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ChoicePoint marked the 21st Century by appointing a Consumer Advocate. For a company dealing in privacy and security, this seems a large step forward. Is ChoicePoint listening? Maybe or maybe not....


ChoicePoint calls itself "a leading provider of decision-making information and technology that helps reduce fraud and mitigate risk." In an article by Martha Rogers, Ph.D. ePoint Gives Consumers a Voice, the author tells us that... "the company became the first in its line of business to appoint a consumer advocate."
Katherine Bryant, an attorney focused on compliance and related issues, has been named vice president of consumer advocacy. In the 1to1 newsletter article, Bryant says, "One group that we needed to have a relationship with, but historically didn't, was consumers. With all the stories in the paper every day about breaches, we want them to know that we're not collecting their information for any random reason. We want them to understand why we have it, who we provide it to, and for what reasons."
Rogers tells us that "Bryant has set about effecting change in several areas: consumer outreach (especially with the large and vocal advocacy organizations); consumer advocacy and assistance (helping what the company calls "curious consumers" in correcting errors and working with ChoicePoint's operations teams); internal awareness (selling the transparency/user-friendliness push throughout the organization); and consumer policy. Bryant says some indirect lobbying may be involved as well on legislation the company believes would benefit consumers."
The good news is that ChoicePoint understands they need to talk to their consumers; the bad new is that the job description as described by Roger's indicates that ChoicePoint is talking to their consumers. I don't see anything in the job description that says anything about the consumers getting a voice.
By the way, does using the phrase "curious consumers" when referring to constumers who are concerned about errors, represent much of a stride toward respecting customers? And don't we need to respect our customers first, and then give them a voice?
This sounds more like "protecting butts" rather than giving consumers a voice. But maybe I'm wrong. I hope I am. And any effort to communicate has to be applauded. I just wonder if this step is large enough to give consumers a voice or is it a half-step to tell consumers what the company wants them to know.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lewis Green, Founder and Managing Principal of L&G Business Solutions, LLC, (http://www.l-gsolutions.com) brings three decades of business management experience. L&G Business Solutions, LLC, represents his third company. Additionally, he held management positions with GTE Discovery Publications, Puget Sound Energy and Starbucks Coffee Company.

In addition to his business experiences, Lewis is a published author and a former journalist, sports writer and travel writer. His feature articles have appeared in books, magazines and newspapers throughout North America. He has taught in public schools; lobbied for organizations both in state capitols and in Washington, D.C.; delivered workshops, seminars, and training programs; and made presentations to audiences in colleges, businesses and professional organizations. Lewis also has served as a book editor with a large publisher, the Executive Editor overseeing four magazines, and a newspaper department editor. Lewis served eight years in the U.S. Air Force, where he received the Air Force Commendation Medal.