Two bits, recently:
ONE: I get an update email from an online magazine that’s usually chock full of images and crap. I read the text, and never bother loading the images. Actually, I rarely load any images, since images in email are usually worthless footer graphics or, worse, web bugs designed to allow the sender to know when and if you’ve read their mail. No thank you.
Sure enough, they think I’m not reading their updates, so they sent me a message saying “hey, we noticed you don’t read our mail, so we’ll quit sending it to you if you don’t [click here].”
Obviously, they’re using these web bugs. Icky. I like the magazine, but I don’t think I’ll bother reading the much anymore.
TWO: Yesterday, I got a call on the old line from a credit card company pitching add-on services. It was an ARU, but one dressed up and obfuscated in such a way as to try very hard to pretend it was a real person, and they’d worked hard enough that I was thrown initially. When I interrupted the voice to ask if it as a real person, it said “Do I sound that bad? (pause)” and then resumed its pitch. I asked irrelevant questions, and it clumsily spat out something based on keywords, like Eliza. I asked it to say “rutabaga,” and it hung up on me. Very creepy. Also an excellent way to ensure I never do business with your company.