Two types of companies

04/10/2010

Which one of these companies is destined for failure?

FreeCreditReport.com

FreeCreditReport.com is a service built on deception. They lure customers in with the promise of a free credit report, requiring that credit card information be submitted (red flag) upon signup.

If the customer doesn’t enroll in something optional called the “Triple Advantage,” they are faced with monthly charges of up to $14.95. The company has paid over a million dollars in settlements since 2005 as a result of their deceptive tactics1.

Experian (the company that owns freecreditreports.com) continues to make a mockery of the FTC. (For truly free credit reports, you can visit annualcreditreports.com.)

Zappos.com

Zappos has a return policy that’s begging for abuse. They offer a 365 day return policy and will pay for shipping when you’re returning an item.

The company doesn’t hide the details about their return policy on a terms and conditions policy page. It’s right on the home page.

Additionally, they’ve embedded a humorous YouTube video on their site to illustrate how to return something. No legalese and no fine print, just a plain-english explanation of the terms:

With our 365 day return policy, there are no special catches or exceptions. All we ask is that you send the items back to us in the original packaging, and make sure that the merchandise is in the same condition.

Reasonable and transparent. Which company instills confidence in the consumer? Which establishes trust?

People will talk about both companies (the best marketing there is), but which company is being recommended?

Rhetorical question.

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