“Preacquired account marketing” – just another name for grift

Never ceases to amaze me what companies will do to swindle people out of their money.

I heard about this Information Week article while listening to episode 222 of This Week in Tech today. In short companies are practicing a form of “post transaction marketing” in which marketers can get your credit card information simply by the relationship they have with the merchant with which you are doing business.  From Information Week:

Using this tactic, the third-party marketer only needs an e-mail address or a click as purchase authorization. The retailer, in effect, sells the customers’ credit card information because the retailer, as a partner, will get a cut of whatever extra charge the customer can be duped or pushed into accepting.

Post-transaction marketing itself is the list of offers you might receive during checkout of a purchase at a web merchant that is engaging in this form of trickery.   The list almost appears like it’s required because they intentionally make the offers confusing or make the accept or deny links hard to determine properly.  GoDaddy.com does this and it ended up making me so angry I stopped using them as a domain name registar.

A list of some of the sites engaging in this behavior is at the bottom of the article and it’s a who’s-who of the web.  Truly disgusting behavior.  And so many think we need less government regulation.  “The private markets will police themselves” they say.  Sure guys.  This clearly is an example of the market policing itself right?  In my mind this is just plain-old fraud.  I don’t know how it can be described as anything else.  Douchebags.

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