September 28, 2010

If You're Going to Run a Rewards Program, Here's a NO-NO

Almost two years ago, I went to get copies made of a poster at our local Staples. When I took the poster in, I asked the lady to make me one large color copy of the poster. She, of course, asked if I needed anything else. I said, "no" and she asked if I wanted to join the Staples Rewards Program. I said, "no thankyou, I don't need another account to keep track of". She politely accepted my answer and I thought that was the end of it.

Shortly after my experience, I received an email...
Thank you for enrolling in Staples Rewards - where you can earn 10% back in rewards on ink and toner, case and ream paper, Copy & Print Center Purchases and more.

Your Rewards customer number is #######

What? How could that be? I told the lady, "no thank you." Surely she understood what "no, thank you" meant. Wait, maybe its just a spam email. No, it was sent from "" and it was coming to my business email at the time. But, wait a second. I never gave the lady my email address. How could she get it?

And then it clicked with me...I had put my email address at the bottom of the poster I had her print. So she signed me up using the email address I had on my poster, not one I had given her freely.

Why am I ranting about this almost 2 years later? I just received a "10% OFF" thank you card with my Staples Rewards account number. So I'm taking this opportunity to tell Staples, if you're going to run a Rewards program, please have white-out ready at your printing centers for those who don't want to sign up for your program.

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