Friday, May 8, 2009

AT&T Telemarketer Fail

So you have a business and are excited about your product. You want to increase sales so you begin to get on the phone and call people. You develop a pitch. You develop your "phone voice" and persona. Whole books have been written on the art of the sale and the art of cold calling. People have worked very hard to develop this skill.

In the early days businesses bought lists and this dramatically increased the scope of their calls. Later technology allowed them to automatically dial the next person on their list and even have these background auto dialers and connect calls to the person who would conduct the phone call to do the cold calling. The more efficient the technology the more calls that could be made more cheaply.

Which brings me to the really messed up call that I just got ON MY CELL PHONE!!!!! Once I finally understood what the poor Indian was trying to say and who they represented it hit me: My iPhone, which is on the AT&T phone network, has just been dialed a call from friggin India to pitch me for AT&T Yellow Page services. Talk about abusing your customers.

But what really struck me was not only how offensive the call was, but how horrible it was. The connection quality was poor - there was a huge delay as the call connected to the other side of the globe - and the Indian voice on the other end was hardly legible. I'm sure that call didn't cost AT&T very much. It sure shouldn't because it was the worst cold call I think you could possibly imagine. An Indian who I could hardly understand was calling me out of the blue over a very poor connection wanting to talk to me about services I have absolutely no need for. Talk about a waste of their and my time.

Is this what it has come to AT&T? Where you misuse your customer's phone numbers to poorly pitch services we don't need? Shame on you.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Movie Cube rental

I just had occasion to use the MovieCube rental machine at my local Kroger store. My son wanted to bring Wall-E to school for the Friday lunch since he's "president" this month and responsible for snacks and entertainment. I only had the Blu-Ray version of the movie and doubted the school had a player. So, I tried the $1.00 rental from the MovieCube.

I have to say, it was super easy. It had a touch screen to select the movie, added it to my cart, and clicked "check out" just like any online e-commerce website. After swiping my credit card I waited a few seconds while it connected and verified and viola! out came the DVD in a plastic "cassette". Returning the movie was just as easy.

It's a great idea. By definition the selection is much more limited than what I can either stream or have mailed to me by Netflix; it had all the recent popular titles. I've been worried that as grocery stores and small mom and pop rental business have shut down the only local choices would be the hated Blockbuster. This is a very cool, very easy alternative when I need a movie now and can't wait the day or so for a Netflix shipment.