It's not a shock to anyone that companies keep our person information on file. That's usually part of the "terms and conditions" we all choose to ignore and accept. However, we never really think about these companies monitoring our browsing habits as they happen. For one person, Ariel Dumas, she learned that the furniture website Wayfair was watching her when she went on the site, and they even went so far as to call her about it.
Dumas posted about her experience on Twitter in a series of tweets.
"I'm looking at Wayfair and my phone just rang - an unknown number," Dumas explained. "Picked it up, and it was a Wayfair employee saying they noticed I was browsing their website so happy creepy Halloween I guess. I had to answer! It was a Massachusetts number and WHAT IF IT WAS [Elizabeth Warren]???????? It was a young man who was clearly like doing this as part of his job and I explained to him how uncomfortable it made me feel and he apologized several times and sounded honestly very sorry! I told him I appreciated his passion for customer service but could he please send the message up the chain that this was nothing less than horrifying and he readily agreed to do so."
The story garnered a lot of attention, and Wayfair responded to the story. In a statement to PEOPLE, the company said they have reached out to Dumas to get more details on her experience, and they also made it clear that this isn't a normal operating procedure for them.
“I think it’s important to clarify that we do not make outbound phone calls based on real-time site activity,” the representative said. “To best serve our customers and help them find what they are looking for, Wayfair has a team of specialists that follows up by phone with customers who have already made a purchase.”
“When Wayfair notices previous orders and site activity show buying interest in a specific category of its catalog, team members may reach out to customers to offer help in finding the right item — but the call should always be preceded by an email explanation," the rep continued. "Customers receive an introductory email from the team prior to any phone outreach to offer assistance in the shopping process. Many customers find this helpful especially when shopping categories that include flooring, vanities, upholstery and other high-consideration products where specialized expertise is particularly helpful.”
Dumas hasn't spoken about the alleged call from Wayfair, but as someone who has used the site before, I can say that I haven't experienced this.