Hey, we helped get an Ameriprise customer banned from the financial company’s consumer advisory panel! Sorry about that, Brendan.
Brendan sent this to us back in August right after we posted about Ameriprise’s 5-month-long security hole that they wouldn’t fix, despite repeated warnings from a security expert. (When a news organization contacted them to confirm the exploit, they fixed it within 2 hours.) Brendan decided to bring it up among the members of his Ameriprise consumer advisory panel—the one place where you might think discussions about things like reputation, trust, and reliability would be encouraged.
Up until yesterday, I was a member of Ameriprise’s 600 member consumer advisory panel, which is a private forum administered by Communispace. Since most of the forum members are Ameriprise clients, I posted a link to the above article, and to the Register article it references.
That prompted the following e-mail from my “Financial Connection Facilitator”:
This morning we noticed that you posted a discussion titled “Ameriprise Web Site Riddled with Security Vulnerabilities for at Least Five Months!?”
The main purpose of this community is to serve as “consumer consultants’ by sharing your perspectives and opinions with us and each other on your finances. While we encourage you to discuss whatever topics are important to you, we just ask that you keep in mind that the 600 of you represent a diverse group, and we are interested in hearing all perspectives on a given topic – even the unpopular ones.
That said, we are uncomfortable with the discussion you started. As per our member agreement, we reserve the right to remove any content from the Web Site for any reason or no reason and have removed your discussion.
Please continue to be considerate of all opinions, and recognize that not everyone will necessarily share your perspective.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by email.
We appreciate your understanding and assistance.
Brendan responded angrily,
So much for a free and open exchange of ideas.
What does our diversity have to do with it? Are you saying that we are such a diverse group that some members will not be interested in knowing that Ameriprise jeopardized their sensitive financial data?
Your wording implies that I was somehow out of line or off on some weird tangent. Name just one member out the 600 in our little group who would not share my perspective and completely agree with me that Ameriprise has done wrong. The company was clearly asleep at the wheel with regards to the security of customer information, spent five months ignoring a security expert who tried repeatedly to bring the problem to their attention, and then had the nerve claim that the problem was no big deal.
Instead of pretending that I have said or done something inappropriate, and instead of pretending that the other members of our community would somehow be offended or not appreciate knowing about this very valid security concern, why don’t you just be honest: Ameriprise signs your paycheck, so you are going to suppress any discussion of this outrageous failing on the part of Ameriprise.
And with that, Sandra deleted Brendan’s account.
Obviously you have a sick fetish, Brendan, where you’re obsessed with things like trust and security when it comes to your finances. Gross! “Stay away from our beloved customers!” cries Ameriprise in pain. We hope you’ve looked for, and found, a better match for your higher standards.