I recently received this notice in the mail:
Did I think, “Wow! I’ve been an Amazon customer for years, and now they’re rewarding me for it!”
Skeptic that I’ve learned to be, I knew Amazon wasn’t going to just give me a $250 gift card. Amazon wasn’t going to give me any gift card.
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos didn’t get to be the richest person in the world by giving away money.
And Bezos is, according to CBS News’ Money Watch and other sources, indeed the richest person in the world: As of February 2018, worth $116 billion, richer than Bill Gates, than Warren Buffet, than maybe anyone, anywhere, ever.
But apparently for Bezos, he wasn’t quite rich enough.
So he sold my information – and certainly I wasn’t singled out for this special attention – to a marketing company.
Hence my receipt of the above notice.
Skeptical, but admittedly curious, I called the number.
A chipper voice asked to whom she had the pleasure of speaking, and instead of answering (I’m wise to that), I said, “What’s this all about?”
It turned out that if I would just agree to a “free, no-obligation, one-hour solar consultation,” that $250 gift card would be mine!!!
The chipper voice was still talking when I hung up.
The notice included a separate slip, on the back of which in fine print I learned that this gift card giveaway was “Sponsored By: Energy Informative Company.” A quick search on the Internet revealed that “Energy Informative’s mission is to educate and empower homeowners about solar panels and energy.”
So Bezos sold my information to Energy Informative. Or perhaps he sold it to some huge marketing conglomerate that puts together incentives for all sorts of companies, and now I’ll get inundated with offers I don’t want.
Jeff Bezos is making money off my information, and I’m not.
And that, I guess, is how the rich get richer.