB. I thought that advertisers had to provide 'opt-in only options and that you were opted out by default? Obviously not.

I'm lucky/sad in that I have my own e-mail addresses and it's easy for me to create a new 'virtual' one for any new sign-ups I go for - like virgin@myemailaddress.co.uk or amazon@myemainaddress etc. That way I can tell who the originator is/was if/when I start to get spam through an address that I'm certain I ticked the boxes for (or not as the case may be!)

For postal spam I've now started scribbling out my address and writing 'return to sender, unsolicited mail' on it and chucking it back in the mail. It's stopped quite a few.wink

<rant alert>If I had my way, most 'push' marketing would be banned. If I want to buy a new car, fridge or model I go look for it, doing research as well when relevant. I don't need the marketing and sales people to send me blurb promoting their particular product(s). <rant off>

ted hughes08/04/2015 09:30:41
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Posted by Cuban8 on 08/04/2015 08:10:06:

My wife was looking at something on Amazon a couple of weeks ago - just browsing for a certain DVD. Although she didn't buy anything and was adamant that no other warning was flagged up or request was made, she received an email from Amazon thanking her for signing up to Amazon Prime and debiting her account £79. Luckily, it was easy to cancel, so no damage done.

I remember reading about the widespread problem of Amazon's customers being duped into signing up for their 'Prime' service and with the attendant adverse publicity, thought Amazon had learned their lesson. Apparently not, so if you do use Amazon, be very careful or you might wind up with an unwelcome and unwanted £79 bill from them

Edited By Cuban8 on 08/04/2015 08:13:09

This is a bit inaccurate. Although Amazon are very keen to push Prime, you do have to sign up for it! If someone isn't savvy enough to click the right boxes, perhaps they should give up online shopping?

malcolm woodcock 108/04/2015 09:42:12
396 forum posts

A few years ago I ordered some DVDs from Amazon, for a friend, and had them sent directly to her address but under my name. Now, even after being very careful to tick the right boxes, I get snail mail spam from some one flogging mobility scooters. Now Amazon are the only people who had my name linked to that address so I don't use Amazon anymore.

Tim Mackey08/04/2015 09:44:07
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No. Amazon and the rest of them need to get some ethics. To suggest that domeone should give up online shopping altogether if they are not savvy enough to avoid tricksters is just rude.
john stones 108/04/2015 10:01:22
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Posted by Tim Mackey on 08/04/2015 09:44:07:
No. Amazon and the rest of them need to get some ethics. To suggest that domeone should give up online shopping altogether if they are not savvy enough to avoid tricksters is just rude.

Agree, not as if Amazon etc are strangers to bending/ ignoring rules.

John

Cuban808/04/2015 10:02:21
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Posted by ted hughes on 08/04/2015 09:30:41:
Posted by Cuban8 on 08/04/2015 08:10:06:

My wife was looking at something on Amazon a couple of weeks ago - just browsing for a certain DVD. Although she didn't buy anything and was adamant that no other warning was flagged up or request was made, she received an email from Amazon thanking her for signing up to Amazon Prime and debiting her account £79. Luckily, it was easy to cancel, so no damage done.

I remember reading about the widespread problem of Amazon's customers being duped into signing up for their 'Prime' service and with the attendant adverse publicity, thought Amazon had learned their lesson. Apparently not, so if you do use Amazon, be very careful or you might wind up with an unwelcome and unwanted £79 bill from them

Edited By Cuban8 on 08/04/2015 08:13:09

This is a bit inaccurate. Although Amazon are very keen to push Prime, you do have to sign up for it! If someone isn't savvy enough to click the right boxes, perhaps they should give up online shopping?

I'll ignore the tone of your comment.

My wife has professional qualifications in IT and is well versed (savvy) in the day to day use of websites. She received no invitation on the website to join Amazon Prime, no warning that she had somehow 'purchased' AP and certainly didn't set out to do so. By simply browsing a few pages of DVDs, AP had been activated and this only came to our attention after she'd got an email from them. If that is what is meant by "signing up for it", I don't think much of it.

ted hughes08/04/2015 10:14:55
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Posted by Cuban8 on 08/04/2015 10:02:21:
Posted by ted hughes on 08/04/2015 09:30:41:
Posted by Cuban8 on 08/04/2015 08:10:06:

My wife was looking at something on Amazon a couple of weeks ago - just browsing for a certain DVD. Although she didn't buy anything and was adamant that no other warning was flagged up or request was made, she received an email from Amazon thanking her for signing up to Amazon Prime and debiting her account £79. Luckily, it was easy to cancel, so no damage done.

I remember reading about the widespread problem of Amazon's customers being duped into signing up for their 'Prime' service and with the attendant adverse publicity, thought Amazon had learned their lesson. Apparently not, so if you do use Amazon, be very careful or you might wind up with an unwelcome and unwanted £79 bill from them

Edited By Cuban8 on 08/04/2015 08:13:09

 

This is a bit inaccurate. Although Amazon are very keen to push Prime, you do have to sign up for it! If someone isn't savvy enough to click the right boxes, perhaps they should give up online shopping?

I'll ignore the tone of your comment.

My wife has professional qualifications in IT and is well versed (savvy) in the day to day use of websites. She received no invitation on the website to join Amazon Prime, no warning that she had somehow 'purchased' AP and certainly didn't set out to do so. By simply browsing a few pages of DVDs, AP had been activated and this only came to our attention after she'd got an email from them. If that is what is meant by "signing up for it", I don't think much of it.

I don't mean to be rude. Amazon is a good shopping portal and it would be a shame to put people off using it by saying you can "catch" Prime just by using it.You can't, you have to sign up for it.Amazon tries to get as many people to sign up for it as they can, and their methods may be considered duplicitous, but the customer still has to sign up for it.

I usually use Amazon to check customers feed back on an item I intend to buy, and then I shop around for the cheapest which may be elsewhere. And I have never been signed up for Prime!

Edited By ted hughes on 08/04/2015 10:15:36

Bob Cotsford08/04/2015 11:13:29
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My Father has been caught out by prime twice, and I can understand exactly how easily he got caught. When purchasing items signing up to Prime is the default selection and the 'no thanks' box id lowlighted. Anyone with poor colour differentiation (ie most older people) will completely miss that and just see the 'free delivery' part.

Marketing and sales at it's worst. Pity as it is otherwise a good marketplace.

Prop Nut08/04/2015 11:13:30
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Posted by Tim Mackey on 08/04/2015 09:44:07:
No. Amazon and the rest of them need to get some ethics. To suggest that domeone should give up online shopping altogether if they are not savvy enough to avoid tricksters is just rude.

Why is it rude? Any form of purchase is subject to 'Caveat Emptor'. When you pay by credit card in a shop or restaurant, most people know not to let it out of their sight. If you pay by cheque, you know not to leave it blank and to draw a line after the amount in words to avoid it being falsified. If you buy online, you need to be aware of the boxes you are ticking and read the small print. If you are prepared to go to a shop that sells exactly what you want and pay in cash, fair enough, but be prepared for the shop to check the notes for forgery for their own protection. Don't we live in enough of a nanny state as it is?

Kevin 21608/04/2015 11:17:24
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Careful reading is required before checking/unchecking boxes, if however you make an error you should on receipt of any marketing mail shot be able to unsubscribe, and there should be a button or link to do this on the e-mails you receive.SWMBO joined a sewing magazine web-site by registering, she was not able to log in and contacted them, they said they had fixed the problem but she never managed to log in,however she was bombarded with marketing mail shots from them. So she tried the unsubscribe button and it did not work, after e-mailing the editor and a number of other individuals asking them to remover her from their mailing list with out success she informed them that she would contact the Information Commissioner's Office **LINK** she has never received a marketing mail shot from them again.

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator08/04/2015 11:30:27
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Well I don't believe its a question of a "nanny state" - its a question of business ethics and image.

Yes, companies can go down the route of trying to trick you like this, and sit smug with a "caveat emptor" philosophy. But my point is that many companies have come to realise that in these days of more enlightened and smarter consumers, and better inter-customer communications, it is not in their long term interest to behave like Arthur Daley!

One of a company's major assets (or liabilities in some cases!) is their reputation and image. Enlightened companies understand this - and they tend to be the ones that over the long haul do very well. The ones that guard their "good name", their reputation for fair dealing. They don't want to be seen as "jack the lad" - some spiv trying to trick you.

So, my original question was: why would a major company like Royal Mail want to risk its reputation for fair dealing with shabby little trick like this that might earn them a very small commission in the short term, but also do them long term reputational damage? It makes no sense. My bet is this is some stunt by the marketing department that the bods at the top are not even aware is going on!

BEB

Cuban808/04/2015 11:47:39
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Posted by ted hughes on 08/04/2015 10:14:55:
Posted by Cuban8 on 08/04/2015 10:02:21:
Posted by ted hughes on 08/04/2015 09:30:41:
Posted by Cuban8 on 08/04/2015 08:10:06:

My wife was looking at something on Amazon a couple of weeks ago - just browsing for a certain DVD. Although she didn't buy anything and was adamant that no other warning was flagged up or request was made, she received an email from Amazon thanking her for signing up to Amazon Prime and debiting her account £79. Luckily, it was easy to cancel, so no damage done.

I remember reading about the widespread problem of Amazon's customers being duped into signing up for their 'Prime' service and with the attendant adverse publicity, thought Amazon had learned their lesson. Apparently not, so if you do use Amazon, be very careful or you might wind up with an unwelcome and unwanted £79 bill from them

Edited By Cuban8 on 08/04/2015 08:13:09

This is a bit inaccurate. Although Amazon are very keen to push Prime, you do have to sign up for it! If someone isn't savvy enough to click the right boxes, perhaps they should give up online shopping?

I'll ignore the tone of your comment.

My wife has professional qualifications in IT and is well versed (savvy) in the day to day use of websites. She received no invitation on the website to join Amazon Prime, no warning that she had somehow 'purchased' AP and certainly didn't set out to do so. By simply browsing a few pages of DVDs, AP had been activated and this only came to our attention after she'd got an email from them. If that is what is meant by "signing up for it", I don't think much of it.

I don't mean to be rude. Amazon is a good shopping portal and it would be a shame to put people off using it by saying you can "catch" Prime just by using it.You can't, you have to sign up for it.Amazon tries to get as many people to sign up for it as they can, and their methods may be considered duplicitous, but the customer still has to sign up for it.

I usually use Amazon to check customers feed back on an item I intend to buy, and then I shop around for the cheapest which may be elsewhere. And I have never been signed up for Prime!

Edited By ted hughes on 08/04/2015 10:15:36

Ted, I accept that you didn't intend your comments to be interpreted as being rude........'nuff said.

However, and I state again in the clearest of terms.............My wife was enrolled in Amazon Prime without being clearly asked by the website if this is what she wanted at the time. Bearing in mind that she was just browsing and didn't actually buy anything or put anything in her basket and was not box ticking or even enquiring about a Prime account. No additional window relating to Prime popped up and the only indication was the later email saying thanks for joining Prime.

Are Amazon deliberately and cynically trying to entrap customers in to Prime against their will...........I doubt it, though some make take a different view.

Did a glitch occur..........possibly - what system can be 100% error free.

We got our £79 back immediately.

Life's too short as it is..............wink

avtur08/04/2015 12:08:39
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Posted by Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 08/04/2015 11:30:27:

So, my original question was: why would a major company like Royal Mail want to risk its reputation for fair dealing with shabby little trick like this that might earn them a very small commission in the short term, but also do them long term reputational damage? It makes no sense. My bet is this is some stunt by the marketing department that the bods at the top are not even aware is going on!

BEB

I agree with you 100% about the confusing nature of 'opt ins' and 'opt outs', the use of confusing double negative wording. Whether we're talking about hard copy or online they are all a dreadful mess. I also agree that they are to the detriment of the companies that engage with such methods. I think they do it because although there those like you, me and many others on here who do not like it, these companies know that on balance they will 'get away with it' and they will win more than they'll loose.

The tick boxes are there as a matter of compliance to show that the customer is being given the choice, however it is farcical when both the size and wording of the statements is so confusing/misleading. It needs dealing with but in the scale of things probably not a vote winner ....

Edited By avtur on 08/04/2015 12:08:59

Nigel Day08/04/2015 12:16:58
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Pardon me for being ever so slightly cynical, but the chances of it being dealt with avtur are probably less than zero.

Although the government (any) make suitable noises when people complain about any nuisance or even strong-arm marketing approaches, they see marketing as something that 'boosts the economy and provides jobs'. That means they won't do anything to reduce it simply because it annoys us.

And I agree with you again BEB

Edited By Nigel Day on 08/04/2015 12:18:11

DH 82A08/04/2015 12:22:22
198 forum posts

If the lady was only browsing, and didn't tick any boxes etc. how did Amazon get the bank details to extract the £79 ?

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