Saturday, September 5, 2009


Do you read those privacy notices that come in the mail for your credit cards or other companies with whom you have some sort of business relationship?

Today I received an envelope marked Important Privacy Choices from Chase. One of the things I was informed of was that unless I instruct them otherwise, they will share information about me with companies that they own or control, and/or will also share information about me with other companies they do business with to provide financial products and services.

In order for me to instruct them otherwise, I have to send back a form (see picture below) that requires me to use postage, or call them or fax the form to them.

Now, don't you think it makes more sense that unless I instruct them otherwise, they will NOT share information with anyone else about me?

Of course it does. But they also know that if they depended on obtaining explicit permission to share information, they wouldn't be sharing it with anyone because who in their right mind would reply in the affirmative? Or even bother to reply at all?

They know that there are plenty of lazy people like me out there who don't want to go to the trouble of filling out a form and putting on a stamp and mailing it, or even picking up the phone and having to suffer through listening to someone who tries to talk you out of canceling or tries to sell you other things when you call.

Why wouldn't they allow you to inform them of your choice online via their website? Because they know that's too easy, that's why.

Just like mail-in rebates, anything requiring proactivity is bound to make a lot of people say why bother with it. Like me.

I acknowledge that's my own fault if I don't bother to respond and as a result receive all sorts of junk mail but my point is, I shouldn't have to respond at all. I should only have to respond if I give my permission to receive that junk!


Anonymous said...

Too funny. I've done exactly the same thing with "OK".

Rickie Miyake said...

I think "OK" is even better! What I would suggest is replying to telemarketers using the answers found on a Magic 8 Ball, such as: "Signs point to yes," or "You may rely on it," or "Concentrate and ask again."

By the way, you can find all of the Magic 8 ball answers listed here: