Convenience or stalking?

Shopping at the mall with a friend a few days ago, we went into Old Navy. Upon checking out, the sales clerk asked me if I wanted to provide my e-mail address. I agreed, thinking that I might get a coupon to use on my next purchase. I got more than that. Fifteen seconds–yes, literally 15 seconds–after walking out the door, my smart phone buzzed. I checked my e-mail and there was a message from ON. Somewhat incredulous, I shared this with my friend. Her response: “Stalking!”

It turns out that Old Navy has established a paperless receipt policy. The store will e-mail a copy of your receipt to you. They’re not the only ones doing this. The following day, I was in K-mart and had the same experience. Interestingly, it’s not truly paperless, as both retailers gave me a paper slip as well, leading me to believe this is not the primary reason ON and K-mart want my address.

My feelings are mixed; I can see the convenience of having a copy of the receipt in my e-mail. But on the other hand, do I really want my e-mail bogged down with this stuff? I did not unsubscribe, because I’m interested to see where Old Navy and K-mart go with this. However, it’s also relevant to note that my friend unsubscribed from Old Navy the next day.

What do you think? Is it possible for a large company to establish a genuine relationship with individual customers?

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