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Jan 19, 2002
Blog Post

AmEx makes our Worst Practices in Permission Marketing list

SUMMARY: No summary available.
Shame on you American Express!!! I just got a new card, and was initially psyched to see on the little "How to Activate This Card" sticker on the front that you can now activate your card online. But then I noticed that right under that, the sticker says "or Call from your home phone for added security" which pretty much implies that the Internet isn't secure. Since research shows the reason why many folks *still* don't buy online are fears about security, allaying such fears are a major concern to online merchants. So basically Amex is slapping online merchants in the face.

Anyway I went online to activate, which is a much harder process than it is on the phone. You have to give your current address, your previous address, your driver's license number, your SSN, your birthday ... screen after screen of forms. After plowing my way through all of that, the last REQUIRED question was for my email. And directly under the box, was the following text, "Providing your e-mail address to American Express will allow us to send you e-mails to service your account and inform you of benefits, offers and services that may be suited to your needs. Please see our Privacy Statement for details and to set opt-out preferences."

There was no opt-out box on the page. You are forced to opt-in to get your card activated online. And then if you have time, dig deeper into the site to figure out how to opt-out again. What a big whomping example of Worst Practices in Permission Marketing.
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