Thursday, April 27, 2006

There ought to be a law!

I have had it up to my ears with opt-out marketing, and I think there should be a law against it.

Here is how it works:

A company offers a free trial, or a heavily discounted trial of a product or service. It is the responsibility of the consumer to -- before the end of the trial period -- notify the company that it no longer wants to receive the product.

Buy a cell phone, get free web services for a month or two, and if you forget to cancel, you get billed.

Sign up for satellite television and get a bundle of premium channels at a discount. Forget to cancel, and suddenly they are part of your bill.

Click on the wrong button while online, and you are suddenly signed up for something that will bill you every single month.

Almost no one reads the fine print, so when you sign up for a free one week supply of a product, for only $1 in shipping and handling, you probably miss the fine print that lets them bill your credit card $39.00 a month and ship you a one month supply.

Buying a new car? Be careful, the satellite radio channels may only be free for the first 60-90 days, and then you start getting automatically billed on your credit card or debit card. Yeah, the same one the dealer copied for some reason or other. And yes, somewhere in the fine print you agreed to this.

In my opinion, opt-out marketing is unethical and should be outlawed. There are too many people getting suckered into monthly bills because the didn't read the fine print. The companies that participate in opt-out marketing know that almost no one reads the fine print and they have set up a marketing system designed to exploit human nature.

Says a lot for their ethics, doesn't it?

So, is there a State representative out there willing to prohibit opt-out marketing in Arizona -- or is the lobbyist money simply- too good to opt out of?

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