Friday, November 06, 2009

It's the free market

Why OTT marketing techniques can actually end up putting off customers. A guest post by Nick O'Teene.

This time I'm about to write about the virtues of the free market and how it allowed me to perform the V-sign at the most pestering mobile phone company that ever graced the earth.

I won't tell you who they are, but I will say that they begin with 'V' and that they're also known as the world's dominant mobile phone company, they enjoy over a quarter of Britain's market and last year they made £3.078 billion.

Since I bought a pay-as-you-go with VodaFlick two years ago it's been a relentless bombardment of promotional phone calls and messages. Seriously: on average at least once a day.

Automated calls, gluey customer assistants insisting that you switch to contract, promotions and counterpromotions and - of course- a myriad text messages to remind you of offers, megaoffers, supersales and "hurry-up-top-up-now-and-receive-a-0.5-per-cent-discount" and more.

Piss off! Leave me alone. Stop harassing me as to why I'm not interested. Save your money on this industrial bombardment and use it to pay your call centre staff better.

Marketing may be one thing, but at Vodaflick they crossed the line that says "HARASSMENT" a long time ago and never looked back. Imagine if every single utility company you're signed up to tried to contact you as often as them. You'd need a full-time job just to answer the calls.

In the last few weeks an even higher volume of phone calls and texts informed me that I had to hand in my personal details because I had to- the penalty is that I'd lose my VodaFlick number if I didn't do so. This week I tried to do it. Three times. Once the queue was ginormous and twice the system was down.

So they do your head in about having to do something and when you try they can't let you do it. And if you call them they charge you 25p a minute.

And in the end I thought: fuck you, VodaFlick, cancel my line, get rid of it, stick it up your orifice, it's a free market and I'll spend my money with a company that won't harass you as much.

1 comment:

Helen Highwater said...

Someone I know had BT cold-call them, trying to sell them something. They're a BT customer but wrongly thought that being signed up for that "don't cold-call me, you annoying buggers" scheme would mean she'd get no calls from anyone.

I don't know if this came from the same round of cold-calling their customers, but this is... well... I feel sorry for the call centre bloke, but at the same time, I know that feeling of rage.

Rage which extends to the people who still cold-call me despite me being signed up to the "don't cold-call me!" scheme.

(And on the subject of marketing - why do HSBC call themselves "the world's local bank" when they've closed down loads of local branches?)