Implied Preferences / Educated Preferences

A few weeks ago, I was staying at a very nice hotel and was shocked to find out that they had cleaned my room while I had a do not disturb sign on the door. [My general mode when I travel is to just leave everything out in my room and not have them clean until I check out.] I immediately called downstairs to ask what the heck happened. They told me that they just assumed that I’d made a mistake and keyed themselves in.

I was honestly shocked. I’ve spent a lot of nights in hotels and never had this happen. They said that if the sign is up both in the morning and afternoon they assume that the guest had forgotten about it. They then offered to put me on the “honor the do not disturb sign list”. Are you kidding me?

I guess my argument (linking it back to healthcare and communications) is that aren’t there some implied preferences. Unless you tell me different, shouldn’t you honor my requests? If I sign up for e-mails, you should send me e-mails.

For example, if a consumer (member / patient) gives a company their mobile phone number, don’t they expect to receive calls on that phone? I think so. Now, I don’t think that giving a mobile phone number as a “phone number” implies that the consumer is saying it’s okay to send them text messages.

The other issue here is around “educated preferences”. If a company knows that the best way to get someone to stay adherent with their medications is to remind them to refill them, should they make it easy for consumers to opt-out of that program? I don’t think so. I think they have to offer that option, but why make it easy. Patients think they will be adherent. Heck, a lot of patients think they ARE adherent.

Don’t corporate entities have a role in leveraging their data and experience to help people even if people don’t know they need help.

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