Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Marketeers Are Out-clevering Themselves

Being the civic-minded citizen she is, Moogie often signs online petitions related to many diverse causes from the heathcare debate, to the resurgent cancer of organized labor, to women's issues, and beyond (after checking out the cause beforehand, of course).

Occasionally, the organization that sponsors a petition will email a follow-up survey about the petition's content or the issue or whatever.  I usually don't mind responding to a brief survey if I feel that I won't be marrying myself to the organization by doing so.  No big deal.

Except.  Except when the organization moves itself into the fundraising field.  Even so, and rarely, I will contribute to a cause from time to time if I feel my little pittance will actually matter in advancing the cause I've adopted as my own.

But now the marketeers have come up with a new scam, and it has gotten Moogie to seeing red. 

The other day I received an email from one of those organizations about political issues, which ones I feel -- as a woman -- deserve a voice in DC, and why.  I decided to take the survey.  It was composed of thoughtful questions about significant issues and called for actual analysis before answering.  How, exactly, do I rank surreptitious efforts to regulate environmental issues rather than passing them through the legislative process?  Which is more important to me -- repealing healthcare or slowing Congress down from its breakneck speed of legislating-frenzy?  I spent a good 30 minutes thinking about, and crafting,  my answers.  Then I hit "Submit."  And the survey took me to a "You haven't donated yet" page.  And it wouldn't accept my survey form until I gave it a credit card.  So, I closed the window (actually, I did the virtual equivalent of slamming the window shut!) and vowed not only not to play with those people anymore, but also to be much more circumspect about who will be invited to play with me in the future.

That, folks, is theft by deception.  You're stealing my time by asking for my help and then trying to guilt me into ponying up the bucks.  You're stealing my time by leading me to believe that I'm participating in something worthwhile.  You're stealing my time without giving the disclaimer up front.

You're no better than a three-card Monty game, or the scammer in the French Quarter who bets you $20 he can tell you "where you got your shoes at."  You're as bad or worse than the folks in Nigeria/London who inform you that you've hit the Nigerian lottery/become co-heir by default to a huge fortune, and that you can claim the spoils by providing the correspondent with your banking deposit information/a contribution to offset costs of probating the estate.

So, here's fair warning, Good Causes and your Marketeers: it won't fly anymore at Moogie's Mansion.  Don't keep doing it and risk ruining it for all the other causes out there, because Moogie is just about to the point of cutting all of you off from her time as well as her money.

And, that you can take to the bank.


  1. "where you got your shoes at."

    Are they still using that one in The Quarter?

    You're right, Moogie. Personally, I don't have the time (or take the time) to respond to such things. I never figured they really made much difference anyway.

    Good organizations already have an agenda, and work on things in their mission statement, etc. Those other things are...well, I won't call them scams...time wasters.

  2. Nice rant, even though "rant" isn't the word I'm looking for (I want a single word for "righteous indignation," that's what I want).

    I haven't come across this particular scam, but I figger it's just a matter of time.

  3. Wow... that stinks. I have had that happen to me when taking surveys , then lead you down a very long path of advertisers, but never from an non-profit org. That is awful... I don't blame you one bit!

  4. Well written Moogie, and I don't blame you; I'd have royally pissed too! Don't you dare try to horn-swaggle me!