Advertising via Automated Phone Message, a bad idea.

I sent this email to The Brick furniture store today after an absolutely stupid ‘phone’ call.  It was sent in two parts; to the store where the call originated and to the Customer Service center.  I’m really curious to see what, if anything, happens next!!


To:  Mr. Brick or whoever deletes emails at your CS location.

I have just received a phone call from your store in St-Hubert advertising something or other.  I cut the call short as soon as the automated system kicked in.  I guess a recorded message IS a foolproof way to get someone’s attention.  I’ll explain, just read below.

Urgently needing a new washing machine, I went to the St-Hubert store and bought one.  Filling the paperwork and giving out my home phone number for delivery purposes, nothing more.   Why then, after four months (I checked) did you feel the need to call me up, see how I was doing?  I was doing fine until that phone call and btw, way to keep up with your clientele!   A bland, unconvincing recorded message will not bring out the customer in me.  Let’s not mention that the “Voice” on the other end called me by my first name.  Huh, hold on…who do you think you are?

Get this straight, I purchased a product and you took my money, The End.  This doesn’t mean that we’ve formed a lasting bond, a friendship where I’ll take a bullet for you.  You should’ve used my last name when addressing me.  Furthermore, had you decided that a phone call made by Paul, Julie or even Sanjiv (since I’m not sure if you outsource your CS, I’ll include everyone) would’ve been a better choice, you’d been right.  So why didn’t you?

At best, I would’ve listened and who knows, maybe even driven down, taken a look-see.  At worse I would’ve politely declined (I was raised, not thrown!) or you would’ve hit the answering machine.  I understand that it must be frustrating to CS employees to constantly hear ‘No’ but hey, guess what…that’s the telemarketing gig!  Using the Automated Message, you can be sure that I’ll never listen to it even if it was recorded on my answering service…using a finger to press Erase is a simple and satisfying gesture.

So, why am I upset?

1.) You don’t respect your customer.  When I address someone I don’t know, even if I’m aware of his or her first names, it’s Sir, Madam or something polite, not ‘buddy’ or ‘dude’ (see top of this email).

2.) You don’t care about your customer.  You advertise to the masses using standard communication venues; therefore, we’ve been made aware. Then, you use a tin can to ‘talk’ with flesh and blood and only after several months have gone by.  How do you know I don’t need new furniture?  You don’t, so why take that chance?  That store is smack between three other furniture Outlets, not to mention the few ‘Mom and Pop’ stores still standing.  Guess what, I have a choice and will promptly exercise that right from now on.

3.) You expect customers to forget how they are treated then blindly return for seconds…not so.  For example, I had to wait two bloody weeks to receive my appliance  – yes, yes, I got the whole oft repeated speech from the salesman; i.e. high turnover + irregular deliveries = low inventory.  Being as big as you boast, I surmise that you track all purchases and carry over an Inventory to compensate.  I may look like a retard, what with my funny hair and all but as a paying customer, I loathe being treated like one.

Aah, the Big Box mentality. You see me as a number, fine.

My customer # is:  -1, starting now.


M. Ben NotKenobi



Ed. note:  I used my name IRL