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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Brookstone "Surprised" Over Recent Comments

Blame It on Customer Service

In a recent post about Brookstone not providing an opt-out provision for selling your name, I quoted their customer service person, Patricia, as saying they do not provide this service. It’s not like she didn’t understand the question, because the answer was very specific as you can see in the post. As a result, I received an e-mail from Jay (no last name to protect the innocent), also in customer service, exclaiming his surprise at both what my blog said and what Patricia said.

Jay Has an Explanation, Requests Blog Update

“As is customary in the direct mail industry, we exchange our mailing list with other companies…” he starts, and proceeds to offer to remove my name from their list if I provide applicable information. He closes with a request to update my prior blog on Brookstone to reflect this latest statement on a policy that should have been in their catalog to begin with. At this point, I was becoming more concerned about Patricia’s fate, who most likely wouldn’t have given an answer that wasn’t predetermined policy.


So here’s the update. First of all, Jay, speaking for Brookstone, doesn’t have the candor to say they sell their mailing list much more than they “exchange” it. Second of all, don’t look in the catalog for an opt-out because it isn’t there. Third, even if you e-mail Brookstone—at least in my experience—you won’t get satisfaction. Fourth, start your own blog and complain and you are likely to get results. Hopefully, this is what Jay was looking for.

Moral of the Story

The selling of your name in the junk mail industry is one of the best kept secrets in all of advertising. Not just that they do it; we all know that. The big secret is the mystery behind how they do it, and how much they rake in off consumers’ names and personal data. Ready for this? That figure amounts to over $4 billion every year, and you don’t get one penny out of it. On the other hand, if the individual had control, they could determine who has access to this sensitive data, and be paid each time it is sold. Update complete.

1 comment:

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