Just a few minutes ago, I opened Internet Explorer to read a newspaper article, and saw this at the top of my browser page.
Introducing the new CableONE In-browser Notification system! Basically, an in-browser pop-up telling me that CableOne will on occasion send me important notifications through my browser, and that this message will keep showing up until I click the big green button. Here’s what I think:
The good news is that this system can be turned off. The bad news is that many users will be confused and frustrated by the very simple process of logging into their “my account” page at CableOne and turning the feature off. Those people will call CableOne’s technical support, which is a process that can be draconian at times.
Why not just e-mail you the important information? Well, that would be SPAM unless you opt-in which you never did in the first place. Why not just call you and tell you? Oh, then they would have to check with the Federal Trade Commission’s Do-Not-Call registry. So that leaves sticking the message right into your browser window.
My advice to the consumer: Leave it on for now and see what happens; CableOne may use the system responsibility and it may prove to be beneficial. However, if they start sending you critical notifications about how you can save money with one of their TV/Phone/Internet combo deals, then turn it off. My advice to CableOne: This is a really bad idea and it’ll backfire. People are going to see this as invasive and disruptive. But I could be wrong, and all your customers could praise your in-browser notifications as the best thing since toilet paper, TV commercials, unsolicited commercial e-mail; on second thought, I was mistaken about the possibility of being wrong.