Shelley Bridgeman 's Opinion

Dwelling on injustices, bad behaviour and modern day dilemmas.

Shelley Bridgeman: My mailing list malady

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I've had my details purged from every mailing list within my capacity to influence. Image / Thinkstock
I've had my details purged from every mailing list within my capacity to influence. Image / Thinkstock

I'll admit I was flattered when Karen Walker first asked me if I wanted to be on her mailing list.

"Crikey, yes, your clothes are so cool, why would I not?" was the general gist of my response. (I should mention it wasn't Karen herself but one of the workers in her Newmarket store who made the approach.)

That must have been in the early nineties and I've long since had my details purged from her database and every other mailing list within my capacity to influence.

I'm over it. I'm over them all.

The first few are kind of seductive for the unsophisticated: "Your big fancy brand wants to write to little old me? Aw, shucks. I haven't felt this special since I had a bit part in Deliverance."

That was my general attitude anyway.

Now, I guard my contact details as enthusiastically as someone in a witness protection programme.

I avoid filling out forms unless they're legally required.

Tax returns and school enrolment forms are pretty much the only documents I've had contact with recently.

I'm averse to the mountains of correspondence that inevitably accompany the release of your postal or email address.

I may have sponsored a World Vision child for the last fifteen or so years but I really don't need quarterly updates on every well that's been built within stone-throwing distance of the village.

I may have purchased a painting from your gallery but your missives are unlikely to reverse my policy of not acquiring a second piece from the same artist and/or gallery.

What you see as canny business sense I view as a failure to understand my need for eclecticism when it comes to procuring art - a need which, incidentally, would have driven me to your gallery in the first instance in order to seek out something fresh.

And, no, I do not do Fly Buys - as the lovely New World checkout ladies relentlessly establish every time I visit.

At the opposition supermarket the answer is similarly no: I don't have a Onecard either. And I really wish that the onus for remembering they had signed up for such a device was laid upon the people who had actually opted in.

Why should innocent members of the public be needlessly hassled each time they shop?

I shop two or three times a year at Country Road and every time I am admonished for not having a Country Road card.

There was a moment last week when I thought that possibly I wasn't going to be allowed to purchase two tops, one cardigan and a pair of jeans for my daughter - such was the disbelief of the sales assistant upon learning of my anarchist tendencies.

I was asked for my name when purchasing a thirty dollar Smiggle voucher last month. I was like: "This is a thirty dollar Smiggle voucher not the code for a nuclear missile. I am so not telling you who I am."

While being invited to supply your details used to be a novelty, something we did willingly because it seemed personal and lent the illusion of connectivity, now that it's become a chore, almost an expectation, more and more of us are likely to refuse the opportunity.

I feel relief now when a shop isn't trying to get my name and contact details - whether overtly or by enticing me to enter a draw for a car or holiday.

I can't be the only person who's become tired of this intrusion.

I predict that switched on marketers will realise that, while this approach of frantically accumulating personal details was once was fresh and relevant, it's increasingly being interpreted as cynical and superficial.

It's time for savvy consumers to stop being complicit in this unashamed attempt to build databases and track our purchasing habits.

Shelley Bridgeman

Dwelling on injustices, bad behaviour and modern day dilemmas.

Shelley Bridgeman is a truck-driving, supermarket-going, horse-riding mother-of-one who is still married to her first husband. As a Herald online blogger, she specialises in First World Problems and delves fearlessly into the minutiae of daily life. Twice a week, she shares her perspective on a pressing current issue and invites readers to add their ten cents’ worth to the debate.

Read more by Shelley Bridgeman

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