Patti (whipartist) wrote,
Patti
whipartist

Downbound.com: how to lose my business in one easy step

Last night I placed an order with a company called Downbound, that promotes themselves as organic, eco-friendly, and ethical. During the ordering process, I very carefully (and with great effort) ensured that the "send me email marketing" checkbox was NOT checked. They made this hard, as every time they redrew the screen, such as when you changed the shipping method, they rechecked the box.

This morning I received spam from them for some ecotourism something or other. I checked their privacy policy and found this paragraph:
If you have opted-in to receive our e-mail newsletter, we may send you periodic e-mails. If you would no longer like to receive promotional e-mail from us, please refer to the "How can you opt-out, remove or modify information you have provided to us?" section below. If you have not opted-in to receive e-mail newsletters, you will not receive these e-mails. Visitors who register or participate in other site features such as marketing programs and 'members-only' content will be given a choice whether they would like to be on our e-mail list and receive e-mail communications from us.

After firing off angry email to them (which bounced), I called their customer service number and canceled my order. I also explained to the customer service person in no uncertain terms why I was canceling and that I would be sharing this information publicly. The customer service person said that the email had gone out to their entire customer base, and I pointed out that this was in clear violation of their privacy policy.

It's too bad... I've been buying a lot of hemp rope lately, and they looked like they were going to be an excellent supplier. If it had worked out, I would have recommended them to my friends. As it is, I can only offer an anti-recommendation.

I find it ironic that a company that proclaims themselves to be ethical in large type on their front page is so insensitive to ethical email practices.
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