Will the stupid things companies do ever cease? Maybe when the companies themselves go out of business for being complete idiots, I guess. But in the interim, they sure provide a good amount of material for this space. I only found three examples over the weekend (I know – slacker) but since they’re all pretty egregious, I thought I’d share them.
Today’s first award goes to Golf Magazine. As you might have noticed, I have this “thing” about golf and I subscribe to several (OK, more than a few) golf publications. I recently renewed my subscription to Golf Magazine. I sent the check in a month ago and it was cashed 2 weeks ago. Yet thanks to the geniuses in their circulation department, I received a notice of a “suspension of service” over the weekend worded in a vaguely threateningly tone (not only will my game go to hell but I’ll be joining it!). Of course, I had to call and find out why they cashed the check and then sent a notice (no, they didn’t cross in the mail – I checked the postmarks). Even worse, their record showed I’m paid up through 2012. It made me angry and cost them money (not to mention good will!). They paid for the notice. They paid for customer service to listen to my rants. I’m unhappy and they’re a tiny bit less profitable.
The second award today goes to Cablevision. They send out what look to be Express Delivery packages – they look like FedEx or USPS Express mail – so you’ll think whatever is in there is important and open it. Don’t love it as a consumer but I get their thinking. So why print on the outside – “get Optimum voice and get a free iPod Touch.” Now that I know it’s junk mail and not a check from the lottery, why would I open it? Why the expense and waste of a cardboard (high quality!) envelope? They need to learn from the religious right. They send stuff to my Mother in law all the time with no return address and via certified mail. One would think it’s a foreclosure notice but it’s usually just a notice that the world is ending so send money. Now THAT’s the way to get that material read!
Finally, Sprint. I went to buy my parents an EVDO card and wanted to bring the new laptop in to the Sprint store to make sure everything worked since once they go to Florida with it a service call from the Eldest Child IT department becomes more difficult. We call Sprint to find out the nearest location since we were too lazy to go upstairs to a computer and check the web. Instead of the rep asking the only question he needed to ask – “where are you” – to help us, he went into a series of 25 questions – name, what phone plan are you on now, etc.. The call took 10 minutes. Seriously.
I think you can figure out what’s wrong in each of the above. Each one is funny but they’re really not. Do you have any weekend horror stories to share? If not, the holidays are coming and you just know there will be plenty of material in the “Stupid Company Tricks” folder.