It's a jungle out there.
And YOU, dear data buyer, are the prey!
And the predators? You know the type; They stalk you on LinkedIn, connect with you and then – presto -- you are inundated with sales spiels and constant hard sells. And are they ever hard to shake off!
To keep you alert, here are some warning signs that you and your data budget are about to be the lunch of an offshore data vendor (ODV):
Alarm bells should start ringing when vendors tell you they have over 70million opted-in contacts of businesses looking to hear from you. But more data means higher data maintenance costs. The result? The greater the record count, the more likely it is to be out-of-date! There is no cost effective way they can maintain a refresh cycle for their entire database on an annual basis.
You should ask: How have they curated so much data? A reputable data owner will have a complete audit trail to illustrate how each file, nay each contact record, has been added to their data pool. Do not be afraid for ask about sources. If you meet resistance, it’s time to head for higher ground!
In this GDPR age, some will hear the opt-in phrase and assume it to be true. If the data is said to be opt-in – ask more questions! When was consent obtained and for which channels? At what point in the data collection stage was consent obtained? Who obtained consent and in what context? Ask them to provide a copy of their data collection statement and consent mechanism? Was the right to withdraw consent provided in a clear & intelligible way?
If there are quality or deliverability issues, good luck with getting a refund ...or even a quick response.
So, let’s assume you speed past all of the above glaring red lights and still are moving forward. You request a count, based on your specific criteria and you get a result. To ensure you are hooked, the ODV will offer you a free sample of around 50-100 records for you to test the quality of their database. Now how naïve are we that we are not going to realise that these are going to be the freshest and best data they have to offer?
So, next step: you want to place the order …PREPAYMENT is required. You are told 5 days to deliver. 5 days normally turns into 10 days or sometimes even longer. This is where the ODV now starts data hunting techniques to get to the counts they promised and for which you have prepaid.
Finally, your data is delivered. If there are quality or deliverability issues, good luck with getting a refund or even a quick response. The ODV’s will by in large never refund any data order – they will instead offer and re-offer and supply and re-supply data until you are worn out and will walk away , sadder but wiser.
Of course, not all ODV’s are quite as unscrupulous but unfortunately the ones I have had the displeasure to meet have been -- and here I am speaking from experience only.
Wake up and smell the coffee, people… It if seems too good to be true it is! Do your due diligence and stay safe out there!
Here at Savvy Data Solutions, despite having worked with many of our vendors and suppliers for more than 20+ years, we still leave nothing to chance. We have vetted our vendors through a scrupulous on-boarding procedure, asking them to complete our vetting form and provide evidence of compliance. Nonetheless, we create a processing agreement for each new transaction to ensure that our clients are fully protected.
To find out more, get in touch - we would love to hear from you.