Asking Permission

Permission is of the most coveted assets for any business. Misused or falsely represented, it's even more powerful...with the potential to destroy everything you've done to build trust with your customer. Sometimes, companies (usually big ones) fall victim to using "customary practices", which are cleverly disguised as permission, when in actuality they're asking for forgiveness...just in advance.

In the near term, it's easier to place your burden on the customer and to rationalize that it makes sense. The alternative, engaging and asking someone if it's ok to talk with them, is far more takes real effort, time, money and a genuine interest in how someone feels about what you're doing.

My overarching rule for sensible benefits the customer more than it does the company.

Then, in the case of unsolicited communication, I'd add that if we're penalizing the majority of our customer base to collect money or information from a few, I'd find another way. I certainly wouldn't do it like this...

Effective January 12, 2009 in order for the Bank to better service your account
and collect any amounts you owe, we may from time to time make calls and/or
send text messages to the telephone number(s) associated with your account,
including wireless telephone number(s) that could result in charges to you. The
manner in which these calls or text messages are made to you may include, but
is not limited to, the use of prerecorded/artificial voice messages and or an
automatic telephone dialing system. In addition, to better service your account
or collect any amount you owe, we may also contact you via email at any email
address you have provided. If you do not want to receive prerecorded/artificial
voice messages, automatic telephone dialing system calls and/or text messages
on your wireless telephone, please contact us at 1-877-647-8551 Monday-Friday
between 8am and 6pm and Saturday between 7am and 3pm PST.