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January, 2009:

Compare the Market Engage in Some Ill-Advised Blog Spamming

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

You may recall that I recently wrote a very complimentary post on Compare the Market’s Compare the Meerkat campaign.

When I logged in to write a new post that I had a comment awaiting moderation – apparently from someone who works for Compare the Market.

You can see a link to the comment here

She says that the new TV ad is being previewed online, and thanks me for my post.

Quite nice I thought.

However I was dismayed to note that she’d spammed my blog with a like to Compare the Market. Rather than a link to the new TV ad.

Frankly I’m really put out.

I have no desire whatsoever to directly promote Compare the Market. I think the Meerkat campaign is great, and have linked to it willingly. But I chose (as is my right – it’s my blog, I pay for the hosting, domain etc) not to link to Compare the Market.

All the links on my blog are followed – which for the non-SEO peeps out there means that the links I give count as ‘votes’ in the search engine’s eyes. In linking to Compare the Meerkat – I’m giving the search engines a clear indicator that I’m recommending it.

However I never had any intention of recommending Compare the Market.

Now, as I’ve hinted before, I’m fairly certain that sometime after the Meerkat campaign ends, Compare the Meerkat will 301 redirect to Compare the Market. Therefore all the links which myself and other bloggers have provided will eventually be tranferred to Compare the Market.

I don’t mind that – to be honest I think they’ve earned it.

But this?

I’m beyond annoyed and getting angrier by the second.

Clearly Compare the Market have engaged the services of people like Amelia to find blogs like mine and spam them with a link for Compare the Market.

Not cool.

For me, Compare the Market have scored a major own goal in the social media arena. Clearly they need to learn some social media netiquette; and sharpish.


Update 3/2/09

Someone called Katie dropped a comment on my blog saying the link was a typo – click to see the comment and my response.

Where there’s a Will there’s a way ;)

How d’ ya like them apples baby?

Congratulations on the teaching gig love x

Image credit bunchofpants via flickr

The Shop Which Customer Service Forgot…

Dear readers, I give you the Great British Post Office:

An institution if you will; a bastion against customer service… At least in Hackney, and indeed my own little corner of South West London – perhaps elsewhere they’re better?

Here’s a lovely example of their total disregard for customer service –

Image credit gruntzooki via flickr

This picture was taken in a Post Office in Hackney.

Firstly, you’ll be pleased to note the message from the staff requesting that customer’s do not allow their children to ‘spoil’ the leaflets… Fair enough, I guess. But, notice that said leaflet dispenser is completely empty.

Hmmm – I can kinda picture it now…

Disgruntled member of Post Office staff – “All my lovely leaflets have been spoiled by horrible, horrible children… Look! I have even written them a note (on some sticky white labels which I bought with my own money), but still they ignore me! Well that’s it, if they cannot respect my leaflets – they shall not have access to them. Maybe that will teach them!”

Disgruntled member of Post Office Staff then self-importantly empties said dispenser, and places all leaflets out of harms way behind the counter.

Trouble is, there’s always (and I mean always) a massive queue in the Post Office. Probably (at least in part) because in the vast majority of Post Offices people are queuing up needlessly for forms / leaflets which ought to be on display on the shop floor.

It’s a complete nonsense.

To add insult to the mind-numbing, spirit crushing wait you have to endure in order to ask politely for said forms the typical response is from the member of staff is ‘They should be in the dispenser’.

At which point you really have to bite your tongue. What you really want to say is ‘Yes, they should be in the dispenser shouldn’t they, then I wouldn’t have had to waste my precious lunch hour waiting in a queue, only for you to tell me – in your infinite wisdom – that they really should be in the dispenser.’

Instead you smile, shrug your shoulders and say something like ‘I guess someone must have just taken the last one’.

The member of staff looks at you as if you are a huge, steaming pile of dog turd. They don’t even bother trying to disguise their hate and general contempt for you, as they sigh weightily (to reinforce the gross inconvenience you have caused) and haul ass out of their mangy looking old office chair to go and find you your leaflet / form.

You try not to giggle as you notice that in getting off their chair, they swivelled the back of the chair to face you, and you can see their pathetic sticky white label on which they have boldly proclaimed in felt tip ‘Jeanette’s Chair – DO NOT ADJUST’.

After what feels like a lifetime they eventually return (but of course not before they’ve had an in depth conversation with another member of staff regarding the particulars of their next lunch break) ‘Well I was going to go at 1 Marilyn, but really I don’t mind – I could go at 12.30 if it’s better for you, although I do need to make sure I go before 1.30… so shall we say 1? Or 12.30? Well what’s Gina doing? Gina – when are you going? Well Gina’s going at 2… No, I couldn’t go at 2 – it’s too late for lunch y’know…’

By now your palms are sweating, you’re hearts beating a little faster – she’s got your leaflet – she’s heading this way – you’re gonna be able to leave this god forsaken place…

With a supreme effort she negotiates her way back on to her chair. She passes you your leaflet, you smile and turn to go.

‘Erm – I think you mean thank you… some people are so rude’ she complains to her colleague.

It’s all too much for you. You wish you had some kind of superhuman power that would allow you to exact some kind of revenge…

With your lazer beam eyes you cause every screw holding her chair together to simultaneously perish so she lands on her generous backside on the floor…

Or with your powers of telekinesis you cause her stapler to staple her top and bottom lip together…

Or you just leave like the lilly-livered coward you are and vow to write a vitriolic blog post… 

Bad Lego

Dear readers, I’m feeling a little bit childish today… perhaps that’s why the following picture amused me so very much.

Anyways my loves, I present for your amusement a piece that I like to call Bad Lego:

Bad Lego

Bad Lego

Image credit

I particularly appreciate the attention to detail here – see the way the artist has used round red lego blocks to illustrate the whipping the submissive lego man has received from the dominatrix lego lady…

Many thanks to Rich for sharing 🙂

Wooden Moose Head

Dear reader, let me introduce you to a key word in my limited vocabulary.

The word, my loves, is shonk.

Shonk as a noun refers to the vast majority of the contents of my flat. I have a love of shonk. Shonk has no particular purpose. To me it’s wonderful, decorative, lovelyness which makes me smile. To others it’s just junk. Well, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder…  

Anyways – today is a glorious, glorious day – because my darling brother came over and put up the wooden moose head which I purchased for him to give to me for Christmas – Jezzie’s good like that.

The conversation went a little something like this:

Me: Hi – have you got me anything for Christmas?

Him: Er not really.

Me: Cool – do you wanna buy me a wooden moose head? It’s really shonky…

Him: Er…

Me: It’s not expensive it’s £20

Him: Er… a wooden moose head?

Me: It’s sooooo cool – I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever bought

Him: You’ve bought it already

Me: Mmmmm

Him: (Laughs) Ok if that’s what you want

Me: Yay! Can you come over and put it up for me?

Him: (Sighs) Ok

Me: Cool, also my bath needs resealing and there are some cracks that need plastering

Him: Babe I’ve got a hangover, I’m hanging up on you now

Me: Ok (babbles on incessantly for a few more minutes)

Him: Bye (hangs up)


I really do think it’s the best thing I’ve ever bought:

Wooden Moose Head

Wooden Moose Head

Wooden Moose Head - in Profile

Wooden Moose Head - in Profile

I’m fully prepared to be insulted and ridiculed in the comments… You’re just jealous 😉