I care about email security and transparency of email content a lot. I deal with it all the time as a contractor who produces a email newsletters for local retailers. I’m also the guy who teaches end users (including family) to be extremely skeptical about all the email they receive because 90% of it is fake, SPAM, and scams.
So, I get peeved when larger firms do email communications wrong.
Today I received an email invite from a company claiming to do work for Fido. I think it’s cringe-worthy.
My first step in my research was a quick glance at the Fido homepage – no mention of a new survey program, though, I didn’t really expect to find one.
Looking strictly at the email itself then, here are some tidbits:
Subject line: Invitation to Join the Fido Listens Panel
OK so far.
From: Fido Listens Team <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Who is iTracks.com? I’ve certainly never heard of them. Definitely a yellow caution flag.
The email copy talks about a survey and some prizes for participating in Fido’s latest customer feedback thing.
A lot of scams offer prizes or financial incentives. Can you get two yellow caution flags? Or maybe just upgrade to a larger one.
The survey link goes to https://surveys.itracks.com/survey/RogersFido_4?ID=xxxxxxx.
Well, iTracks.com hosts the survey. Their homepage looks legitimate at least. Funny, I was expecting iTracks.com to be an online MP3 store.
And a support email address of email@example.com.
Wait, now what is fidolistens.ca? More on Fido Listens later on.
And a contact mail address of Ipsos Reid, a well respected research firm based in Vancouver.
Ah! I’ve heard of them. Actually, I know people who have worked there. Of course, anyone can write an email with someone else’s legitimate mail address.
So, let’s review. Yes, I am a Fido cellphone user. But who is iTracks.com? Do I really believe that they got my email address from Fido? Who is FidoListens.ca? And is IPSOS really involved?
fidolistens.ca? At least this was somewhat comforting. The vanity domain of fidolistens.ca forwards to https://iaf.ipsos.ca…, i.e. a page belonging to IPSOS and transparently hosted by them on their own domain.
In the end, I feel comfortable doing a survey that is hosted by IPSOS. But that’s only because I know that IPSOS Reid is a legitimate firm. A little over a year ago I ranted about another Fido survey attempt in my blog post, How to Properly Use 3rd Party Web Services, I didn’t feel comfortable with the firm conducting that survey.
If you are using a 3rd party firm for surveys or anything that is customer related, please make it easy to verify that it’s legitimate. At Papaya Polls, we offer to host our pages under your own subdomain. It works great and it is very confidence inspiring. I would have zero hesitation in doing a survey which had a web address of http://fidolistens.fido.ca or http://surveys.fido.ca.
Anyway, enough ranting. Time to enjoy the sun.