Monday, December 8, 2008

Corporate dumbness.

A friend came over for brunch yesterday, a very bright friend and a former account person who went over, for a number of reasons, to the client side. We had hardly finished schmearing the cream cheese when she began talking about the bloated dumbness of corporate America.

I love it on those rare occasions when I'm not the most cynical in the room and this was one of those moments. Later on in the day, after my friend departed, I fell prey to a banner ad I saw on for a free credit report. Figuring I'd be relatively safe given that the ad was on Fortune's site I filled in the requisite information and got my credit score.

Now came the hard part. Unsubscribing from the so-called free service. Ten minutes to find the phone number, ten minutes on hold, and then ten minutes with a persistent rep who kept trying to get me to reconsider. Finally he said, "Mr. Tunerborf (he couldn't pronounce my name) Mr. Talleyrand, because you're a valued customer, we'll take $5 off the monthly price."

Valued customer? I was deceived into being a customer by your hundreds of millions of advertising proclaiming your service to be free. I became your customer 20 minutes ago and since then have been trying to have my name removed. Please define "valued customer."

Then, I get an email from Sony, again promising a special deal because I am a valued customer. My last phone interaction with Sony was a screaming match because they failed to honor the warranty I paid for, "You should have read the agreement before you left the store," the rep said to me. Quickly I imagined myself reading the three pages of single-spaced 6-pt. type.

Oh, there's more, there's more. But to all those companies that worry about their brands and pour millions in to them, worry more about crap like this. Because this is the stuff consumers remember.


Tore Claesson said...

stories like this one belong in a book! One you should have written long ago.

Unknown said...

Last night Metlife called and disturbed my Sunday evening to ask about my satisfaction with a recent service. I was satisfied, thank you. Until you disturbed my Sunday night, you idiot!!

Tore Claesson said...

Today I got $27 back for a $200 amp i had purchased from GuitarCenter for the kids and had to send back as it didn't work. On the phone they were okay with taking it back, crediting me and they sent me a Fedex slip for the return. I only had to drop it off at FedEx, which was okay with me even though I had to get into the car and drive 15 minutes to the nearest office. When I called and pointed out that they only credited $27 for a product I had payed $200 dollar for they claimed that was the value. So apparently they were selling me a $27 dollar worth useless amp for $200, got my money, got the crap back and kept the balance. That is an interesting business model. Now, the same amp actually sells for around $200 in most shops. After a long talk they agreed to look into it. Well, they better. This is nothing short of a scam. And I won't put up with it. As they record all phone calls I'm sure they have on record that they agreed to credit the faulty product in full. Problem is that I also value my time, and peace of mind, and shit like this is tiring.

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