Nigerian royalty, viagra, a bigger penis… and season tickets to The Caps?

Lo and behold, when I check my email there’s something from the Washington Capitals, who have my address from a purchase earlier this year. In it they’re shilling me to refer them some people who might be interested in season tickets. In exchange, if any of those people purchase tickets, I get a 10% credit towards the coming season, based on the price of the tickets, as well as an entry in a drawing for a H3 hummer (known amongst my friends as “a truck with a really ugly body”).

Now, before you say “so what?” and point out that businesses ask for referrals all the time, let me point out a few issues to you.

One, while it says “You are not required to make a purchase” to be eligible for any of these things, SOMEONE has to make a purchase. You don’t even get an entry to the drawing just for selling out your friends – they have to buy for you to have your one in a billion chance to get that abomination of an SUV. I’ll leave it to the attorney general to determine if qualifies as the ‘paid sweepstakes’ that most states consider prohibited gambling.

Two, the email itself is crappily written. The text says “For your convenience, you may view the Contagiously Caps Referral Program details and enter referrals online at www.WashingtonCaps.com/tickets/ReferralForm.asp.” but that web address is linked to some other page with an apparent tracking cookie. Not unexpected, but since the link is different than what it claims to be it stinks of phishing and makes it look dicey.

Three, and worst of all, the form they direct you to is just crap. It asks you for your name, account number and telephone number…. but only requires your name. After all, if they can’t contact you to give you your prize, all the better! Free list of people to harass!

There’s also zero validity checking on the stuff you submit. It happily took my submission of example.example.com for an email address, even though it wouldn’t pass the most rudimentary of checks. Phone number of 444? No address? No problem!

If the whole club is this half-assed, it explains a lot about our standing in the league. And by the way, if anyone from the Caps is reading this – when I do commissioned sales, I expect way better payment than a 10% discount on future purchases.

1 Comment so far

  1. Stacey (unregistered) on January 4th, 2006 @ 3:16 pm

    Don – I think if the Caps took half as much time as you did writing your post to actaully think about their business and how they are running the business and team end, they’d still be spending twice as much time as they do now.

    Good call – on all of it.



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