July 10, 2003

Privacy Breach Part II

I have previously written about my privacy concerns with Sunglass Hut, and I sent them an email concerning my problems. It's been well over a month and I've never gotten a response. However, their customer profiling activities have continued and they've ratcheted up their marketing to a new level. They sent me a birthday discount coupon, which looked like a birthday card. This did not thrill me, since I never gave them my birth date. The only way they could have gotten this would have been through nefarious backdoor methods (i.e. pulling data from the credit card at the point of sale).

If they think this is going to encourage me to do business with them, they're sadly mistaken. Given their lack of response and their continued unauthorized use of my personal data I have now decided that I will never do business with them again in any form. I will find other places to buy sunglasses (I see that Bass Pro carries Oakleys now, so I may check with them).

Update: I called their "customer support" number. After waiting for 5 minutes on hold for a representative, their system disconnected me. I called back and managed to get someone after a couple of minutes (right about the time I was getting sick of the instrumental version of Bruce Hornsby's "The Way It Is"). I asked how they would have gotten my personal information, including my birthdate. The representative told me that the only way they could get it would have been through the warranty registration. I found this dubious, since I generally don't fill out warranty registrations unless the object in question is of high value. But it's been more than a year, and I can barely remember what I did yesterday, so I didn't argue about it. I just told her that I wanted to be off the mailing list.

In any event, if I did give them my information, and the request for it was presented to me as a warranty registration, then they'd still be using it against my wishes, since I would not have given permission to use it for marketing purposes.

Posted by Aubrey at July 10, 2003 10:08 AM | TrackBack
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