Cold Calls to Loved Ones: 'Buy This!'

More stores bug buyers with calls; etiquette experts cringe
By John Lister,  Newser User
Posted Dec 1, 2007 6:44 PM CST

(Newser) – Tired of dropping hints and still getting the "wrong" gift? Now more stores notify potential buyers about what their loved ones want, the Wall Street Journal reports. Chains like Searle call up about that $300 scarf and onliner retailer Net-a-Porter sends video emails—along with the warning, "Let's face it, if she's happy, you're happy." But etiquette experts say it's just plain rude.

One cries foul over the intrusion into a "relationship between the giver and the receiver. When you have a middleman like that, it becomes a business transaction." But one retail expert says the plan fosters store loyalty, and Bluemercury, a beauty boutique, claims rung up sales last year at a Philadelphia store—where every one of 50 people contacted spent $1,000 to $5,500.