Direct mail is way too personal

By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

It was a few years ago that I got this letter from my drug store
The letter was a reminder that I had not yet ordered a prescription drug that I took then. I remember thinking at the time that it was a helpful reminder. Sometimes people do forget to take their medicine at the proper times.
But while the letter was from the drug store – a national chain – there was evidence the pharmaceutical company itself was involved.
Now maybe the pharmaceutical company was simply providing some financial support to the drug company that sent the letter. (At the price they charged, it was highly profitable for both the drug chain and the pharmaceutical company.)
On the other hand, I wondered at the time whether it could be possible that the pharmaceutical company that makes the prescription drug (or has it made in China) was aware that I, me personally, am supposed to take their pharmaceutical on a certain day? Even, perhaps, at a certain hour? Like first thing in the morning before anything else and stay up?
The thought gave me a creepy feeling. How much do these two big companies know about me? Maybe there are other connections besides this particular prescription drug.
And, I wondered, how many other people are getting similar reminders?
It could be thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions of people that these two big companies (and maybe others) were learning things about.
Yes, I suspected that many others had gotten such a letter from their drug store.
Then it struck. What I got years ago was a genuine No. 10 letter with my name and address showing through the glassine section of the envelope. But, I’d also gotten e-mails from this drug company, not as personal as the one I’m talking about, but they obviously had me on their list.
And I remember that when I went to pick up my prescription (their letter worked) the clerk pointed out on my receipt that I had a chance to win their monthly prize of $2,500 just by phoning them and telling them the degree with which they had pleased me.
Their idea was that if I called (and I didn’t) the drug company (and perhaps the pharmaceutical company) would have my phone number as well as my mailing address, and my e-mail address.
They already had my birth date, that was supposed to be for my safety, so nobody can pretend to be me.
However, I couldn’t think of anybody who would want to pretend to be me. Unless it’s the drug company, the pharmaceutical company, or some other big companies.
Well, now I’m here in Tucumcari, Quay County, New Mexico, and I have left behind all those enormous chain drug companies and pharmaceutical companies and all those other chain companies who were trying to put their ties around me.
Chelle Delaney is associate publisher of the Quay County Sun. She can be reached by calling 461-1952 or by emailing: chelle_delaney@link.freedom.com