You’ve probably seen the Cash4Gold infomercials. You send in your old jewelry, and they cut you a check. But when one curious blogger tried it, he got back a third of the appraised value. He called to complain and get the jewelry back – and Cash4Gold quickly upped their offer.
The blogger considered this to be unethical (why wasn’t he offered the higher price the first time around?), and posted the story at cockeyed.com. It was picked up by other websites. And now when you Google “Cash4Gold,” it is #2 on the Google results page.
But what the company did next made it a lot worse.
They sent the blogger a series of e-mails offering “Cash4Deleting” the negative post. At one point, the offer was up to a couple of thousand dollars. And, of course, those e-mails ended up online as well.
Some say any publicity is good publicity… but in this case, I’m not so sure.
Aside from their clearly dishonest approach to running a business (which, in itself, pretty much assures that Cash4Gold has no future), they made a stupid mistake when attempting to bribe the blogger. Apparently they didn’t realize that anything you say in an e-mail can end up being seen by the wrong people – millions of them.
(Source: Consumerist and Cockeyed.com)