These guys will not entertain opt out requests or in the least removing your personal information from being indexed by the Google search crawler. As a result, when someone Googles your name, the first thing people see in the result page is the price of your property. This is wrong because most people Googling your name are not researching real estate, which is the target demographic for Blockshopper. People Googling your name may include stalkers, business partners, hiring managers, envious neighbors, criminals - people who you generally want to avoid giving such private information to.
This policy also breeds erroneously perceived resentment among members of your peer group and society as a whole. It puts homeowners into a special category - those whom it's OK to resent and act negatively towards because of the high price they paid for their home, which could in the minds of some fools equate them to having a high income and a premium social status. The truth however is that most homeowners are struggling to keep it together given the financial downturn, loss of jobs, falling home prices, and resetting mortgages - do they really need more burden placed on them at this time?
It's true there's nothing illegal about Blockshopper exposing homeowner information in such a public and accessible way. But let's use a historical example as a predictor of a possible outcome. In 1930s Germany, all Jews were forced to wear a yellow Star of David on their shirt sleeves. This was the law at the time and there was no way to opt out, meaning if you were Jewish, every German knew it. Furthermore because of such a uniquely identified and resented status, people could hurt you and no one would care. We all know what happened next. I'm not saying that Blockshopper management are Nazis nor have any intentions to be, however they clearly have not thought through the consequences and externalities of their actions and policies.
The business model aspect of Blockshopper's strategy puzzles me as well. I can understand the need for a young startup site to attract as many unique users as possible and retain them for the long term in order to gain sustainable advertising dollars. However, most people that would benefit from Blockshopper and keep coming back are the same people in the real estate game that the company is pissing off right now, homeowners. No reasonable person I know would want to trade their privacy so openly violated to perhaps slightly better real estate intelligence. So while the model may be workable in the short term because the site is so new and fresh, long term people are going to go to a competitor that treats them ethically. Advertisers will follow both for profit reasons and for the fact that they will not want to be associated with such a morally bankrupt company.
So in summary, Blockshopper in its current shape and form is bad for business, for society, and is frankly scary enough for me to never use it to research real estate nor advertise on it.
The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.