I just unsubscribed from the Manhattan User's Guide today, which is a shame, because, until today, I found it to be a useful service. Everyday, I'd get a cool looking e-mail about cool things going on in the city. Its subject matter, as described on the site, was pretty diverse:
"What kinds of topics do you cover?
Here are just a few of the topics we've covered in the past: The first word on the best new restaurants, shows, and shops. How to get just about anything fixed: lamps, air conditioners, jewelry anything but parking tickets...The city's clockmaster (who knew we had one?)...Where to find baseball
memorabilia, Cindy Sherman-designed Limoges porcelain, the best chopped
liver, a reliable contractor, or get custom ties made. The best gifts to give new parents, older pets, or your bad old self. If it's interesting, entertaining or useful and it's in New York, we may write about it."
So today, in my e-mail I get a post that implicated that God was displeased with the Pope and sent him to the hospital because the Pope compared abortionists to the Nazis.
Well, regardless of whatever side of this issue you stand on, clearly this don't not fit into the "it's in New York" catagory. I don't find it entertaining either. I mean, you might disagree with the Pope, which is fine, but to e-mail me a "Manhattan User Guide" message saying "We Know What God Wants" and to say that God sends people to the hospital when he disagree with him? That's just plan inappropriate. Plus, I don't personally believe that God is vindictive in that way. If I wanted MUG's policitical and relgious commentary, they should set up a blog and I'd happily subscribe to it. I only welcomed them into my inbox because they told me about new restaurants and where to get my jewlery repaired.
So, I sent them a note, believing that some constructive user feedback might be welcome. I mean, surely I can't be the only MUG user that felt like maybe, rightly or wrongly, this isn't what they expected when I signed up.
I like this service, but I could
do without the political commentary… I won’t unsubscribe, because I do find the service useful, and its
not as if I even disagree with today’s e-mail… (he did write something against Jerry Falwell, too, so I wasn't completely in disagreement with what he wrote) but I just think its
inappropriate for the kind of service that you’re offering. If you want to
write about your personal beliefs, you should start a blog, but please don’t
e-mail them to me intermixed with the mostly useful information that you do
And what do I get back? I was thinking I'd get back "I'll take this under consideration" or "thanks for your feedback, let's see how the other users feel about this."
No, I get...
"nope, sorry, you don’t get to
decide what;s appropriate for mug. feel free to unsubscribe.
Fine then. I will. Perhaps he'll change his mind if three quarters of his users walk out the door. I'll support services that care about what I think as a consumer, not people that tell me to essentially take it or leave it. Its not about the politics. Its about being transparent about what you're offering, which MUG clearly was not (religious/political commentary is not listed as a catagory on the site, just Arts&Ent, Food & Wine, Info, Lesuire & Sports, Services, and Shopping) and also about listening to your customers. So, if you feel like you shouldn't get Charlie Suisman's personal political commentary intermixed with info on the latest art exhibit, please let him know. And, if you support him and want to keep getting messages like that, let him know that as well. Either way, this guy should be in touch with his customers and care about what they think so he can get a sense of how to serve them best.