Start Reading Those Privacy Policies!!!

by Melody
20 replies
A couple of weeks ago, I purchased a new IM product (which shall remain nameless to protect the jerks). The product was not even so-so - it was terrible. It's been reviewed here in the appropriate area, so others are of the same opinion.

However - I am now starting to wonder if the 'product' which had a great sales letter, a great story, and a pretty decent launch with some LARGE 'names' recommending it was really even the intended moneymaker of the whole scheme?

The product was weak, to put it mildly. And if you attempted to leave the page a couple of times - the product dropped from $49 to $7.99 (which is probably where it should have been priced).

But here's where the real moneymaker apparently comes in - it was used for lead generation - and by that - I DO NOT mean for their own list for upsells.

Within a few days, I started getting hammered with calls - all calling to say they were calling 'on behalf of XXXX" but then went on to pitch a totally different 'opportunity'. The calls have come as early as 7am - and as late (and annoying) as 10pm Sunday night.

I finally blew up at one guy that would simply not shut up and he told me that I had agreed to accept offers from this company's partners when I bought the product - and so I went back to read the whole Privacy Policy - and boy, is it a doozy!

It is massive and pretty much gives the company the ability to do anything want with your info including 'sharing' your details with their 'joint venture partners':

However, in instances where our company and a partner jointly promote our Services, we may provide the partner certain personal information, such as the name, address, and username of persons who subscribed to the Services as a result of the joint promotion for the purpose of offering you other products and services.

Considering the poor quality of the product, and the sheer volume of calls that I am getting - I would have to suspect that this product may have been thrown out there just to generate leads and little else.

While I understand that TECHNICALLY this method is legal - in practice - this was handled horribly, and you can bet that I will be checking the privacy policy of everything that I buy in the near future - and I won't be buying anything from the folks that launched this one - and in particular, from a couple of big names that I now know put this together.

This was an irresponsible use of a customer's details. One or two calls I can handle, but 5+ per day?? Especially when they were all using the same script??

This is beyond marketing and into harassment, and sure isn't going to get me to buy anything else from any of the parties involved!

I don't normally rant (I think this may be my first here, actually!) but this has really been a huge waste of time this week and I don't want to see anyone else here get hit!

Melody
#policies #privacy #reading #start
  • Profile picture of the author pizzatherapy
    Thanks for the heads up, Melody.

    You really pulled back the curtain on this one.

    I was part of one teleseminar recently where the "big name" recommended changing the privacy policy to be able to pull off the exact same scheme as you describe. He also recommended doing this so you could sell off your leads to other companies.

    Honestly, I could not believe he was recommending that people do that on product launches. I thought to myself: hasn't he already made enough money?

    I think while perhaps not illegal it is unethical. For me, the only recourse is to not ever buy products from these morons.

    I appreciate you spreading the word about this practice.

    I just hope enough people make noise and refuse to do business with these bozos. If they don't make any sales, this practice may stop.

    Here's what I do that seems to have stopped all phone calls from these type of offers: I fill in the numbers 000-000-0000

    I have not gotten one phone call from these marketers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Melody
    I know which teleseminar you are referring to - and this is one of the people that 'recommended' this particular product.

    Technically - it's legal as they covered their a**es in the privacy policy - but as a business practice - I think the way they handled this is potentially VERY damaging to the industry as a whole.

    The sad part is that while a few of the calls came from people that might actually be small entrepreneurs that bought the leads - the majority of the calls came from boiler room call centers - I recognize the phone numbers because they are the same ones used by Robert Allen and several other major names that use telemarketing centers to hawk their products.

    I just really hate to see this become a wide spread practice - and it also means that I am going to be looking very carefully at any affiliate programs that I get involved with as well, as I really don't want to face any potential repercussions from these practices.

    Melody
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    Melody,

    It might not be legal in the US.

    If I am on the Do Not Call list, the company I order from can call me BUT the people they sell/trade/give my name to can NOT call. I am not a client of theirs so they legally need to scrub the list before calling.

    Ofcourse I'm not an attorney so I could be wrong.

    Garrie
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    • Profile picture of the author Michele Miller
      That totally sucks Melody! I'd be pretty upset too. Thanks for sharing that info.

      Michele
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    • Profile picture of the author Melody
      Originally Posted by GarrieWilson View Post

      Melody,

      It might not be legal in the US.

      If I am on the Do Not Call list, the company I order from can call me BUT the people they sell/trade/give my name to can NOT call. I am not a client of theirs so they legally need to scrub the list before calling.

      Ofcourse I'm not an attorney so I could be wrong.

      Garrie
      I am on the DNC as well - but if you agree to the terms of the Privacy Policy when you make the purchase, it apparently overrides the DNC terms.

      And in this case - you had to click the TOS agreement to complete the sale, so you are supposedly giving permission to have your personal details scattered about like birdseed.

      And trust me - I am not letting go of this one. I have been in sales all my life and in some very regulated industries - I am checking all the regs on this one because they really went overboard!

      When I told the last guy to get my name off their list - he told me there was nothing illegal with generating leads and to go ahead and sue the company!

      Melody
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    Melody,

    You pasted that you agree for the site owner to give your details away. You didn't agree that they could contact you via phone. There is a difference.

    Garrie
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    • Profile picture of the author Melody
      Originally Posted by GarrieWilson View Post

      Melody,

      You pasted that you agree for the site owner to give your details away. You didn't agree that they could contact you via phone. There is a difference.

      Garrie
      I did not paste the entire PP - but it is very broad and although it's probably on the 'gray' side - they are still apparently within their rights to release to their 'partners' any information that you pass on to them.

      Again, legal or not - there are still ethical boundaries here that are definitely being crossed.
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  • Profile picture of the author ltdraper
    DNC does not apply to businesses, only telemarketing to individuals:

    Q&A: The National Do Not Call Registry :
    The National Do Not Call Registry is only for personal phone numbers. Business-to-business calls and faxes are not covered by the National Do Not Call Registry.

    Most people click right through the license agreements, TOS, and privacy statements without even looking at them. Take a look at Google's TOS some time: they have the rights to any information you store in a google document. And yet people use google docs for all kinds of proprietary business information.
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    Nothing to see here, move along...

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    • Profile picture of the author Melody
      Originally Posted by ltdraper View Post

      DNC does not apply to businesses, only telemarketing to individuals:

      Q&A: The National Do Not Call Registry :
      The National Do Not Call Registry is only for personal phone numbers. Business-to-business calls and faxes are not covered by the National Do Not Call Registry.

      Most people click right through the license agreements, TOS, and privacy statements without even looking at them. Take a look at Google's TOS some time: they have the rights to any information you store in a google document. And yet people use google docs for all kinds of proprietary business information.
      True - but in this case, since I am a home based business, and my phones are registered under my personal name - it's a personal phone number they are calling.

      Secondly - they don't ask if the number is business or personal when they collect the information.

      Again - as I said earlier - technically, they are probably within the letter of the law with the practice.

      But that still doesn't make it a GOOD business practice!!

      And again - having been in sales all my life - and having seen these type of situations bring down new regs in other industries that have just about killed many industries - I really hate to see this kind of thing not only start but being promoted by some very big names in the IM business.

      Melody
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Buckley
    I started through a purchase process from a well-known IM marketer using 2CO. I abandoned his shopping cart when I got to the part asking for my phone number. There was no doubt in my mind what was going to happen if I followed through.

    I suspect it's the same marketer.
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  • Profile picture of the author sunnyman
    Why not tell us who these people are? I like to know, so that I can avoid them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Buckley
      Originally Posted by sunnyman View Post

      Why not tell us who these people are? I like to know, so that I can avoid them.

      The forum rules forbid it
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      • Profile picture of the author sunnyman
        Originally Posted by Paul Buckley View Post

        The forum rules forbid it
        You mean it is not allowed to tell about a product that sucks? I thought there was a whole forum dedicated to product reviews!
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        • Profile picture of the author Kay King
          It's not just lowlifes doing this now. It has become more common and I've noticed phrasing on several privacy policies just recently that state "we may share your info with...." buried in the middle of a long paragraph. Some of these have been on sites of marketers you wouldn't expect this from.

          It's used to be common to share leads - then was frowned on - seem to be making a comeback. Point is not who does it - but to look at the policy before giving your contact/personal information to get a freebies or make a purchase.

          kay
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  • Profile picture of the author Gail Sober
    000-000-0000 is no fun

    Start using this number
    Telemarketers Nightmare

    Or, they have plenty of other number.

    Personally, I just never answer the phone on numbers I
    don't recognize. They can leave a message and I'll call
    back if it's someone I want to talk to.

    Of course, if your business requires you to answer all calls,
    that would be horrible fending off telemarketers all day.

    Though, you could end the conversation in 5 seconds or less
    by just hanging up the phone. That's what I'd do.

    No explanations
    No listening to a sales pitch
    No getting upset
    Just... 'click"

    Works every time
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  • That really stinks. What you could do to get the callers to stop calling is simply to state,

    "Please take me off your calling list",

    as soon as you answer the phone. If they call you again, they are basically breaking the law, at least this is the way I understand it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Melody
    Unfortunately, I have a consulting business with clients all over the globe, and overseas calls often show up as "unknown", 000-000-0000 etc - especially since many use broadband services when they call, so I can't really ignore calls just because I don't recognize the number.

    The problem is that in this case - the 'lead' has been sold to a LOT of different people - so at this point, I have probably told 30+ people to not call me again.

    The bottom line is simply that this is just a nasty unethical way to do business - and the product that started it all sucked on top of it!!

    Melody

    ps - and yes - this is someone that has had a few problems crossing the line in the past as well from what I understand, so I doubt he is losing any sleep over it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike McBride
    Melody,

    I feel your pain - stuff like that sucks.

    I used to just walk away from offers that required a phone number, for that very reason. But now I have a number from GrandCentral: The New Way to Use Your Phones that I use in those situations.

    It's free (at least for now.) You can either have the calls to that number directly forwarded to any other of your phones, or have all calls go directly to voice mail. And if a situation arises such as you've experienced, you simply log in to your account and with one click you can either block further calls from them, play them a "not in service message," or otherwise label them as phone-spam and never hear them again.

    Works like a charm.
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  • Profile picture of the author archer29
    It's kinda interesting that Mother Google who is interested in knowing all things now owns GrandCentral. I don't have a gmail account because they asked for my mobile phone number and I didn't want my mobile number linked with my ISP and end up in their search engine.

    Melody, so sorry that you got spammed in the worst possible way. It's much easier to delete email than have it in your face at 7am.
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