A company called Solve Media is rolling out a new CAPTCHA interface that requires you type in an ad slogan instead of a nonsense word, reports AdAge. Advertisers are looking for message comprehension,” says the company’s owner, “And you know what they say, ‘If you write something down, you remember it.'” And if you force a customer to repeat your slogan during an unrelated transaction, does he resent you for it?
The group Consumer Watchdog is pushing hard for Congress to establish a “do not track” list for online consumers, which I’m all for. I’m not sure whether releasing a ridiculously unpleasant cartoon in Times Square is the right strategy, though–especially when you use the very service you’re warning people about.
Trance has a question for the Consumerist hive mind: Are you receiving more promotional e-mails than you were, say, a year ago? Not spam, but actual retailers that you want to hear from when they have a sale. Trance doesn’t have statistics for this, but thinks that she’s receiving more messages this year than last year, and has had to unsubscribe.
Last month Chipotle put out a call for customers to forward 500,000 junk email messages to firstname.lastname@example.org, pledging to donate $50,000 to charity in return. Now the maker of foil-wrapped burritos has upped the ante, asking for another half million male enhancement and fake dating site queries in order to hike up its donation to $100,000.
Google’s not the only company that wants to put ads on everything you read. HP’s new web-connected printers will let you send pages or photos directly from websites or phones and schedule recurring printouts from content partners–and the company is pilot testing a program with Yahoo’s advertising network to deliver targeted ads on those scheduled printouts.
“Amazing Incentives For Select Toyotas That Will Not Last Long.”
Reader Maida did a spit-take when this email from a Toyota dealer offering 0% APR for 60 months landed in her inbox. Yeeks, talk about a syntactical pileup.
I got this spam recently. Looks like our spammer forgot to fill out his form fields! “Whatsup My parents are from #CSVFIELD(3)# too! Are you 100% sure you wish to get rid of this #CSVFIELD(2)#?”I love how vague and modular it is, it’s like spam madlibs!
Assemblyman Paul Moriarty wants direct mail marketers to stop sending out those “free money!” checks that auto-enroll you in expensive programs when you deposit them, while a senator has introduced a similar measure. “Instead of relying on tricks, companies looking to sell their services in New Jersey should go back to the old-fashioned way: earning consumers’ trust,” said Moriarty.
After we posted yesterday about a T-Mobile customer being greeted by pictures of topless women when he logged into his account to pay his bill, some of you asked, “What’s the problem?” Several readers’ stories answer that question. (Censored but not exactly tasteful pictures inside.) UPDATE: T-Mobile response inside.
Facebook won $711 million in a lawsuit against a notorious spammer. Don’t cheer too hard, though. The same spampresario owes MySpace $234 million for the same thing.
Peter was pretty frustrated when Payless Shoesource ignored his two opt-out texts and continued to pester him with SMS spam. His complained via email and got taken off their list, but then he decided to see if he could get back the money those texts cost him.
It used to be that when you were followed by a spammer on Twitter, you had to go report them by sending a direct message to Twitter’s official spam account. Now they’ve updated their reporting system, so all it takes is a single click. Have fun turning in the bots!
Where does spam come from? Well, there are these things called botnets. They’re networks of hijacked computers that secretly do the bidding of their masters. Often, they send out spam. Comcast plans to offer an automated service that will inform you, within your browser, if your computer is behaving as if it has been compromised by malware.