Got a question: What’s going on with businesses today? Are they stalkers, or are they simply strapped for cash?
Case-in-point: I had just finished watching a law commercial (for the tenth time this week) about how If you’re hurt in an accident and can’t get to the lawyer, the lawyer will come to you. Since when do lawyers come to your home or hospital bed after you’ve been in an accident? Didn’t the term for this used to be called “ambulance chasing?” But now lawyers say they do it because you may be entitled to compensation. Is that a true statement, or are they really saying that they may be entitled to a portion of your compensation?
Anyway, just as that commercial ended, my telephone rang and a lady with a British accent asked why I hadn’t returned her calls about enrolling in her university. Darn! Why did I pick up that phone? That particular lady had only called a dozen or so times in the past eight months, leaving “British-sounding” voice messages for me about an email I sent in the Fall of 2011 about possibly (I said possibly…I never said probably!) enrolling for a class or two at her university.
My question is, how smart does she need to be to figure out I’m not interested? I mean, I have a caller ID, so I’ve seen her number on my phone…over and over again. And she knows I have voice mail because she has left multiple pleading messages for me. And I have email too, which I used when I emailed her during the Winter of 2011 to tell her I changed my mind about enrolling. And yet she still called!
“Please stop calling,” I say. “Pretty-please. With sugar on top! I’m not interested in classes at your university. I told you that in an email.”
“We never received any such email,” she answers. “And I’m only calling as a courtesy to you, since registration begins soon and you still haven’t bothered to complete your FAFSFA. Wait…am I to understand that you don’t want to enroll? Is that what you’re saying?”
Duh. So how much do you want to bet she’ll call again?
Anyway, she hangs up, and before I can place the phone on the charger, it rings again. I say hello, and a computer with a feminine voice begins to speak. “Stay on the line,” it says. “Don’t hang up! I have an important message for you.” Then the voice proceeds to scold me because their company has given me several chances (dozens and dozens, if I have all the missed calls tallied correctly) to lower my credit card interest rate, but I’m too foolish to take advantage of the offer. Then the voice assures me that their company is only trying to help people like me. Yeah, right; people like me…who are spending their money elsewhere and not with them.
But really, if you (or your computer) call me day and night for months-on-end and leave messages about helping me lower my interest rates, and I don’t call back, just what the h-ll do you think that means? Huh…what?
So I hang up on the computer and wander out to my mail box, where I find, among other junk, a letter from cable, satellite tv and Ma bell, all promising gifts and sacrifices, and extending the proverbial olive branch of peace if I’ll only bring my business back to them. Too bad they weren’t that nice when I was a customer; they didn’t listen to my concerns, they never gave freebies, and they charged way too much for their services. But now that I’m gone, they each say they miss their “valued customer.”
Hmph…more like they miss their cash cow.
So that’s my question for today: What’s going on? Why the persistence, the voice mails, the junk mail offers, the unrelenting automated calls? Are businesses so strapped for cash, they’ll do anything to win their customers back, including worrying them to death? Or are they just stalkers with a license to do business?
Hope you enjoy this food for thought! Best wishes,