It’s going to get ugly

As the portal wars get newly hot, and as Wall Street gets increasingly impatient, look for more activities like this:

I got an email from Yahoo today. It was about their PayDirect service, which allows you to send money, PayPal style. As far as I know, I never signed up for it. I certainly can’t remember using it.

Here’s the key part of the email:


Well, I couldn’t tell if this was phishing (a nefarious type of spam designed to get people to surrender personal information) but as a public service, decided to clickthrough and see if it was the real deal.

I got to the page (which is a legit Yahoo page) and saw this:


So, maybe I’m mistaken, but this sure feels like one of those credit card come ons where they’re not being completely… truthful.

There’s an enormous amount of trust between millions of people and Yahoo and Google and the others. (Some online brands have more trust than others, but just about all the major ones score very well). Very few of us feel as warm and fuzzy about, say, Chase or Fleet as we do about Google, that’s for sure. And now, in the spirit of boosting sign ups and such, I’m afraid that eager marketers are about to engage in another round of messing with that. The problem is that once you lose it, it’s really hard to get it back.