Real Catholic TV
Real Catholic TV is inducted into our Hall of Shame for the unethical practice of administering the opt-out system of emailings. An opt-out system is where a company will automatically place a customer’s email address (or street address) on the company’s mail list without permission (or in some cases, as with Catholic Answers, sell that information to others without permission). A customer may opt-out of this but usually the customer does not even know this is possible. If one buys a product from Real Catholic TV the email used on the customer’s PayPal account is automatically used to place on a email list to receive unsolicited email from Real Catholic TV. This becomes a double problem in that not only is one’s email address placed on a list without permission or knowledge, but that the PayPal Account address is placed on some list. In many instances a person’s PayPal account is unique to the PayPal account and never intended by the person to be used for any other purpose. Upon discussing this with Real Catholic TV the typical rationalizations were given that doing an opt-out system was standard business procedure and that they were not breaking any laws as those to whom they send the unsolicited email have a prior business relationship with them. It may be true that Real Catholic TV did not break any laws about spam, but as a Christian organization it is called to higher standard than what is merely legal. Indeed, an honorable person does the right thing because it is the right thing to do, not because some ethical rule or law forces him to do it. As the Internet becomes more entrenched into our lives we find it disturbing that Catholic companies and organizations become more and more secular in their approach to doing business. What is worse is that instead of owing up to failing higher standards, such companies and organizations desperately hang onto technical and legal considerations to excuse their behavior. Shame on them. We will continue to induct into the Hall of Shame all those Christian companies and organization to which we are aware who conduct their business from the low road of secular business (even is such practice is technically legal).