Posted by: Kate Ashford | November 4, 2011

Yet Another Reason to Read Your Mail


Yep. That about covers it.

So I got a mailing from Chase Bank the other day, and I almost ditched it immediately—it had that junk-mail air about it.

But I opened it. And I’m glad I did. Because this is what it said:

Currently, our records indicate that you are not being mailed any offers from Chase. We are updating our customers’ preferences for receiving these mailings. We want to be sure that you know about available offers and that you have the opportunity to consider them.

Please completely fill in the ovals below next to the Chase product and service offers you do not want to receive by mail: (Emphasis theirs.)

  • Auto and Vehicle Financing
  • Credit Card
  • Education Loans
  • Home Equity & Mortgage
  • Annuities and Insurance
  • Investments
  • Personal Banking
  • Business Banking
  • Value Added Products and Services

If you do not respond, you may begin to receive offers in the mail about these products and services. (Emphasis mine.)

Okey doke. Let me get this straight. I have somehow managed to successfully opt out of your unwanted promotional mailings, and you’re just double checking to make sure I still don’t want a flood of useless offers in my mailbox?

And if I’d chucked this into my trash can without reading it—as many Chase customers will probably do—I would have started receiving promotional offers in as many as nine different product categories?

Frankly, I’m actually not all that irritated. I’m even a little impressed by the attempt, which will bump more than a few absentminded Chase customers back onto the bank’s marketing lists. I mean, it’s not like they didn’t ask.

Well done, Chase. Very sneaky. (But, readers—pay attention to your snail mail.)

(Earrings from Web Property Developer on Flickr.)


  1. so here’s what freakin’ kills me about this: all that money spent on promotional mailings that mostly end up in the trash, unwanted, unread, unrecycled. if they killed the direct mail budget, and maybe even the advertising budget, how much savings would get passed on to accountholders? does chase really feel like it keeps customers from mailing us junk any more so than just seeing the storefronts everywhere around town?
    feel the same way about pharmaceutical advertising….all this cash spent on television ads for prescription drugs that, as long as they work, are gonna get prescribed anyway…direct those dollars toward product development and how much farther along would be be in actual healthcare achievements? i say this as a former advertising executive…this stuff makes me crazy.

  2. Blame the “Behavioral Economists.”

    They have suggested, among other things, that employers should automatically enroll employees in 401(k) plans, then let them opt-out if they don’t want to participate, instead of allowing them to make their own conscious decisions. It will increase participation.

    My local waterworks commission is considering signing every customer up for their “Round Up” program. This program rounds your water/wastewater bill up to the next dollar. The commission uses the funds collected to help “needy” customers pay their water bills, and help low income residents tie into the sewer system. Oh, you can opt-out with a telephone call to the billing office. Voluntary participation is currently at 2%. Strong-arm participation is projected to be 95%.

    Read your bills and inserts, people!

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