Indian websites haven’t earned my trust

The other day I had to create a user id on an Indian financial news web-site. I wanted to create a portfolio that included mutual funds and Yahoo Finance doesn’t cover Indian mutual funds. The portfolio worked alright, but eventually I decided to keep it on Yahoo Finance after all. That should have been that.

But then I started getting email from that web-site. One email a day about products, investment ideas and news summaries that I had no interest in. I did not opt to get these emails. That was foul number one.

I then unsubscribed. The email does have a link to unsubscribe. So I clicked on it. I was asked to put in my email address. So far no major problem. Although I would have expected that since I was clicking on a link within the email sent to me, I should be unsubscribed without asking my for my email address.

Upon entering my email address I get this message – ‘We have received your request. We will take your email off our mailing list shortly’. That was very uncool. This major web-site is telling me that they cannot, as part of the same transaction take my email off their mailing list. That they have to run a batch process (when?) to unsubscribe me.

You can guess what happened next. Or rather didn’t. Two weeks later, I am still getting their daily dose of spam. And that is a big foul. That would get you thrown out of the game in the US.

The US created legislation called CAN-SPAM which defines the ways in which email addresses may be obtained, permission based email marketing and rules on opting out or unsubscribing. But well before the regulations came into effect, high quality companies got together to develop industry standards. This was not out of the goodness of their hearts necessarily. It was because they wanted users to trust them. Trust is what gets people to do business with you.

I wonder if Indian web-sites targeted at consumers and small businesses realize this. They are losing the discerning, net-savvy customers because they don’t trust them. I wonder if the GoI Dept of IT realizes that it needs to step in and put some legislation. And enforce it. As with most things in India, enforcement is 9/10th of the deterrence in any law.

As you can imagine I won’t be giving out my email to an Indian web-site for a while. Do you have any similar experiences with Indian web-sites?

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8 Responses to Indian websites haven’t earned my trust

  1. Balaji says:

    Hi Basab,

    You can check out the website http://www.way2wealth.com (or) http://www.valueresearchonline.com.

    I do maintain my portfolio in both these websites and they don’t spam me and give me quality service.

    There is a website called http://www.moneycontrol.com, a CNBC India website albeit a good one, but they do send out mails to you. I have never tried unsubscribing them, so don’t know whether it will work or not. but it is a very good website and its content is also good.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards,
    Balaji M

    Like

  2. Shashikant says:

    I guess you are talking about moneycontrol.com. In spite of having a parent like CNBC, a well-known name, this site is perfect example of bad netizen. Their site is disgustingly ill-designed which makes it unreadable. I made mistake of registering with them long time back. Till the date I continue to get “How to play XYZ sector?” spam at least 20 times a week. I’ve trained Gmail to classify it as spam and it works like charm. This site does not respect anybody’s privacy and preferences.

    Like

  3. ila says:

    CNN-IBN and TOI recently carried out online petitions for Bombay Blast Victims. And would you know, every click required an email id that went into their database and from the next day – wham bam spam !!
    So American companies can bend the rules in India but catch them doing it to their own citizens. This is akin to a corporate governance issue and its something CNN-CNBC should be looking at . Dont blame the homegrown websites for this alone.

    Like

  4. Biswajit says:

    Your conclusion is based on experience with just one website.!!

    Like

  5. Saumitri says:

    Firstly, in a country of several billion we have been brought up to care only for a few things and neglect the rest – and its increasing with more and more parents having lesser and lesser time/patience to spend with their children.

    Secondly, our primarily “utilitarian” education aimed at specifically engineering jobs is creating a whole generation insensitive to “human experiences”. As you will notice in the other comments, it just seems that everyone thinks s/he is smart enough if they can suggest an alternative or “jugad”. None of us seem willing to appreciate the problem, face it and look at means to rectify it.

    If you have a look at the guys who create these websites – most of them are either engineering or some multimedia guys, with almost no contribution from any of the social science, arts, law, design or human experience disciplines. Infact, most of the business heads in India find it hard to fathom what “use” (read utilitarian) such disciplines could have in the creation of a website or e-commerce portal or even a software product for that matter. Without expert advice, the engineers and multimedia /web designers do whatever they think is right, possible and “smart” (can’t blame them).

    Finally, none of us complain. Tolerant, undemanding public that we are, we regularly vote scoundrels to government positions, bribe our way through all our public dealings and never ever worry about how our taxes are utilized (and we don’t like to pay either). In such a situation, how can one expect us to complain or demand service of websites, of all things? So, neither we, not the guys who make the websites care.

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  6. Siddharth says:

    I really enjoyed reading Saumitri’s comment. What a breeze of fresh air!!

    Like

  7. I have already unsusbcribed to moneycontrol.com.

    Like

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