Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The end of viral marketing?

I'm sick of viral marketing. It's a good idea, but it has been way too over done. Remember a year or so ago in St. Louis where the cardinals billboards were allegedly "vandalized" and one morning and the whole city was talking about the missing birds from the billboards. Well that was one in Boston an entire city is up in arms because a viral campaign was mistaken for a terrorist attack. Find out more here.

This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. Seriously people, the feds have to take things seriously. If they hadn't taken it seriously, and it ended up being the work of a terrorist, who would be laughing then? There's a line between viral... between funny... between witty... between smart... between genius design and going too far and this was too far. It would have been completely different had the feds been notified, maybe the Mass. department of transportation (seeing as they were affixed to bridges). Let people know so there isn't a mass panic, and people can discover and enjoy your marketing. The funniest part of all is that the agency responsible for this stunt, Interference Inc, has taken down their website. I'd hate to be one of their other clients right about now.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The path from AT&T to...well...AT&T

I don't watch The Colbert Report much, or Comedy Central for that matter, but I found this video clip to be absolutely hilarious...and mostly because it's true. Check it out now on YouTube!

Stephen Colbert explains the evolution of AT&T starting in the 1980s to the AT&T we have today - and not much has changed except their logo (as shown below thanks to the Colbert Report):

I guess the lowercase letters in their logo are supposed to make them look more friendly and approachable.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Safe Driver Test

Remember that written test you had to take before getting your learners permit? Do you still remember the answers to those tricky questions like which way your wheels should be turned when you park on a hill? Find out now!

Take the Safe Driver Test by GMAC insurance. According to their website, 1 in 11 licensed drivers would fail a written drivers test if taken again today. To "pass" you must get a 70%. I'd be curious how many would pass the actual driving test if they had to take it again today...

I scored an 80%.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Sayonara Sears

Our dryer died the week before Christmas. Being a busy week we decided to pick out and purchase a dryer after the holiday when we had a week off. We figured we could buy it and get it delivered all while we were off work. Wishful thinking.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006:
I wash and dry a load of laundry. I go downstairs to put a second load in the dryer and it won't go on. Tom takes a look at it and confirms that it isn't working.

Friday, December 22, 2006:
Tom takes the dryer apart to try and figure out the problem. While he had fun deciphering the wiring diagram conveniently included inside the dryer panel, the dryer either had a dead motor or a dead timer. We decided to just buy a new dryer instead of repairing a 25 year old dryer that could require more repairs in the coming months.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006:
Me, Tom and Tom's father visit the near buy Sears hardware store and choose a moderately priced dryer with all the features that we wanted. Tom's parents offered to purchase the dryer for us as part of our Christmas present, and we graciously agreed (thanks again!). That evening Tom tried calling the Sears information line that they told us to call if we had any questions. We wanted to find out if the 25 year old setup down in the basement was still code by today's standards for a gas dryer. All Tom could get out of the recording on the phone was when it was going to be delivered.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006:
Tom calls St. Louis County to find out if our copper gas line meets county code. They say yes, it does you should be fine.

Friday, December 29, 2006:
The new dryer is delivered. However, the delivery guys refused to unhook the old dryer from the gas line because of the copper line. They tell us to have the gas company out, and once the line is replaced with a black pipe, then they will come out and haul away the old dryer and hook up the new one.

Wednesday, January 3, 2006:
Tom takes a day off work to stay at home and wait for Laclede Gas to come out and switch out the gas line.

Saturday, January 6, 2007:
Sears comes back out to haul away the old dryer and hook up the new one.....except that their order form from the store doesn't say anything about hooking up the new one. They haul the old one away and assure us that someone will be out later in the day to hook up the new one.

Tom spends the entire afternoon on the phone with Sears, and gets different stories from each person he talks to. Some say that it should have been hooked up. Some say that the ticket was written out wrong and they should have hooked it up anyway. Some say that the "customer refused hook-up." After 4 hours of getting no answers Tom tells Sears we are returning the dryer, that this is ridiculous and we aren't putting up with their crap.

Sunday, January 7, 2007:
Sears guys come to the house to hook up the dryer. Tom tells them that he's returning it, and once again calls their customer service to return the dryer. We are offered a $50 Sears gift card for our troubles if only we do not return the dryer ($50 to spend EVEN more money at a place that can't get their shit together...)

Monday, January 8, 2007:
Message on the answering machine when we get home from work from the local Sears Hardware store manager saying that she hears we had a "situation" over the weekend.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007:
Tom returns the call to Sears. The manager is one of the rudest people Tom has spoken to yet about the "situation" and tells Tom that he had not given them the opportunity to fix the situation before returning the dryer, and that he had called the wrong people on Saturday (so apparently the Sears store is separate from Sears customer service and Sears delivery....I think not!). Tom tells the manager there is nothing she can do, the damage has been done...Sears already had a chance to try to make amends.

That night we went to the Maytag store where we purchased a much cheaper dryer (with all the same features) from a very knowledgeable and friendly salesman. That dryer will be delivered and hooked up this Saturday. Maybe they will arrive at the same time as the Sears people arrive to take out the one we are returning.

We'll keep you posted on how Saturday goes!