Thursday, April 01, 2021

There really is a company called TimeSolv. However... this can't be a good marketing idea

My late mother-in-law was overly impressed with personalized marketing.

Every time she'd get a solicitation from an insurer, or a company offering to lower her property taxes, using publicly available information in its pitch, she'd call to tell us. "They must know me," she'd say, often with some wonder in her voice. "They know all about me!"

Sometimes, in her view, this was a good thing; sometimes it was frightening. She always thought it noteworthy.

In the modern day and age, most of us have become immune to personalized pitches. Immune and/or mildly resentful. My wife had me looking up different types of yarn for some projects she was working on recently, and for the last several weeks, I haven't been able to read the news headlines, or browse Facebook, without pushing past a number of ads for yarns, knitting patterns, and crochet patterns. I don't know which annoys me more: That the Internet provides ads based on my browsing history or that the Internet doesn't understand that I'm not the least bit artsy or craftsy.

But I got a new one this morning: I received an email from a time management software outfit called TimeSolv. The graphic above is from the company's website. It's apparently a Thomson West spinoff, with an excellent BBB rating and positive reviews and all that good stuff. So what, you say. Another ad? Don't we all get dozens, even hundreds of ads every day?

Well... yeah. Except this wasn't an ad. This email was bannered "Welcome to TimeSolv" and purported to provide me with my very own user name and password. And it had a link to click to begin.

We've all endured seminars on Internet security, providing advice on how to avoid embarrassment, or even discipline, by being more vigilant online. I didn't see any of the telltales on this morning's emailthat are supposed to alert us to a possible scam -- no slightly off email address, a telephone number consistent with the Minnesota origins of the company, no glaring grammatical errors in the text of the email itself.

Are the Nigerian generals' widows getting that sophisticated?

Who knows? Maybe this morning's email was legit -- but just really badly timed. Maybe someone thought lawyers like me might stay with, and ultimately pay for, time management software if we were automatically enrolled -- and, Lord knows, I could be much more efficient -- but sending the email on April Fools Day?


Bad things can happen when you click blindly on 'click here' -- as today's edition of Brewster Rockit illustrates:

I marked the email as spam. I will have to become more efficient some other way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Or you could just run.