My Opinion: Stop The Snooping Already

Dear Readers:
We all know that everyone has an opinion about something. In life, I think that opinions can be very healthy, but also very damaging.  I love the idea of giving you my opinion on things that I think should be eliminated from the event business (and hear how you feel about each topic).  This week, I would like to make a public plea to everyone in this business:
Stop snooping on your competitors already!

You are not going to believe this story (even I have trouble believing someone would do this). A while back, I had a young couple come into my office as they began to plan their wedding. They wanted a wedding for 500 people in New York and to hire us for both design and planning.  They were so sweet and kind and told me how much they loved me and my “amazing” designs. Being a sucker for a nice compliment, I was on cloud nine. To top it off, they told me they had a budget of over a million dollars (this is not uncommon for what they wanted, but it still made me smile). They wanted to move forward, but before they made a commitment,  they wanted to see a detailed proposal and a copy of our contracts.

As you can imagine, I was a happy camper. This was a great client for us, and we sent them out all of the requested documents as we would with all of our prospective clients. Well, weeks and weeks went by and we never heard from them again. Now, looking back, a red flag should have gone up when we looked the couple up on the internet and found nothing on them.  The horrible part came about six months later when I found out that I had been duped. Another company had sent this “fake couple” to come in and gain information and contracts to see how we worked.  I was furious when I found out that there are companies who would stoop so low as to snoop on other companies.  To be honest, I felt violated. In my humble opinion, I find this very dirty and think it should stop immediately.
Question: Have you ever been snooped on? Was I too gullible? Do you think this practice is OK? Please share your thoughts below.