Spam And Phishing Are Not Your Problem (Even Though They Are)

Grant McCracken, a man with a Ph.D. in anthropology who has taught at Harvard Business School, examines the way Microsoft and eBay avoid treating problems like spam and phishing that daily impact their customers and their brands.

For some reason, Microsoft thought that spam was my problem. How cavalier. Apparently, the author and vendor of my email program was quite happy to expose me to daily difficulty. Maybe Microsoft thought that spam was a third party opportunity they were obliged to leave to the likes of Symantec.
Plainly, Microsoft is not a consumer centric organization. A consumer centric organization would have said, “Good lord in heaven, we have exposed the consumer to misery. Let’s fix it.” Instead they were sometimes mute on the problem and sometimes cavalier.

McCracken switched to Google’s Gmail, a program that takes spam seriously.
Now on to eBay…

Everyday, even with Google filters in place, I receive phish and faux emails from Ebay, insisting that my account needs reviewing, that my orders have been lost, that payment was not received, that my account will be suspended!
I still use Ebay, but I can’t help thinking, “do they not understand this is happening? Are they being cavalier on this one? Do they somehow think that email and, by extension, the security of an Ebay transaction and relationship, is my problem?”

I don’t use eBay, but I use Pay Pal, a company owned by eBay. I receive phishing scams every other day from someone posing as Pay Pal, which means I can never trust anything I receive from Pay Pal, even if it’s real. Clearly, this is a MASSIVE problem for Pay Pal’s brand credibility.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.