Letter: Consumers Are Angry With DM Industry

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In regard to Tad Clarke's editorial ("How About a DNSAMABTMS List?" Nov. 3), please back up a step and think about my observation regarding the lack of self-service capability with the catalog top 100 (Letters, Oct. 20). Of the 100 biggest catalogs, fewer than five had any findable means on their Web site for a prospect, suspect or customer to request any sort of "change."

When I say "change," I do not mean just "take me off your list." That is just one of many changes in life that need to happen. From where I sit, I see VERY ANGRY consumers, frustrated because they are targets that have no means of feeding information back into the process. IF -- and clearly this is a big IF -- the DM industry were responsive to consumer requests and expectations, I believe a lot of this simmering anger would evaporate.

You're angry at how powerless you are regarding your identity theft, right? It's your life that's disrupted and invaded, yet industry treats you as the pariah. Rather raises the blood pressure. I can guarantee you I'm NOT looking forward to convincing two of the three credit agencies that I did not in fact move from across the street. Somehow, someone reported that such an "event" occurred. How do I prove it didn't? Not going to be fun.

The list/DM/data industry is entirely one-sided. As my 21 letters to Dell show, on balance the DM industry simply ignores huge amounts of potentially valuable input, specifically when it comes from "customers."

What I want is for mailers to send me the stuff I want and HAVE THE ABILITY to stop sending the stuff I don't want. And in order for that to happen, mailers are going to have to learn to be responsive to outside signals. If it takes the heavy hand of legislation, so be it. But it certainly won't come from lack of warning.

It's time for the DM industry to stop dragging out that red herring of First Amendment/free speech and DO -- that's an active verb -- something about its inability, its outright refusal to listen to the voice of the consumer. If the DM industry can talk to me, why can't I talk to it? Hrumph!

Still angry in Boston.

David Eddy, Deddy@davideddy.com

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