SHADES OF FACEBOOK ‘ETHICS’?
Maybe like me you recently received an email containing a survey request from Redbubble, seeking to “improve” RB and claiming to seek our opinions … and also valuing these “quite a lot .. really”.
Note the use of the word “opinions”, therefore implicitly leading us to believe that RB is not actually seeking HARD PERSONAL DATA – under the guise of seeking opinions!
Given the past debates about just how seriously RB takes its members views and feedback on anything and to see if things have improved here, I immediately opened the first page of the RB survey. And my thoughts on what I found now follow:
SURVEY’S STATED PURPOSE: The survey states that it is supposedly focused on asking redbubble members what other types of products their product team could develop … in relation to new applications of our designs and artworks. QUOTE: “Our product team is constantly on the lookout for new things on which to print the millions of brilliant designs from our worldwide community of artists. While our product team is a clever bunch, your opinion matters to them quite a lot (really).”
REALITY: While this may have been the ‘claimed’ purpose, it turns out the opening page asks nothing but a series of personal details (hard data/factual not opinion based) questions which in theory should not be necessary to the “central” purpose of the questionnaire. And by personal details, I mean e.g. your income range, whether you have children and their ages, etc.
Q: Are RB’s members in fact the biggest customers for RB products? (We would never know as they never tell us.)
Q: And is this survey (in effect), while pretending to be about product development, really about collecting marketing and sales data on us as customers?
I should add that in decently devised surveys, such questions – if asked at all – usually get asked towards the end … and with the option provided to NOT answer if you so desire.
In this RB survey, if you do not answer every one of these personal questions on page one, the questionnaire also insists that you DO SO before allowing you to move on to the next page.
Somewhat self defeating on RB’s part, because people like me who refuse to provide this information and therefore do not proceed past page one, by defaulting in this way, also fail to give them answers to presumably the “important” and "central’ product development issues they claim to be wanting our ‘valuable opinions’ on in the first place!
All confirming that it would certainly be nice if Redbubble were to become a lot more transparent than they seemingly are!
Particularly when uninvited and unwelcome sleazy methods of collecting marketing and personal data on people are happening non stop all over the place these days, more often than not with corporate gain – not customer gain – the real force driving it all.
I don’t know about you, but if redbubble or anyone wants my personal data, then at least be upfront about – at the very least state upfront your purposes, your true motivations, and your intended uses and protection policies surrounding the details supplied.
This way at least, I can more knowingly decide for myself if I want to cooperate and participate.
As I replied to Marjolein below:
“Invasive marketing seemingly knows no bounds these days. Sensible businesses will not indulge in it as a backlash of sorts is slowly building. Redbubble should convene a company wide session to have ethical behavior placed at the top of its mission in relation to its business practices … and then make sure they live by this with every decision they make and everything they do!”