Complaints and Action Against Johns Hopkins White Papers

In March 2009, I first told you about a "survey" I had received, supposedly issued by Johns Hopkins Medical University and Institutes, asking me all kinds of information about my health and interests.  Out of curiosity, and in the process of looking for previous years' survey results, I figured out that this supposed survey was actually marketing in disguise - and I took Johns Hopkins to task for being what I considered to be underhanded data mining.

The immediate reply on the part of you, my Patient Empowerment readers, was to share comments that the survey wasn't the only masked marketing Johns Hopkins was doing.  In fact, the bigger problem was their series of "White Papers" on every disease topic you can imagine (or, perhaps more to the point, every disease topic they could make enough money from like arthritis, heart disease, prostate cancer, Alzheimers and others).  Readers were getting white papers they hadn't ordered, were being billed for them, were being told they would go into collections over them - a real mess to be sure.

Fast forward to 2011 - and it's like deja vu all over again.  In the past week or so we've begun to receive complaints again about those Johns Hopkins White Papers.  It was time to put a stop to it!

So I contacted Johns Hopkins' marketing people -- again -- and was sent to the company that handles the marketing of the white papers on Johns Hopkins behalf.  That company is Remedy Health Media.  They write, market and distribute information products like white papers, news alerts and others, and put the Johns Hopkins name on them.  Yes, with the blessing of Johns Hopkins.

After a number of phone calls and emails, I do have the impression that Remedy Media and its CEO, Mike Cunnion, sincerely want to "remedy" these billing problems for customers.  Mike provided an email address and phone numbers to make that easy for those of you who feel you have been billed in error and who want to stop the arrival of the white papers.

In addition, Mike assures me that they are looking at ways to reformat their marketing so these problems won't continue to crop up.

Time will tell if his sincerity will translate to action.

Readers: I look to you to let us know how successful this campaign to clean up the billing has been for Johns Hopkins White Papers.  Comment below if you continue to run into problems and we will see that Remedy Media and Johns Hopkins get the word.

[An aside here to Johns Hopkins and its marketing group, led by Gary Stephenson and Doug Hall:  You have known about these problems for years. You have known that customers weren't happy and surely you understand how this kind of customer disservice is a stain on your brand. As a fellow and former marketing professional - I have to wonder what on earth Johns Hopkins has been thinking in allowing this to continue for so long!]

Was this page helpful?