Aggressive Marketing

Have you noticed that the cord blood banks are quite competitive and aggressive in marketing their services? Their presence is made known at almost every baby fair. They co-sponsor most of the baby seminars. Some offer free gifts but require you to leave your contact number so they may contact you further to market their packages.

So far, I have attended three baby seminars — two by Cordlife and one by Stemcord. When registering for all three seminars, I was required to enter my phone number. Ever since Singapore enforced the Personal Data Protection Act, all companies are required to obtain permission from the person they are collecting information from. They have to state clearly what they will be using the information collected for. Usually there’ll be a check box beside a statement saying that you give consent for the company to collect the above information which can be used for marketing purposes and to contact you via phone/mail/email. While it mildly irked me that I couldn’t leave my phone number out as it was a required field in the online form and of course I had to check the box to submit the form — that meant I was giving consent for them to contact me — I just went through with it thinking that at most I could just refuse to answer any calls from them or flatly tell them I’m not interested should they call me.

All is fine and dandy until I met Cryoviva. They are organising a baby seminar that’s held tomorrow. I was about to sign up for the seminar when I took one look at the registration form and decided it was not worth it.

Image credit: Cryoviva

Please note that all fields in the form are required fields. Which meant that I needed to fill in a date for them to “counsel” me and I needed to upload my ultrasound scan (whether I really wanted the acrylic block or not). First, I’m not interested in cord blood banking. Second, ultrasound scans are private items. Yes, I may share them on my blog but that’s my choice to share it here. I am not comfortable giving it to this company. What will they do with it if I’m not getting the acrylic block (because I’m not signing up a package with them)? The last thing I want is for them to think I gave the scan to them and now they can use it for their own marketing purposes.

This is really going beyond my comfort zone. Thus, I chose to give up on this seminar. The marketing tactics this company uses, somewhat disgusts me.

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