Dear businesses, don’t obfuscate.

Frankly, you’re not nearly as good at it as you think you are. If you feel you must say something, say it clearly and simply. If there’s a reason you can’t be clear, say nothing.

I don’t have a particular dislike for Camera Canada. They just have the good fortune of being used as my example because they’re merely the latest company to annoy me. They’ve also given me a great example of how a company can think they’re clever enough with words to distract you from what they don’t want to state clearly.

You’ll recall that my beef with them is their customer unfriendly practice of automatically adding purchasers to their spam list. Companies typically explain why you’re getting their e‑mail ads at the very bottom of the messages. No company wants to be known for sending spam so they usually explain that you’re getting the ad because you signed up to their e‑mail ad mailing list. Camera Canada can’t do this because they add buyers to their mailing list. So do they simply omit any mention of why they sent you the e‑mail ad? Heck no. The latest e‑mail ad they send me includes this mess at the end:

Camera Canada is the place to securely purchase camera equipment online. Thousands of Canadians have reliably purchased from us which is why you are receiving our e‑flyer. We appreciate your business in the past and look forward to serving you again. Have a happy holiday season!

I’m getting an unsolicited commercial e‑mail message (the definition of spam) because thousands of Canadians have purchased from them? No, I’m getting spam from then because I bought something from them. They could say this clearly, but it doesn’t sound very nice. Simply saying nothing about why I found myself on their ad mailing list would give me one less reason to be annoyed with them. Of course there are many others, but it would be a step in the right direction.

If they won’t say it clearly, there’s something they don’t want to tell you.