When Deception and Lies Became Acceptable
This is not a technical post; I realize it will probably appear on several syndication sites where people expect to read technical content. Sorry about that;you can skip it.
I’m really amazed at what people will put up with in old-fashioned post office style mail. With email, everyone and their mother knows that spammers are scum and that it’s immoral to do business with them. By regular mail, perfectly respectable companies don’t just send unsolicited mail (snail-spam); they send deceptive and dishonest snail-spam, and people take it in stride and don’t think anything is out of the ordinary.
I just checked my mail today. In addition to regular junk mail, here’s what I found:
- A letter from Chase, a bank and credit card provider. On the front, it says “Important Information Enclosed” and “This may be your only notice.” It’s an advertisement, but they didn’t want me to think that, at least until I got a little ways in.
- A letter from Solstice Capital, a home loan company. The envelope has official-looking notices warning the postmaster (yes, the postmaster!) not to bend or tear the letter. On the inside, the letter is designed to look like a court filing. The second sheet has something that looks so much like a check that they had to write “Not a Check” twice in inconspicuous places around the edge. (The “looks like a check” deception is among the favorites of the less ethical snail-spammers.)
I sat back and wondered how we got to this point; where a respectable gentleman will swear about spam, but will ignore the lies and scams in their regular mailbox. It’s probably because no one pays attention, and no one says anything.
Here’s my commitment: from now on, when I receive deceptive snail-spam, I will call, speak to the highest-level supervisor I can, and let them know exactly why I will never do business with them again. I’m also keeping a list of companies that do this, and I encourage you to help me maintain the list.