Waitress: Well, there’s egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam sausage spam spam bacon spam tomato and spam;
Vikings: Spam spam spam spam…
Waitress: …spam spam spam egg and spam; spam spam spam spam spam spam baked beans spam spam spam…
Vikings: Spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam!
Waitress: …or Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and spam.
Wife: Have you got anything without spam?
Waitress: Well, there’s spam egg sausage and spam, that’s not got much spam in it.
Wife: I don’t want ANY spam!

– Monty Python’s Flying Circus

I feel a lot like the wife in the Monty Python Spam skit.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t like spam – be it from someone I used to do business with, someone I’m currently doing business with, or even someone I may deal with in the future.  Though if you want to deal with me in the future, you’re smart enough not to spam me in the first place.  Lately, though, there have been some reputable companies that have been turning to spam that have made me sad and made me wonder – When did spam become an acceptable business practice?

Definition of Spam

Taken from Encarta, via Bing:

Definition
spam
NOUN
spams plural
1. electronic junk mail: an unsolicited, often commercial, message transmitted through the Internet as a mass mailing to a large number of recipients
TRANSITIVE AND INTRANSITIVE VERB
spammed past and past participle
spam·ming present participle
spams 3rd person present singular
1. send unwanted e-mail: to send an unsolicited e-mail message, often an advertisement, to many people
2. post unwanted electronic messages: to post a message many times to a newsgroup, or an inappropriate message to multiple newsgroups

Let’s see… words that stand out there – unsolicited, unwanted, and inappropriate.  That describes the piece that I am covering here in this post.

Chase – Threatening to Spam

This was piece of mail that we received at home, telling us that Chase realized that we weren’t on any of their mailing lists and that they were going to start mailing us all sorts of stuff unless we opted out.  Really?  My husband and I each got a copy of this letter – so count the postage on both to be sent out, the paper to print said letter, the trees that were killed unnecessarily.  Apparently one of the guys I follow on Twitter had this same experience:

 

Chase letter: “You are not being mailed any of our product spam. Circle the products you DO NOT want to receive by mail, sign & date.” #Evil
Nov 02 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

Really, Chase, when did it become acceptable to realize you weren’t mailing your customers and figured it’d be good to warn them that you’d be mailing them if they didn’t opt out?  Rather than taking that approach, why couldn’t you have said, “We have {such and such services}.  If you’re interested, please fill in the circles of those you’re interested in.”  Sad state of affairs when you’re forcing people into your programs and making them opt out rather than taking the opt-in approach.   Customers really don’t appreciate that kind of business.