Is it just me, or did this email from 360Precision to owners of their products which I got today raise ethical issues?
You are receiving this email as an owner of a 360Precision Adjuste.
Hi Stefan Geens,
As a valued 360Precision Adjuste customer we'd like to give you the opportunity to extend the warranty on your Adjuste. Over the past 5 years our Adjuste customers have enjoyed trouble free panoramic photography. As a thank you we'd like to extend the peace of mind our products offer.
You can extend the warranty on your Absolute from 3 years up to 6 years in a few simple steps;
1. Join us on Facebook + 6 months
2. Follow us on Twitter + 6 months
3. Customer testimonial + 1 year
4. Publish a product review on your website or blog + 1 years
We'll be running a product review competition in the very near future. The best published 360Precision product review will stand to win a cash prize of up to £1000. So get started on your review now.
The sooner you publish your review the better chance you have of claiming the winning prize. The winner will be voted on by 360Precision customers from the list of the top 10 referring product reviews. The more traffic your review generates to our website the better chance you have of winning.
Once you've published your review simply email the link to matthew@...
I happen to be happy with my 360Precision gear, but I don't use Facebook or Twitter to promote companies in return for favors, nor do I "sell" space on my blogs for promotional content.
At the margin, I can understand that an extended warranty has value, and that 360Precision is willing to "pay" customers with it for promotional visibility. But I feel a warranty is a core part of the product experience. They should stand by their product either for 3 years or 6 years to everyone, not depending on whether the customer is willing to pimp their use of the product.
Another issue: Will it be clear to readers of a testimonial or blog review that what they are reading was written in return for material gain, essentially a paid promotion? Will 360Precision preface their testimonials with a disclaimer? If not, I feel potential customers will be duped, while participants suffer a credibility deficit. Hence, it's unethical in my book.
The irony is that I like my 360Precision Adjuste. I just don't like this incentivation scheme.
360Precision, this customer testimonial was free:-)