Lazy Business

When did businesses become so incredibly lazy?

Gone are the days when a business would actually pick up the phone or send a letter out to you notifying you of a change to your account, or god forbid if there was a problem.

There have been times (a long time ago) where I’ve been in a shop, buying something on my credit card, a large purchase for example, when the store clerk would come back with my card and the phone and say “your bank on the line” only for the bank (fraud department) to have called to verify it was in fact me using my card.

There have even been times that the bank have rung my mobile to confirm that I was the one using my card, and when it wasn’t me, they’d immediately stop the transactions, cancel my card and re-issue a new one.

But over the last few years I’ve noticed that this doesn’t happen anymore.

Gone are the days when the bank contacted you about anything to do with your account that’s important.

Gone are the days when any company you hold a financial account with contacts you about anything to do with your account that’s important.

Yet they still send you all the god damn spam going. Mrs Masters, apply for this credit card/loan/get a free pen when you buy this shit product/have £5 off your next shop for £100.

Instead. They send you a text message, saying “please contact us immediately on this 0844 number to discuss your account”

Really?! Why?! Surely if you want to discuss my account with me, you should ring me direct! Why should I spend up to 5p per minute, on hold for nearly 15 minutes, just for you to spout some bollocks at me. Ironically they contact you to contact them and then make you verify you are who you say you are!

The last time it happened to me was with Barclaycard. I got a tax rebate and decided to pay of a chunk of my Barclaycard. I paid £400 off of my £800 balance. Three days after the payment cleared my account, I got a message from Barclaycard asking me to “contact them to discuss my credit limit”, of course on an 0844 number.
Barclaycard wanted me to call them, simply so they could tell me they’d reduced my card limit down to the balance left on my account.

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So I wasted 15 minutes of my life on hold and 75p, to talk to a very condescending and rude advisor, only to tell me something trivial, that quite frankly they could have just put in a letter to me.

That text message and rude advisor? Well it cost Barclaycard a customer. Considering I’ve been a “valued” customer (according to Barclaycard in all their letters to me) for 11 years, sad to see that one text message and shoddy service has ruined it. I’ll take my interest and money elsewhere I guess!

Then today Argos does the same thing.

“Contact Sam at Argos immediately”

Nice try Argos, putting a name to your message, trying to personalise it. But it’s still shitty service. If you need to talk to me “immediately” about my account, why can “Sam” not pick up the damn phone and call me?!

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To be fair, 75p is nothing really, but why should I spend 75p to call a company who are too damn lazy to pick up the phone. Yet will happily send me spam every month offering me £5 off if I spend £50 with them.

Is it a cost cutting exercise?
Do businesses really need to save money so badly that they’d gladly waste money on sending spam but won’t “waste” money on actually telephoning their customers.

So I took to twitter and contacted Argos asking them, why send a text message asking me to contact you, instead of picking up the phone and doing it directly?

Argos came back to me saying “we’re checking with our card services and waiting on confirmation on whether this is legitimate or not”

It’ll be interesting to see exactly what they want to discuss about my account. I’m betting its something stupid, like you underpaid your bill by £1.23 or something equally ridiculous.

The last time Lloyds TSB credit card services did it to me was because I’d underpaid my “usual” monthly payment by £1 and was that my intention?!

The time before that was because my account went over my overdraft limit by 50p, which Lloyds then tried to charge me over limit charges of £66.
After my complaint (which resulted in over £100 compensation) Lloyds introduced a text messaging service to update you when you’re near your limits.

Why have businesses become so lazy?
Why are customers accepting this laziness?

It’s ridiculous.

Toilet Seats – A Review

Today I received my 5th email from Argos asking me to review a toilet seat that I purchased about 2 or 3 weeks ago. Many will remember that one Sunday I woke up to find out toilet seat had a massive crack in it and neither Flams or myself could understand how it had happened. Needless to say it couldn’t stay that way, so I had to go out to buy a new toilet seat. I didn’t spend a huge amount of money, or go to a specialist bathroom store, because, it’s not my property. Instead I went to Argos and paid £14.99 and bought a simple white standard looking toilet seat.

Bemis Thermoplastic Anti-bacterial Take-off Toilet Seat
£14.99 (up until 12/10/11) from Argos.co.uk (cat no. 833/4369)
This item is available for home delivery within 2 days.

At first when I received the request to review it from Argos I thought it was funny and I wondered how many people had recently reviewed their toilet seat purchases. I decided I was going to post a review on my blog, but I never got round to it. Until today.

The name tickles my funny bone “take-off” toilet seat. It conjures an image of you flying off to a magical place once you’ve sat down. A bit like the bed in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, but less hygienic and more messy. Picture it, you pull your pants down, take a seat and all of a sudden the toilet seat flies you up into the air, shrinks in size, and off you whizz down the toilet to a magical poopy Narnia-esque land.

I had to look up thermo-plastic (cause whilst I like to tell everyone that I am a clever-clogs, I’m not always up on my vocab). If you don’t know what it means, then basically (from what I understand) is that whilst your tushie is sat on the toilet seat, your body heat warms the plastic up and it then becomes less hard, thus making your toileting experience much more enjoyable. Next time, take a book/magazine/handheld games console with you. In fact you may as well install a television in your bathroom, causing it seems pooping and peeing has never been more comfortable!

I like the fact that it’s anti-bacterial, however do not let this word fool you into thinking you don’t have to clean your toilet or the seat you sit upon whilst doing your “business”; I still ensure that my toilet and toilet seat is cleaned on a regular basis with a disinfectant. Think to yourself, if you have husbands who can’t aim correctly, or small kids who can’t wipe correctly and end up getting a load of crap all over the place. This “anti-bacterial” toilet seat doesn’t clean up itself. However if a self-cleaning toilet seat ever hits the market, then I am totally buying it. I despise cleaning toilets.

So to get to the nitty gritty of this review.
It’s a toilet seat. It does the job. The price is good, it’s a standard sized seat that fits most toilets.
So if you need a toilet seat because one morning you’ve woken up to find yours with a huge crack in it, then I’d recommend you get your ass down to Argos and buy this one. Your ass will thank you.