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ZÜCA Comment

October 25th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Well, this is interesting. A ZÜCA employee attempted to leave a comment on my post about the ZÜCA Sport Pro without identifying herself as an employee.

Comments on this blog are moderated, and, specifically because she did not identify herself as representing ZÜCA, I did not put her comment through.  (I knew she was a ZÜCA employee because her IP address came through as ZÜCA’s, leaving no doubt as to her identity.)

As I told her in an email, I’m not the only person in the world who believes it is unethical for people to promote business interests in situations where they are not making it clear that they have a business relationship with the product or concern.

When I called her on representing her company’s interests without identifying herself as being affiliated with the company, she claimed to be “commenting as a reader as well as a consumer”.

Well, no, she wasn’t. She’s not a regular reader of my blog, and she saw, and responded to my review of the ZÜCA, only because she is a ZÜCA employee.

Even if she’d just incidentally seen my review somehow — within hours of when it was posted —  it’s unlikely that she would have spontaneously responded in an attempt to promote the company’s interests if she were only  a “reader” and  “consumer”.

Casual “readers” and “consumers” have no reason to promote corporate interests for companies they have nothing to do with, and they sure aren’t trolling for opportunities to do so.

Ethical bloggers, and those who merely obey federal law, are obligated to report any remunerative interest they have in products they feature in blogs.

Ethical companies are careful to make the same disclosures, and don’t allow their employees to post comments on business-related blogs or blog posts without identifying themselves.  Not to mention that, on a strictly pragmatic note,  this is one truly horrible way to cultivate a relationship with a blogger (or even, yes, a real “consumer”) who might have turned out to have been an adoring — and enduring — ZÜCA loyalist.

I’d be interested in knowing if this is acceptable behavior at ZÜCA, or if it is just one employee’s bad judgment.

The Sport Pro is a great bag.  I sure hope the company doesn’t suck.

Related: My New Bag:  ZÜCA Sport Pro Review

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  1. October 26th, 2010 at 09:35 | #1

    But what did she say? What she should have said was some response about the state of their website and how they are in the act of improving it. But I guess that wasn’t it?

    • October 26th, 2010 at 09:55 | #2

      No, that wasn’t it. In fact, she ignored ALL the content of the post — to the extent that she didn’t even notice that I’d covered the point she was commenting on. I don’t want to print, or quote, her comment, for obvious reasons, but she was basically flogging ZÜCA’s fiduciary interests against that of other retailers.

      It wasn’t so much that the comment that was the problem, it was her failure to identify herself as an employee of ZÜCA. Not to mention that it’s really, really dumb of PR flacks to respond to posts they haven’t even read. And equally dumb, if they’re bothering to write, to ignore a whole lot of what anybody would consider to be positive content. Kind of leaves me wondering how they treat people who have problems with their bags.

      Improving the website? Apparently my helpful (or at least very interested) suggestions did not fall on responsive ears. Sad. It’s fun to interact with companies who love their consumers. When I’ve written suggestions about improving other products, I’ve often gotten fantastic, positive emails in response, sometimes explaining their choices, and some companies have even sent my suggestions on to their designers and acted on them. I’m sure my suggestions aren’t the only ones in those cases, but still that kind of responsiveness is really impressive. And it makes for huge customer loyalty, too. Zero points for ZÜCA.

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