I recently placed an online order with one of my favorite small merchants (Barclay-Crocker). When the transaction was completed, I was given the option of doing a BizRate survey. For the sole reason of thinking I might be helping this merchant out with their web site usability, I agreed to take the survey.
What a mistake. It was a survey — pretty bland, pedestrian questions that I cannot imagine generate much in the way of insight into the site — but boatloads of potential spam . . . lots of radio boxes to uncheck (the default is to subscribe you to a ton of junk; You must manually opt out of dozens of selections).
Even worse, was the "Thanks for taking the survey, here’s a free magazine subscription. Anything that’s free which asks you for your credit card ain’t really all that free.
I ended up with the sense that the Biz Rate survey’s were less a real tool to help online retailers, and more an excuse for some (mildly) permission marketing — or potentially worse.
All told, it was not a satisfying experience interacting with Biz Rate. They send reminders, verifications, and other idiotic time wasters. If you are a merchant, I suggest you do not annoy your clients with this worthless tripe. And as a consumer, I found it a bothersome waste of time. Even the unsubscribe requires several subsequent pitch filled annoying messages:
Thank you for verifying your Cash Giveaway entry information. We are sorry you decided not to receive BizRate’s FREE Shopping Newsletters. This email confirms that you are unsubscribed from our Newsletters. (If you recently completed a survey you may receive an invitation to rate your satisfaction with order delivery, if you have haven’t already done so.)
Here is your additional thank-you, featuring a free trial to Netflix and a free cell phone.
They are actually a covert spammer. Every contact I had with them contained some advert, some come hither "offer," some special pitch. Just because it wasn’t for viagra or porn doens”t make it any less spam.
For future reference — no more Biz Rate for me . . .
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