A Volvo Dealership E-Stalked Me

Inspired by yesterday’s post about Victoria’s Secret’s e-snooping, Julia says she felt cyberstalked by a Volvo dealership. When she sent the business an email, she got a response back to not only the account she sent the email from, but a different, personal address.

I just wanted to write to you about the story about VS emailing a client who didn’t sign into their website.

I have been looking for a new to me car to buy, and I thought I found one at [redacted] Volvo in MA. I wrote to them through the website using this account, which is an account I use for all business and possible spam transitions. I have a personal email as well that I only give out to friends.

Shortly after emailing them, I got put on their mailing list (despite never being asked if that was ok) and got an email letting me know they were on twitter.

What prompts me to write is that I got the exact same email on my personal account!

There was no account to sign into. I found them through autotrader.com and I hadn’t signed up with them for an account. I did give them my full name, but I with held all other personal information (except I would be traveling from Maine to see the car)

Somehow they got my private email, and that to me was pretty stalkerish.

Surprisingly I went down to see the car anyway (ok not that surprisingly since it was the only one in the area) and it was a total lemon. Despite having a sticker on it that said they had already certified it the battery was dead and refused to hold a charge, one of the tires was frozen and would not turn, among other issues. Having traveled a long way, I thought I would try to haggle the price to see if we could come to some sort of price arrangement before having to travel all that way again to test drive the car. They wouldn’t even begin to budge on the price.. so I left and told them I wasn’t intersted. The next day I got a phone call from them telling me the car was “ready”. Guess they hoped I’d over pay for the car (which was priced $2k over what was standard for that model)

Anyway. Needless to say I won’t be doing any business with them – ever. But I did want to let you know that business can be bored enough (being kind) to grab personal information that they shouldn’t.

The multiple email account plan — one for potential spam, the other a more private, sacred account — seems like a solid system. If you employ such a method, which businesses have managed to breach your no-fly zone?