I’m moving out of my current house at the end of the month (I’m planning to be a nomad for the next 6 months), and have changed my address in a couple places already. Well, I went home to my parents house today to help them with some remodeling and there was some snail mail SPAM from Clear offering $25 4g internet waiting for me. It’s no secret movers are a lucrative audience to reach for marketers as the chances are very good they are in the market for new services to go along with their home and will open their checkbook for those services. I know the reasoning behind companies selling that information is that it generates additional revenue and that they don’t think people will be able to figure out who sold their information given the range of companies that have access to your personal information. But consumers are not as stupid as you think. Bank of America and Paypal are the only two places I’ve changed my address information thus far, so one of those two companies sold (or “shared”) my personal information to Clear. But here is some news for Clear (and any other companies buying my personal information from these companies) — my parents already have internet and I’m not moving there; please stop sending me SPAM in the mail.

There’s no question those companies have the legal right to sell my data per their terms of use, but this is not about that. It’s about trust. Even though I’m not entirely sure who sold my information, both companies just lost my trust, and I’m seriously considering abandoning both of them. I get that everyone is struggling and companies need to generate revenue…but selling or “sharing” personal information is NOT the way to do it if you want to maintain your long term brand.

#FAIL on them for selling my personal information.

  • Agreed… the same happened to me this last November. I didn’t move residences, I was laid off. Before I even had the opportunity to inform anyone I received emails and snail mail with offers from one of my banks, credit cards and the phone company. I quickly moved and/or closed several of those accounts and services because of that. Trust is everything in my book. I don’t care what you revise every month in those micro-print account terms and conditions updates you mail me all too often. I’m gone.

  • Andrew Mattie

    One of the services that I use almost religiously is Sneakemail. It lets me generate email addresses either manually one a one-off basis (so I tell it I want one with a label of “Company X” and it returns fhdskjla@sneakemail.com) or on-the-fly (ANYTHINGIWANT-mattie@sneakemail.com, so drewmeyersblog-mattie@sneakemail.com works) for any service I sign up for that I don’t 100% trust (such as my bank, personal contacts, etc). From there, I can filter, disable, redirect, etc any of those email addresses any way I want.

    The great thing about using this service is that I can tell WHO sold my information, email them about it, and then shut off the SPAM faucet. This only works for email obviously, but it’s great stuff. So far, the absolute MOST amount of spam came from … drum roll … the USPS! I gave them usps-mattie@sneakmail.com (doesn’t work now since I turned it off) when I moved last, and about 2 months later, I started getting a crapload of spam coming into that address. I emailed them about it and turned off that address. It was awesome. There have been a number of other notable companies — especially Vegas hotels!! — that have either officially or unofficially (through a bum employee) sold my email addresses.

    Granted this only works with email and not snail mail, but at least it’s something. I do know people though who use middle initials / middle names to track snail mail, but I’m not that crazy. It’s funny to hear about who’s guilty though.

    Spam sucks.

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