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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friendly at First, Good Luck Later

A subtle but annoying strategy a lot of companies seem do is putting the best people on sales. A related problem is sales people that are not accountable further down the purchase chain. There are a variety of businesses where you see this.

One example is whenever my company switches to a new health insurance plan. They send 1 or 2 people who are very knowledgeable to introduce the plan. They meet with us in the conference room with donuts and tell us that everything will be covered. We ask about different scenarios, and they clearly explain to us how we would be covered under those scenarios. Then we never see those people again. When we go to the doctor 3 months later and get our bill in the mail, lots of charges are not covered. The friendly people from the conference room are long gone - we need to talk on the phone for hours with people who are far less competent and friendly.

Another example is buying a car. The sales person is very friendly and tells you a lot about different features of the car. Then once you decide to buy the car, you never see that guy again. You get a hard sell on buying the extended warranty, then spend the rest of your days dealing with the service department.

It would be nice if there were a way to get continued access to the smart, friendly people after you purchase something.

Monday, August 09, 2010

I Voted

Everyone loves their little "I Voted" sticker. They display it proudly on their shirt and walk around with their best posture on Election Day. They are sure to ask everyone else if they have voted. The problem is that the sticker is sending a different message than they think.

What sticker-wearer thinks people see:

"Now there is an American patriot that we can all look up to. He carefully studied the issues and then cast his vote. He makes our system work."

What people actually see:

"That douchebag rolled into work 45 minutes late and now he's rubbing it in my face with that idiotic sticker. Later he'll waste another hour of my time gabbing about a bunch of candidates that he never heard of before yesterday. I guess he didn't read the company manual about voting outside of regular work hours. He'll be having a few beers and watching Chris Matthews while I'm sitting in traffic and waiting in line to vote this evening, after the exit polls have already declared the winner."