Once more quechup

Chris Hambly has some interesting things to say about Quechup (a previous post currently accounts for about 60 % off all traffic to the Ephemerist), and more particularly about its signup process.

His logic lacks a little, methinks. Just read on (this is an edited version of my reply on Chris’s site, which was written a bit too much in the spur of the moment).

The Quechup page quotes :

“Congratulations! Welcome to Quechup. Find out which of your friends are already members. Choose the address book with the most contacts and we’ll search for matches so you can add them to your friends network and invite non Quechup members to join you. By inviting contacts you confirm you have consent from them to send an invitation. We will not spam or sell addresses from your contacts.”

This obviously is read logically (i.e. if you’re unaware of Quechup’s devious intentions) as :

“Choose the address book with the most contacts and we’ll search for matches so you can add them to your friends network and YOU CAN invite non Quechup members to join you. By inviting contacts you confirm you have consent from them to send an invitation. We will not spam or sell addresses from your contacts.”

What Quechup deviously is saying, is :

“Choose the address book with the most contacts and WE WILL search for matches so you can add them to your friends network and WE WILL invite non Quechup members to join you. By inviting contacts you confirm you have consent from them to send an invitation. We will not spam or sell addresses from your contacts.”

However, even in that interpretation, “By inviting” does not make sense. It does not refer to the previous sentence, since the meaning “Because WE invite your contacts, YOU confirm (etc)” is meaningless. The first phrase can’t possibly entail the second.

Moreover, at no point in the procedure does the website say that Quechup will send mails to each and everybody in the address book. At no point in the procedure does the user get a list of people that will be sent an email. At no point in the procedure can the user select anybody to invite or not.

Finally, the email that IS sent, is sent AS IF the user sent it. This is not only dodgy, it is even illegal in most European countries. Member-gets-member campaign mails should originate from a mail address within the same domain as the website they originate from. In Germany, you even have to send a blank email to the invitee first, asking him whether he / she wants to receive the invite.

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3 Responses to Once more quechup

  1. Jeff Herz says:

    have you considered contacting any local authorities about this practice? I am considering contacting the state of CT Attorney General, to at least open up an inquiry and make them aware of this seeming devious, if not blatantly illegal practices.

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