Tags: 'Opt | in | Opt | out | Wanna | Opt | Off'

'Opt in, Opt out, I Wanna Opt Off'

Thursday, 10 May 2001 12:00 AM

If the e-mail is a reliable indicator, this faithful NewsMax.com reader is but one of a large aggregation of aggravated Americans who have been receiving fine-print Privacy Policy notices from assorted enterprises with which they are carrying on unrequited electronic relationships.

It's maddening enough, she says, that she must sift her way through all the lawyer talk in the "privacy" notices and have to check little boxes – which a failure to do would be an acquiescence in having her name, address and who-knows what else shared with marketers ready to pounce upon her.

Why, she would like to know, doesn't the federal law that sets up this backwards procedure simply stop the credit-card issuer from revealing her personal information unless she affirmatively grants that privilege?

Why should a little unchecked box be given the power to grant her approval to anything?

The other bur under Joan Battey's saddle is that in one of these opt-in, opt-out exercises, she discovered she had been reduced to a nameless bar code.

This is only the latest assault upon her sanity, as she describes in her e-mail lament below, in which the true name of the offending vendor has been camouflaged to "Got-Cha" to spare her further bedevilment:

"Yesterday we got a notice from Got-Cha regarding opting out of sharing information about our Got-Cha MasterCard account.

"The 'opt-out' section I was asked to mail back, with several 'opt-in' choices, had no name and address for us and no space for us to fill one in – only a bar code across the bottom.

"In today's dumbed-down work force – lacking in integrity in many places, infiltrated at will by hackers and identity-stealers – how is there any guarantee that the bar code refers to us, aside from all concerns about being only a bar code on the planet, not a person?

"Worse yet, Got-Cha was carefully informing us about privacy options with our wonderful Got-Cha MasterCard.

"Interesting – and alarming – aspects of the notice: We had already, much earlier, refused an unsolicited MasterCard account and chopped up the card and sent it back.

"Background on that:

"Several months ago, Got-Cha arbitrarily issued us a Got-Cha MasterCard, replacing and closing out the then-current Got-Cha charge card and account number.

"I called and complained that we did not want a second MasterCard, that we had already had one for years.

"The phone-bank employee got very nasty and said that I 'should have paid more attention to the form' when I had applied for Got-Cha credit and that '

"That Got-Cha account had been taken out

"After a long go-round, and many preliminary refusals, I obtained the name of the Got-Cha vice president for credit operations, and a mailing address – all given in a very disgusted tone of voice.

"My letter to the v.p. outlining the glitches in the unannounced issuance of a Got-Cha MasterCard was intercepted by a customer-service rep, who opted to answer my letter with a form letter, stating that a new Got-Cha card account could be issued – but only with a written request by my husband.

"And, they would indicate that the new account reflected the original date of Got-Cha credit application years ago.

"Meanwhile, we found that friends of ours had received

"And now we get a mailing indicating we have an active Got-Cha MasterCard that supposedly was canceled several months ago, so we can tell them if it's OK to share information about us.

"Every statement from any business also comes with a plea to let them make paying bills so much easier: Send a voided blank check so they can make automatic withdrawals from our checking account instead of bothering us with details and extra work. Sure!

"You're not in good hands with any of these people behind any of the drapes.

"I could write reams about stupid merchandising decisions that retailers have been conned into making over the past several years.

"Maybe I'll write a book to be buried in a time capsule for safekeeping over the coming national chaos. If our experience with Got-Cha's MasterCard operation is any indication, the retailing business is close to imploding."

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If the e-mail is a reliable indicator, this faithful NewsMax.com reader is but one of a large aggregation of aggravated Americans who have been receiving fine-print Privacy Policy notices from assorted enterprises with which they are carrying on unrequited electronic...
'Opt,in,,Opt,out,,Wanna,Opt,Off'
692
2001-00-10
Thursday, 10 May 2001 12:00 AM
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