Shame on you, MTV

image About two years ago, I opened up an URGE subscription account.  $15 per month for an all-you-can-eat music service was too good to pass up.  About a year ago, when I bought my Zune, I closed my URGE subscription account and that was that.

Today, I got an e-mail from URGE.  "Odd," I thought to myself, since URGE is basically ceasing to exist because they’re "teaming up" with Rhapsody.  I opened the mail, and it was basically giving me the run-down of the merger with Rhapsody.

The email indicates that I’m a current URGE By The Track member, which I’m really not.  I never outright bought a song, I only used the URGE Subscription service.  It also says that on October 25 (yep, that’s today, thanks for the heads up), my account will be converted into a Rhapsody 25 account.  Blah blah blah, boilerplate, marketing drivel, oh, and, by the way, we’ve transferred your credit card information over to Rhapsody.

What?!  You’ve given my credit card information to Rhapsody without me opting in to do so?

To be fair, I read their Privacy Policy and they classify credit cards as Sensitive Personal Information, and they reserve the right to disclose Sensitive Personal Information to 3rd parties in the event of a merger, bankruptcy, etc.

So, by the letter of their policy, they’re in the clear; but, this just seems wrong, dirty, and shameful.  I was never a URGE By The Track member and I haven’t been a subscriber to URGE in over a year.  Another irritating thing is that they don’t tell you what to do in the event that you don’t want to be a Rhapsody 25 account holder.  Now I have to dig through Rhapsody’s site to figure that mess out.

So I jump over to Rhapsody’s site, click on "My Account", which prompts me for a username and password.  I don’t have one of those, so I click on the "Forgot your password" link.  Punch in the email address, and I’m greeted with:


Great.  Now Rhapsody has my credit card number that’s not associated with any account, seemingly.  Wonderful, and brilliant.  Now I have to call Rhapsody.  Note to self: that number is 866-597-5465.

Click through for the full mail.

Identity Theft, Credit Reporting, etc.

Had breakfast with a few colleagues this weekend and we're all privacy-intrigued people, and we ended up talking about the whole ChoicePoint fiasco a few weeks back. Well, I'm reading the news today and stumble across this article talking about how Equifax will be highlighting their “Credit Watch” product, a kind of insurance/notification system of sorts that reports activity. Of course, it comes at a price. Capitalism at it's finest, no?

So I forward the link onto my fellow cinnamon roll-for-breakfast eaters, and Rose hits me back with:

Right, and here's my other favorite new thing. You can tell all the credit agencies that you want to disallow anyone checking your credit without your approval. You can get on an opt-out list so you no longer get pre-approved credit offers, etc. How do you do it? Oh, it turns out: does it. (It's legit, we checked it with the BBB). Can you find that website on any of the 'big four' credit agencies? Don't be silly! Why would they want you to opt-out of their cash cow? Er, and why again do we have to pay to see our own records (except that one free copy per year?). Their day will come, my friends, oh yes it will.

[… snip …]

In the interest of full disclosure – each of the big four list 800-numbers somewhere on their sites to do the same thing, but again – you really have to hunt to find it.

Guess I'm filling out some web-forms tonight. Maybe I'll save a few trees in the process since I won't be getting so many pre-approval forms.