Posted by: Rob Hof on August 31, 2005
Last week, I raked Omaha Steaks over the coals as a particularly annoying example of the continuing poor privacy practices of many Web sites. Well, I have to give the company credit for listening at least a little.
A few hours ago, I got a letter via UPS to my doorstep from Omaha Steaks CEO Bruce Simon. He apologized for my receiving repeated, unwanted telemarketing calls and apparently took me off the company’s list. (He also said the company is sending me a complimentary box of filet mignon. While I appreciate the sentiment, journalistic scruples will require me to decline the shipment. So if it hasn’t been sent out, Mr. Simon, please hold the steaks.)
Still, while it’s good that the company at least offers an opt-out alternative for emails and removes customers from telemarketing lists on request, I don’t think that’s good enough in this day and age of relentless marketing pitches. The savviest companies have opt-in policies, which require customers specifically to check boxes saying they want to be emailed or called with pitches.
Don’t get me wrong. Kudus to Omaha Steaks for responding promptly to my public complaint. It’s just that I don’t want to have to take the initiative to tell a company to leave me alone. And I don’t think most people do either.