Tuesday, December 9, 2008

An Open Letter to Goodreads

Dear Goodreads,

This is getting old. I tried last month to unsubscribe from your newsletter, and still it comes. I am not surprised. I did not sign up for the newsletter either. A close acquaintance signed up (not knowing any better) and Goodreads SPAMMED her entire address book, causing a great deal of grief and embarrassment. Now all these people (and me) continue to receive Goodreads monthly SPAM too; It's the gift that keeps on SPAMMING, and just in time for Christmas.

So, Mr. Goodreads, does this by any chance look familiar?
Do you send unsolicited emails or direct mail?

Goodreads absolutely, positively does not use the emails it collects as a source for unsolicited emails.

It ought to, it's from the Goodread Privacy Policy page. Surely the people at Goodreads have heard the old marketing maxim that if you displease one customer, that customer well tell 11 people, and those 11 people will tell another 4 each, for a total of 45 pissed-off customers. I've seen a few weakly worded posts in response to complaints around the blogosphere, but no real evidence that you are actually changing your Address Book SPAMMING practices, or making any effort to remove any email addresses you previously gathered in this manner.
Your registration pages still guide people into giving you access to their address books, and actually require extra effort (canceling pop-ups AFTER deselecting the check-box) to avoid this to avoid this step. In short, despite your claims that you have improved you practices, there is no evidence of this change.

If Goodreads is serious about changing their ways, and maybe correcting for past wrongs, then they had better get busy.

[Never reveal your email login and password to any program or internet service that you do not absolutely trust, and even then you should be very suspicious. Most certainly do not trust Goodreads to protect your privacy.]