Break the Chain RH Power and Outback Steakhouse: More E-Mail Tracking Nonsense

Updated (12/13/2001) The fictitious RH Power, Inc. wants to give you thousands of dollars, and a free dinner at Outback Steakhouse, and all you have to do is click the forward button. Oh, if only life could be that simple.

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

Subject: Send Quickly

Fw: Fw: Send Quickly

We have rented an email tracker for the next 3 months! We at RH Power Inc. want to see how many people our email can reach in this time!

If you forward this mail, you will be PAID MONEY!!!! This email must be sent immediately upon receiving this for it to be counted.

For every person you send this to you will receive $413! For every person they send this to you will receive $139! I too Ryan LaGrange, Head Marketing Manager, thought this was a hoax until I did the same thing and the next month got a check for $4612 in the mail.

*************************BONUS*******************************

IF YOU SEND THIS TO AT LEAST 15 PEOPLE RIGHT AWAY, A $25 GIFT CERTIFICATE TO OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE WILL POP UP ON YOUR SCREEN PRINT OUT THIS-IT IS A GIFT CERTIFICATE!!!

END CHAIN LETTER TEXT

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I first saw this one in October, 2000, and even though it has more holes than a swiss cheese factory, it continues to pick up steam. People must either not be reading it closely before sending it on, or are so greedy for easy money that they are willing to believe anything.

First problem: There is no such thing as an "e-mail tracker" and it is impossible to track e-mail as described above. Besides, who would want to? The exponential multiplication of e-mail (e.g., you forward it to 10 friends, who forward to 10, etc.) would create millions of copies of the mail in just a few hours! It would take a company years just to weed out the duplicates!

Second problem: They say they've rented the tracker for 3 months, but the letter isn't dated. My research revealed mentions of this letter as far back as May, 2000, way more than 3 months ago. A company with that much cash to throw away should be able to afford a marketing team that knows that it's poor practice to give vague time spans in your PR material.

Third Problem: Why would the head marketing manager of a company openly doubt his own promotion? Besides, do you really think Ryan LaGrange could have become the head marketing manager for such a lucrative company with such poor writing skills?

Fourth Problem: In a statement on their web site, Outback Steakhouse officially denies any involvement in any such promotion and assures that they do not use e-mail for marketing. The magical pop-up gift certificate the letter promises is as impossible as e-mail tracking.

There are other, lesser problems, of course. For instance, the fact that RH Power, Inc. doesn't seem to exist, or the fact that there's no way for them to know where to send the check. This message is just another entry in the lame, something for nothing, easy money hoax category. Break this Chain!

What Do You Think?

Category: Something for Nothing
References: None

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