Honest Mistake or Shameless Marketing Ploy?

Earlier this afternoon, I received an email from LuckyBrand.com (to my work email address mind you) indicating that they had received the online order that I just placed. The problem here: I didn’t place an order. Hell, I’ve never even been to that retailer’s website, let alone used my work email address for personal online shopping purchases. Alarmed, I immediately hunted down their customer care number.

The first four times I called I got busy signals.

The fifth time I got through…and sat on hold for 30 minutes and 24 seconds. (You better believe I timed this.)

After finally reaching a woman in their call center, I explained the situation. She asked for my name, which I was reluctant to give her. Instead, I offered here my order number…but before I could give it to her, she READ IT BACK back to me! Now really alarmed, I asked her how she knew this. Turns out, this order was sent to their entire database, which she claimed contained hundreds of thousands of email addresses … but she apologized for my inconvenience. I’m sure she heard my jaw hit my desk.  I asked her how they had my email address when I’ve never been a customer, nor have proactively signed up to receive LuckyBrand communications? Her response: “Oh, it must have been in the list that we purchased, so you must have used it somewhere else.”

What the___??!

At the end of the call, I sat and pondered what had just happened.

Was this a lame attempt on LuckyBrand’s part to get their name out and talked about? I’m not going to lie, I blasted them on Twitter while on hold, and I wasn’t polite. Are they in such dire need for revenue and/or brand attention that they needed to stoop to spamming hundreds of thousands of people?  Or was this an email failure on the part of a customer service department? A failure of the internal systematic set up of their CRM system, perhaps? I’d like to know, but I’m not naïve enough to think we’ll ever find out.

Finally, I asked if they’d be sending a follow-up apology email to the mass of people who received this initial correspondence. Her response? “Um, yes I bet we will…but I’m not really sure. Have a nice day.”

I need to go walk this off now.