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Rant

Santander Re-Brand to San Tan D’uh

This is a guest rant post from the ever lovely Jules. She am the best.

Santander? Not so much.

I’m a pretty patient kind of a person. I honestly don’t mind waiting 20 minutes to speak to a busy customer care adviser. I mean they’re busy after all. In fact, I don’t even mind the 5 minutes it takes to enter my new telephone banking ID and pin (of which 3 minutes is spent trying the 2 different pins I was sent on the same day).

It might seem a bit odd that I can’t even talk to a human about my account without a login, but hey, for the sake of security, I don’t mind.

I guess that’s why I’m also pretty laid back when it takes a further 5 minutes to clear the security questions once I get through to said busy customer care advisor (note to self, shed some pounds, it’s darn right embarrassing to disclose that kind of weight to a total stranger).

But I guess where my patience tales off is thus:

BCCA = Busy Customer Care Advisor… Me = Me – clever, huh?

BCCA: One last security check before we proceed, can you just confirm your address Miss Lawrence?

Me: Why sure, it’s Lovely House, Quiet Road, Suburbia.

BCCA: Great, that’s what I have here. So, what can I do for you today?

Me: Well, my debit card, that awfully clever widget that lets me get my money out and pay for stuff like, oh I don’t know, food, well, it’s due to expire this month and you’ve not sent me a new one.

BCCA: Ah, I see the problem Miss Lawrence. We’ve updated your address on our systems but your postal address is still Noisy Flat, Busy Road, London. It’s been sent there.

Me: Oh, right. So I guess you thought I’d still like all my letters posted to my old address?

BCCA: Yes, that’s right Miss Lawrence, that was our thinking.

Me: Okey dokey. Um, so I guess we better cancel the new card and send me a new(er) one?

BCCA: Oh, well, we’d love to do that Miss Lawrence, we really would. The trouble is, the card was a replacement so it has exactly the same 16 digit card number as your current card. Oh and the same pin number. So we’d be cancelling both.

Me: Righhhht. Ok, so just so’s I’m clear, the new card, which doesn’t need to be activated with a new pin or owt, has been sent to someone who isn’t me. What happens if that person likes using clever widgety things to buy stuff like, I don’t know, high definition, flat screen TVs with built in 3D over the web?

BCCA: Well now, that is a conundrum. I guess we better cancel it Miss Lawrence.

Me: But then I can’t use my clever widgety thing to buy stuff like food?

BCCA: Now you’re getting it Miss Lawrence! Not for 10 days- that’s the legal requirement for sending out a new card btw.

Me: Ok, I guess I’m just a bit worried that I might get hungry or something.

BCCA: Oh no Miss Lawrence, you can get out money at your local branch. All you need is:

Photo ID
A bank statement
And proof of address (old and new)

We’re very good at security like that…

Said the man, working for the bank that sends identical cards to the wrong address.

Hmmm, that my lovelies is where my patience runs out. Santander, given your recent re-brand to San Tan D’uh, I’m moving to First Direct.

Mate, Don’t *Make* Me Like Something In Order to See It

Social media is the new black y’know.

In my pathetic attempt to remain down with the kids I occasionally (and only very occasionally mind) do something other than play lexulous on Facebook and hit up my ‘Home’ page.

By the by, for my money the ‘home’ page should be called something like ‘timeline’ or possibly more accurately ‘place where you stalk peeps and get more annoyed than is strictly necessary at the farmville (or whatever the latest game is) updates polluting your feed’

But I guess they might struggle to fit that in the top navigation.

Anyways – today I saw this: (click to enlarge, innit?)

It says:

[My mate likes] 94% of people CAN’T READ this sentence without making a MISTAKE! Click to Try.

Well as someone who vacillates between being fairly certain she’s smarter than the average bear, to believing she’s several sandwiches short of a picnic I wanted to play too. Keen to find out just how good I was at reading and comprehension I did indeed click to try…

Dear reader, it occurred to me, whilst reading this back that I really didn’t need to complete the test… I am definitely several sandwiches short of a picnic… But I digress.

I clicked… and this is what I hit: (and again, click to enlarge – yes Mummy that is for your benefit)

Did you read it?

Woah there! What’s going on here?

“Step 1 – Click on the like button below”

But I don’t know if I ‘like’ it yet. I’ve not seen it. It might be totally crappy. Then all my friends will know I do totally crappy stuff on Facebook. I’ll be mocked and shunned… Or worse – befriended by Farmville players.

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

So why would they do that? Huh? Huh?

Well, obviously they want their message to spread (virus-like) amongst people’s feeds – and this is one way to do it. Make peeps ‘like it’ even before they access it.

Or – and this is just an idea loves – you could make something so kick-ass awesome that people actually *want* to share it AFTER they’ve accessed it.

Because now I think you’re an asshat. And I don’t want to do your stupid test anymore. And I hate you. I’m thinking the planet might be a better place without you*.

And it could of been the start of something beautiful baby**.

Radio Wars

Dear readers, this post, I fear may well dissolve into an incoherent rant.

But hey, as you’re here now you might as well read it, no?

In the office of the lovely online agency which are good enough to employ me, there is a radio. Yep, I know, old school huh? Anyway, a war is raging…

There are essentially just two factions. Myself versus everyone else.

Despite being 32 (and therefore far and away the longest in the tooth) I am still an Indie kid. As such, there’s really only one station I ever want to listen to – XFM.

Everyone else, despite being significantly younger seems to favour the menopausal women’s favourite – Heart FM. That’s right; the music station for people who’ve something against music. It makes me want to self harm…

Despite having absorbed the greatest song in the world ever into their playlist (thank God for small mercies) Heart FM’s USP seems to be playing middle of the road crap essentially designed not to offend. But it is offensive.

Here’s the last 10 songs they played:

A million love songs – Take That (fuck me sideways that’s shit)

Doesn’t mean anything – Alicia Keys (never was a song title so apt)

Save a Prayer – Duran Duran (actually I quite like this, but don’t tell anyone I said so)

Everything – Michael Buble (bloody Buble – I’d like to kick his smug head in, then cut his vocal chords)

She’s always a woman to me – Fyfe Dangerfield (Dangerfield looks worryingly like the new Buble to me – I don’t hate him yet, but there’s plenty of time)

Only You – Yazoo (Gah! I actually do like this)

Crazy for you – Madonna (Ah yes the song they always used to play at the end of the school disco so you could snog the face off someone with bad skin and sweaty palms in a catch the back of your throat haze of Lynx… Nostalgic, sure – but still a shower of shite)

I Swear – All 4 One (I’m not sure I have the words to express quite how appalling this song is)

You Know Me – Robbie Williams (My head might explode – why? Why?)

I heard it through the grapevine – Marvin Gaye (a classic, granted – but I’m not sure I really need to listen to it – y’know?)

So what is the matter with these youngsters?

They all seemingly love a bit of Buble. What. The. Fuck. Some of them are 21.

21 and loving Buble. That is what’s wrong with this country…

Or something…

Sure when you hit the HRT, then it’s possibly acceptable to love Buble. Possibly.

Despite being 32, and it possibly being a bit sad to still like proper music… I’m just not ready for all that saccharine. Music that ‘sweet’ must surely mean you’re in danger of developing diabetes.

As you well know dear readers, I will not go gentle into that goodnight; I will instead rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Join me…

We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!

Watch your back Buble.

Snake Oil

Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young girls gone?
Online dating, every one
When will they ever learn… When will they ever learn?

 

I know that apparently *most* of the couples of who got married in the USA last year, met through e-harmony. I also know people who met via online dating and have since married and are very happy.

I’m just not sure that online dating is the solution which it purports to be.

In fact I think it’s snake oil.

On paper online dating looks pretty good, right? I’m very busy, I don’t really meet people, all my friends are coupled up – blah, blah blah (incidentally I’m quoting myself here). Also, it’s quite fun searching through the profiles with your mates, especially if you’ve had some wine.

Unfortunately, when you wake up the next morning, it’s, well not quite as fun… and actually it sucks.

You spend an hour or so trawling through boring profiles, trying to remember how fun it was the night before. You figure you really *ought* to make contact with some people.

So you do. You try to find a commonality between the two of you. You try to be witty, engaging, fun, lively, bubbly, intelligent etc.

Language fails you.

You decide to go shower, because you figure it’s just the hangover. You come back, look at a few more profiles and decide that you really need coffee. You drink coffee, come back… 

BUT

it’s not the hangover, it’s not the coffee,

you’ve

just

lost

the

will

to

live

 

It’s no fun at all. It’s soul destroying.

You start looking at some girls profiles because you’ve not tortured yourself enough just yet. Everyone else, looks younger, fresher, more fun, more appealing. You realise that you are old, fat and don’t photograph very well.

You eat some toast (because hangovers need carbs) and curse the joining fee which you could have spent on shoes (or more sensibly your council tax).

 

Maybe it’s just that particular dating site?

… Damn those salesmen are good 😉

 

Image credit gapingvoid

All Marketers Are Liars

I work in marketing.

I’ve been know to be frugal with the truth. 

But, just for the record, I’d really rather not be. It’s less about morality (although of course I like to think I have a strong moral compass), and more about what actually works.

Polishing turds is a pointless exercise. They really don’t shine up that well… and even if they do – what do you have? A shiny turd. Excellent. A triumph of style over substance. Nothing more than spin.

And, spin – well it makes customers dizzy.

You might bamboozle them for a short while, but once they’ve regained their 20:20 vision, they’ll realise. They’ll feel short-changed at best, and at worst will be busily casting the cruciatus curse in your general direction.

They’re not going to say nice things about you.

They’re not going to recommend a friend.

There will be great vengeance and furious anger spewing forth from your customers mouths, screaming from their facebook statuses, and flooding twitter.

Maybe you’ll wonder why. Maybe you’ll blame the marketers.

But, perhaps, dear hearts – you really ought to reassess what it is you’re selling.

I know you like to think your shit don’t stink…
…But lean a little closer, those roses really smell like boo boo*

So rather than having your marketers spending their days polishing turds and fighting fires, create something truly brilliant. A service that delivers. A product which works. Customers who evangelise rather than curse you.

I’m about to stoop very low. I’m quoting Jerry Maguire (I’m sorry)

Help me help you.

Or perhaps

Help marketers help you.

We’d really like to be good. And we’d really like you to be good too.

 

*Lyrics from Roses, by OutKast, 2003.