Local Baseball spam

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Subject: Saturday Game Time Changed to 7:35 pm!
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2005 17:32:47 -0700 (PDT)
From: getinthegame@rivercats.com
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Hey Fans,

Due to tomorrow’s game (Saturday) being televised on Fox Sports Net Bay Area, the game will start at 7:35pm. The gates will still open at 6:00pm! Don’t miss the Sutter Health Fireworks after the game!

To buy tickets to this game, click here.

Hey Rivercats,

When I provided personal information to Tickets.com when purchasing tickets online I had no idea that you would spam me. The phone call from Ryan in your season ticket sales office was bad enough, but you just sent me an alert about the changed start time of a game I don’t have tickets for. But that’s okay, you say, because using the simple link enclosed in the email, I can buy tickets.

I’m sure you think this behavior is okay. You probably assumed everyone who’d bought tickets in the past might be interested in this information. You may even think red wine pairs well with fish. But you’d be wrong on all counts. Well, except about the fish — a fruity red actually goes quite well with grilled tuna — but that’s a whole other story.

Email marketing should be permission based. Write that down and glue it to your monitor. Placing an order with a third party vendor who shares that information with you DOES NOT constitute giving you permission to use it for marketing purposes. You see, when you send a commercial message by email to lots of people who didn’t ask for it, you have what’s known as Unsolicited Commercial Bulk Mail. Spam in the common vernacular.

Whichever over-eager marketing intern came up with the bright idea to use the tickets.com information for marketing should be fired. In public. At the plate during the 7th inning stretch. While wearing a dunce cap and a tutu. This person has single-handedly destroyed whatever reputation and goodwill the Rivercats brand has with nearly everyone who was the target of this misguided missive.

At first I was upset with Tickets.com for sharing this information with you. After all, I shared the information with them and they passed it on to you. But then I realized that some information has to be shared with the venue. And the Tickets.com privacy policy is pretty clear that they have no control over what the venue does once they have that information. After all, they’re just acting as a service provider. I really bought the tickets from the Rivercats, not from Tickets.com. It’s the Rivercats who abused my contact info, not Tickets.com

So do me a favor and take me off your email and phone lists. And do yourself a favor and toss out the lists you got from Tickets.com. Sure, you’ve built a big list, but it’s not a very good list.

Chris D.
June 18, 2005 3:07 PM

I agree. Many websites have done that to me and I don't appreciate it. Now I tend to use bloglines or another anoymous e-mail service to get the info I need and then terminate the account. Glad to see you posting again. I thought you fell off the face of the earth for a while.

kaye trammell
June 19, 2005 11:28 AM

TicketMaster does the same thing - only thing is that I have 'unsubscribed' ten times & still I get announcements about bands I have no interest in. It is horrible - no wonder Pearl Jam fought them back in the day. They have just increased their ways to annoy event goers (i.e., extra charges). PS - wouldn't it be great if both Tickets & TicketMaster were in the group of innovative companies that scour blogs for people talking about their products & they now knew how much we hate their inconsiderate marketing behavior?

Jim Bonfield
July 9, 2005 10:18 AM

Hey Adam, it is really nice to see you posting again...Although I am completely with you on this topic - emotionally - the fact is the Tickets.com User Agreement puts them in good standing with regard to your implied consent...From their website... "8. Electronic Communications When you purchase tickets or merchandise from us, or when you become a registered user with us to facilitate future transactions, you are communicating with us electronically and by doing so, you consent to receive electronic communications from us regarding a purchase you are making or an event to which you have purchased tickets. Additionally, by consenting to accept electronic communications from us, you also agree that all agreements, disclosures and notices, including any updates to this Agreement, may be provided to you electronically and that an electronic communication from us satisfies any legal requirement that a communication be in writing. In addition, when you purchase tickets or merchandise from us, or when you become a registered user with us, you agree that you have established a business or personal relationship with the Company and you consent to receive email notices or advertisements from us in the future about events, products or services that may be of interest to you. If you are not interested in receiving email notices or advertisements from us, you should unsubscribe now." The "unsubscribe now" text is an actual link to an opt-out form. I get that they don't get what true opt-in is about. (I know from personal and professional experience with the organization when I worked with them as The Bee's online biz dev manager.) However, it appears that they are playing by the rules as they are written.

January 2, 2006 1:52 AM

When you purchase tickets or merchandise from us, or when you become a registered user with us to facilitate future transactions, you are communicating with us electronically and by doing so, you consent to receive electronic communications from us regarding a purchase you are making or an event to which you have purchased tickets.

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