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Friday, April 25, 2008

Primitive marketing drives me round the bend

They say an Englishman's home in his castle, and I couldn't agree more. I would be more than happy to have a drawbridge and moat so that I could stop people leafleting the house at all hours of the day.

I had a real Victor Meldew moment today as I surveyed the detritus that makes up most of the post. I'd just spent a good half an hour de-cluttering the house. Considering there are only two of us, there is a lot to de-clutter! John's running gear and associated apparatus (water bottles, heart rate monitor, sheets of paper with stretching exercises, safety pins) seem to find their way all over the house. My hobby - scrapbooking and painting - also extends beyond the lean-to and you find buttons and glitter dust in the most unlikely places.

Anyway, I digress. Having done the de-cluttering, the post then arrived. For those who work at home, a pleasant milestone in the day. (Particularly if accompanied by the doorbell ringing, which means a nice parcel to open). Well, I had a subscription magazine; good, but it came in a plastic bag with several of those wretched inserts. A Lakeland catalogue. A Boden catalogue. More plastic, a whole sheaf of inserts from Lakeland, order forms, vouchers. Sheesh, why do these people still send me catalogues when they should KNOW they I only order online? Why are companies' marketing methods still so primitive? And both of them are always sending out new catalogues, as do Toast, whose "tastefully" lit catalogue is so gloomy the clothes look foul.

Then there was a letter from the bank. Apparently I have been chosen (along with millions of others) to be upgraded to some new type of account, which, reading between the lines, is just them promoting their call centre (which I already use) and having people interrogate me every time I enter the branch about why I haven't yet spoken to my "personal banking manager." Not to mention someone from the call centre ringing me and trying to talk me into loans, ISAs or whatever else they're trying to flog.

I noticed the letter gave a number to call if you didn't want to take advantage of this new service so I rang it. It took me to the call centre. Ideally, I should have been able to signal my "NO THANKS" by either entering some numbers into the phone, on my online bank account, or by ringing a number which was automatically answered by the "no thanks" person. Even better, I should have been offered the chance to opt in or opt out. But again, it's just poor marketing.

And while I'm ranting, I'll tell you another thing that makes me mad. MORI amd Gallup, the poll people, keep sending people round with clipboards to do surveys. They have called twice now about getting us to do a survey on buying new cars. It's quite hard to get rid of them, as if it's our duty to speak to them. One of them very indignantly said "we do pay you know,". I don't care what they're paying: I'm not divulging lots of private information which then goes God knows where.

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