Lies, Damn Lies, and Direct Marketing : LUSENET : Joel on Software : One Thread

You're not alone, Joel. It happens over here as well. In the last few months I've had unsolicited insurance quotes described as "important insurance documents enclosed" and attempts by my credit company to sell me a loan in the same "private and confidential" style envelopes they use to send out statements.

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2001


Now days, I look for those "Postage will be paid by addressee", "No postage necessary if mailed in the United States" and stuff it with all the junk they send me. If space allows, I'll even send other company's junk mail to them. I've lost count of how many credit cards companies got back magazine subscription forms when opening those envelopes thinking that it was another member ready to get in debt.

It makes me feel better about it. I don't have to recycle it; I don't have to throw it away. It's their garbage anyway. Let them handle it.

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2001

Another form of chicanery I've noticed is the perennial junk mail mimicing a tax refund check.

How stupid do they think we are?

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2001

I've gotten a couple of 'letters' that purport to be personal correspondence with a torn out magazine page and a hand written post-it note.

I've examined several of these closely, and it's pretty obvious that they really were assembled and written by hand. The tip off is that I don't know who 'phil' who signed the post-it is, nobody I know would drop something like that in the mail anyway(they'd use email), and even though the envelope uses a real stamp, it still has some kind of barcode along the bottom of the envelope.

The torn out magazine page is pretty convincing, though.

-- Anonymous, March 27, 2001

While i agree with all of you, i've got to warn Pablo that he's probably committing mail fraud.

-- Anonymous, March 27, 2001

I work in direct mail, at least the printing of it, and you're absolutely right. Sometimes we see things that just seem bizarre. Once we had a job for a charity, and we made it look very nice. Too nice. The customer had had studies done, and they found that if your begging letters look too professional, people won't think you need the money as much as some other shmoe, whose mail to you might look a bit more pathetic. So, we make the fonts blockier, and the graphics smearier, and all was well. So now we don't bother much with making sure the quality is that good on certain jobs. It's kind of a hard sell with the QC guys, always having to explain it to them. "You mean it's SUPPOSED to look like that?"

-- Anonymous, March 28, 2001

Great article!

Anyone who doesn't like junk mail around here? There should be laws that protect people, such as: if you promise it, you must deliver. Other countries have such protections, and it forces direct marketers to be more honest (no kidding!).

The idea about stuffing postage-paid envelopes with more junk mail is great! I don't see why this would be committing mail fraud? How would that be possible? I can't possibly be bound by using a return envelop only for the purpose it was sent to me... even if it said so on the junk mail letter they sent me in the first place.

Let's go for it! That may eventually drive costs up for direct marketing, therefore reducing (slighly) the amount of junk I get everyday.

-- Anonymous, March 29, 2001

Well..thats the whole point , they are all *JUNK MAILS*, however jazzy, eyecatching, and convincing they make it....who trusts them? its just supposed to go straight into the trash can. Whats more threatening is such mails coming from sources we trust..Like the banks that we deal with, medical insurance companies, consumer stores..or wherever you trusted the place and dropped off your address.

-- Anonymous, March 30, 2001

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