Some content creators in Second Life really don’t understand the basic notions of courtesy and respect for the customer, and I’m not talking about customer service here. Like many of you people, I shop around for things that catch my eye – whatever these things may be. And then, some of the content creators from whose shops (in-world or marketplace) I’ve shopped think I gave them permission to send me monthly, bi-weekly, weekly, or even daily updates about their new products, events, hunts, sales, etc.
This means that my SL-only email is inundated with notifications for these inventory offers, which I delete. And then, when I log in, I have to delete these notifications in-world as well, and discard the inventory offers as well. No, I can’t turn the “receive offline notifications in my email” off, because that way I’d lose the ability to receive notifications for communications I’m actually interested in, and I can’t report them as spam, because then my webmail provider’s spam filtering system would end up blocking offline IMs as spam too.
Exactly what gave these content creators the impression I wanted to receive updates for their products? I didn’t join their update groups; I didn’t fill out a form where I had to tick a box next to something like “Golly gee, your products rule so much I want you to send me updates forever!”. No. This is all unsolicited. It’s unsolicited commercial communications, which is (at least in the European Union) the legal definition of spam.
Leaving the legal bits out, this sort of thing speaks volumes of the content creator’s mentality. They think the buyer’s wishes don’t matter – and I’m not talking about taking customer input into consideration for developing new products. I’m talking about basic courtesy: It is my wish to have an uncluttered mailbox, and to not be hit in the face with a gazillion of notecards and inventory offers (about stuff I don’t even care about) when I log in. This wish, however, is not respected by some content creators. They think they have the right to litter my mailbox and my inventory with stuff I don’t want to receive, and that I have no right to decide if I want this stuff. So, they add me, you, and everyone else, to their recipient lists and start firing off notecards all over the place. All this because we once made the mistake of buying something from them. This has got to stop. It’s disrespectful. It’s rude. It’s unprofessional.
And now, let me give you four basic pointers regarding the sending of updates to your existing customers…
First of all, it doesn’t matter how much stuff I’ve already bought from you. I may have bought one item, I may have bought two, ten, a hundred thousand. However many of your products I may have bought from you, it’s not OK for you to start sending me notifications I never asked for.
Second, when you add me to a recipient list for your notecard sender without my explicit, certifiable and revocable consent… This pisses me off. So much so, that (a) I’ll never buy from you again, (b) I’ll tell others not to buy from you. EVER. Are you sure that’s what you want?
Third, if I wanted to be kept up-to-date with your product range, I’d have joined your update group or your mailing list, and I know how to do this myself – I don’t need you to do this for me, especially given that I never asked for it. But if you’re being so unprofessional with the notecards, why should I trust you to honour an “unsubscribe” request?
Fourth, familiarise yourselves with the notion of consent. It’s not exactly rocket science.