Please accept all cookies to ensure proper website functionality. Set my cookie preferences

I recently registered for a business summit that includes a year's subscription to a national business publication. If I don't want to receive this magazine, I need to send a copy of my registration e-mail to a third-party fulfillment company in order to get $12 refunded. What would you do? What do you think of this negative optioning approach?


Some background to my gut response to this:
Several years ago, anyone who subscribed to Rogers Cable in Ontario, Canada, was vulnerable to negative optioning by the monopoly cable supplier. According to Toronto Star consumer advocate and writer, Ellen Roseman, "Rogers Cable tried to get customers to pay for new specialty TV channels in 1995, unless they said they didn't want them. There was a huge uproar and Rogers backed down."
Consumers were definitely incensed. So much so, that in 2005, the Ontario government passed a law outlawing negative option billing.
A similar experience happened more recently to Bigsnit blogger, Robert Ouimet, who was charged $59 USD on his Amex statement for a renewing Classmates.com subscription he thought would expire after the first two years. Even when he tried to get American Express Canada to remove the charges, "American Express sides with the vendor, leaving the customer hanging in the cold," he says.
So, now back to my dilemma. Many people wouldn't bother to take the time to mail in a receipt to get back $12. But, in this economy, maybe there's a greater incentive now. I sent it in on principle. As Lewis Green always says, marketers today need to be authentic and trustworthy, and negative option marketing just doesn't fall into that category. In fact, I think it besmirched the summit host's brand.
What do you think? Would you have requested a refund or just shrugged it off?

Continue reading "Is Negative Optioning Still a Viable Marketing/Billing Tactic?" ... Read the full article

Subscribe today...it's free!

MarketingProfs provides thousands of marketing resources, entirely free!

Simply subscribe to our newsletter and get instant access to how-to articles, guides, webinars and more for nada, nothing, zip, zilch, on the house...delivered right to your inbox! MarketingProfs is the largest marketing community in the world, and we are here to help you be a better marketer.

Already a member? Sign in now.

Sign in with your preferred account, below.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

image of Elaine Fogel

Elaine Fogel is president and CMO of Solutions Marketing & Consulting LLC, and a marketing and branding thought leader, speaker, writer, and MarketingProfs contributor. She is the author of the Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most for Small Business Success.

LinkedIn: Elaine Fogel

Twitter: @Elaine_Fogel

Content Resources

You may like these other MarketingProfs resources related to Content.

Convert Prospects With the Power of Case Studies

A case study can be an effective storytelling tool to use in B2B content marketing. Learn why, as well as how to craft one, in this article.

How to Add Audio Content to Your Marketing Strategy

Audio of all types, from podcasts to voice search, is a powerful form of content marketing. If you're not doing it yet, here's how to get started.

Five Ways to Improve Content Quality Signals on Landing Pages

Quality is a nebulous concept that can be difficult to define. Not for Google: high-quality content for better search rank depends on specific factors that can be optimized. Here's how to do so for five of them.

Eight Lessons Learned From Giving 100+ Webinars

Webinars are more prevalent than ever, and that won't change any time soon. To reduce hiccups and improve the experience for attendees, follow these eight tips.

The World Is Looking for Thought Leaders. Could You Be One of Them?

Standing for something is good for business these days. But how do you go beyond merely sharing company values to crafting real thought leadership? Start with a POV blog post.

Why It Should No Longer Take 13 Pieces of Content to Convert a Buyer

We've all heard that prospects consume at least 13 pieces of content before making a decision. But does that have to be true anymore? This article discusses why that should change.