Should I add an “Idiot Marketing” category to my blog?

Today I found two pieces of idiot marketing in my mailbox, both from my credit card company. One is a check that when cashed would enroll me in some fraud protection thing, which is stupid since I shouldn’t be liable for fraudulent charges anyway.

The other is an offer for an “upgrade” (and yes, even they used quotes) to a different card. Actually, it isn’t a physically different card… I would be sent a sticker, that I, a grown adult, could proudly place on my existing card to “transform” it. Two things really bothered me about this offer:

  1. The offer came in an important-looking piece of paper that is its own envelope, like the kind you get from your bank, where you have to tear off the perforated edges. This meant that I had to invest time into investigating its junkiness.
  2. If the “upgrade” were free, maybe I’d take it. But it isn’t — a $79 annual fee is mentioned on the back of the offer, about 1/3 of the way through the fine print terms that I’m not really expected to read. On the front, this is the only indication that there may be some sort of fee listed on the back that I should look for: “Just sign below and return this form (postage-paid reply envelope enclosed) to accept your [service] status, as described in the details on the other side of this form.”

    Here’s the other side of the form. Can you spot the price? It’s in bold so this shouldn’t be hard:
    Terms in tiny print

In an effort to reduce my incoming junk mail, I called the card company. It was funny because I didn’t know of a better term to use, so I asked the representative to take me off the “junk mail” list. Fortunately, she knew what I meant, and said that my request was processed. She then told me that I may continue to receive junk mail for up to 90 days. That’s three months. You’d think modern technology would be able to stop the spam before the end of June.

4 thoughts on “Should I add an “Idiot Marketing” category to my blog?”

  1. This is exactly why I’m completely immune to every piece of mail sent to me via USPS. I have a steadily growing unopened pile of mail on my kitchen table. Haven’t looked at any of it for months. I just assume any important information will be emailed to me…this is probably a dangerous assumption…especially since I’m steadily growing immune to my email as well.

  2. I wish this stuff could be stopped – it’s a waste of resources to create, send, and receive junk mail and think of all the poor senior citizens who might fall victim to these schemes.

  3. This is one of those cases where companies invest time and money to make sure their communications are as unusable as possible. It’s like those phone menus that are designed to waste your time, because they know a certain percentage of people will just give up after 20 minutes. It’s the evil opposite of usability.

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