I’m pretty free-wheeling when it comes to my data being used by marketers and corporations, but I do expect them to behave in a conscientious and transparent way. CVS provided an example of the exact opposite of what I mean today.
I went to the CVS in Target near our house to get my flu shot. While going through the purchase process, I was asked to confirm my phone number.
Then, after confirming my phone number, I was given the option to receive text messages and phone calls regarding prescriptions, medical information, and marketing messages. I wish I had taken a picture of the screen. If I wanted to receive those messages, I could simply click “yes.”
There was no “no” option.
Instead, I was give the option to “print information,” which I did and was given a sheet with a phone number I could call to “manage [my] automated outreach preferences.”
I called the number and spoke to customer service representatives who didn’t immediately know why I was calling. I had to explain what happened and read from the slip of paper before they understood what I wanted. They informed me that it could take several days to be opted out of the messages I never opted in to receive in the first place.
Minutes after hanging up from that phone call and under an hour after the time of the initial transaction, I received one such marketing message:
I did click on the survey link to try to see if they would give me an opportunity to complain, but the survey asked if I had a prescription filled. I did not have a prescription filled; I got a flu shot. Therefore, I was not given access to the rest of the survey.
You may note once again that I did not click “yes” and consent to receive marketing messages and yet I still received a marketing text. Perhaps I opted in to receive these communications in the past. I’m not 100% sure because this opt-in process lacks clarity and opting out is in a more difficult, slower, and less transparent channel. I don’t believe I did, though, and this opt-in process doesn’t meet a standard of basic courtesy.
Some may argue that this isn’t really a marketing message since it is directly connected to a transaction. Fair enough in terms of how the lawyers might regard this, but as a customer this is unacceptable.
CVS, you should know better. You can and should do better.