When there’s a lot of money to gain, many brands have trouble giving up questionable practices. And in the case of the online marketing case now in the Senate, many retailers came out this week with statements that indicate they’re putting profits ahead of their customers.
Last week the Senate held a hearing investigating the practices of online marketing companies that work with many retailers online to unwittingly enroll customers in loyalty programs that end up costing a lot of money.
Multiple retailers have severed ties with the companies in the following week. But not all. Many companies, from Priceline to Classmates.com, FTD, Shutterfly and Orbitz, think they’ve done nothing wrong and it’s up to customers to read the fine print.
But by enrolling people in these programs without asking for additional credit card information, the retailers breached the trust of their customers. For some retailers — especially those known for questionable deals at absurd prices — that might work. But for most, earning revenue from confusing customers is bad business.