use the remaining chews!

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the roof on the building where I work is being replaced. it’s been in the process of being replaced for months. I can’t say for sure how many months, but enough that I’ve forgotten when they started. all I know is that they started long before in snowed or got cold.

last week we walked into the office and it was cold. not unbearably cold, but that cold that leaves you marginally uncomfortable all day. that kind of cold where you might want to put on a jacket or sweater but then you might be too warm.

it was cold because the roofers had busted a pipe that fed heat to our part of the building.

I was the first person in this morning. walking through the door to our part of the floor was like walking in to a fridge. the thermometer in one of the offices was at 13 degrees. it never really warmed up all day. people would walk through and say “I’m not sticking around back here, it’s freezing!”

turns out the pipe has yet to be fixes and they took the roof off right above us. and apparently there’s no insulation between the roof outside and whatever’s above the ceiling tiles over my head. last week it was raining debris, this week it was raining cold air.

today I also received a call from the promo department of Sirius XM. the woman I talked to just. didn’t. get it. at all. it was an all day eyeroll and head shake after that. enough so that when I got home, I sat down and sent this off to the Sirius Customer Support email:

I clicked No to “subscriber” as I’m on a three month trial in my new truck. I received the full sign up documents in the mail last Friday (January 3).

Today I was called by one of your promo reps to see if I’d like to sign up right then and there.

A few things:

1. Hire people who can pronounce their words properly and without stumbling over themselves trying to get their sales pitch out. Having to pause and guess what she was saying after every sentence does nothing to make me feel like you care about how your messages and promotions are being presented to your existing or potential customers.

2. Hire people who know what they’re talking about. Case in point: I said I was still thinking about the full signup as I mostly listen to my iPod, which can plug in to the convenient little USB connection in my dash, or off my iPhone which can play it using the convenient bluetooth audio player in the radio. For whatever reason, your rep decided to lambast iPods as too expensive to load music on. She also said that it cost $4 to transfer a song from my computer to my iPod. I’m sure that many people working for Sirius have an iPod. I’m sure that none of them have ever paid $4 to transfer a song from iTunes to it.

While I’m sure the context of her comment could be taken as “purchasing music from iTunes to fill your iPod can become expensive,” that is not the tone, nor the context she actively presented.

3. She asked what I listen to, I responded with “a mix. Mostly what I’ve put on my iPod.” Her response was to promote your 170 odd channels. During the 3 month trial, I’ve listened to 5 or less, and not regularly. She hen said that you have a library of over 2 million songs, which is constantly updated. That’s nice. How many of those 2 million songs do you think I’ll realistically want to hear?

This was followed with the promotional monthly cost, which she pushed as being cheaper than the regular promotional cost (figure that one out), and way cheaper than the $4 it would cost me to transfer a song to my iPod. I’m not sure she was grasping the fact that what I wanted to listen to was on my iPod.

I’m also not sure she grasped the notion that people can load music from CDs they already own, or torrent (if they want to be evil, soulless thieves taking money out of Nickelback’s coffers). The cost of me loading all my CDs (that I don’t have to sort through 2 million songs to find something I want to listen to) to my iPod is essentially zero. It’s a sunk cost.

For a second, I thought about discussing that with her, but changed my mind when I figured she wouldn’t know what I was talking about. For future reference for any of your promotional reps, they should read this when discussing already owned music:

This lead to:

4. When a potential customer says that they’ve received the signup documents in the mail, having your promo rep jump on that and ask if I want to pay by credit card RIGHT NOW is in poor taste. I told her that I was still considering it. She came back with the ol’ One Two of “if you don’t take advantage of this offer now, you won’t be able to get it later.”

You know what? I’m ok with that, because after three months, the price goes back up to normal anyway. I’d be saving $12 over three months with her math. You know what I can buy with $12? Two Tiger Lagers at the local pub. And I can go buy them right now and be sated.

My repeating that I was still considering it was then met with “you’ll be charged a $30 reactivation fee if you don’t sign up right now.” This leads us to:

5. Having your promo reps use pressure tactics and threaten extra fees is in poor taste and pisses people off. You may not consider it to have been a threat, but when someone on the phone essentially says “sign up now, or face extra costs at your expense” that’s threatening something. People don’t like that. Stupid people for it. Most people aren’t stupid. At least, one hopes most people aren’t stupid. I’ve listened to snippets of your Patriot Radio and FOX Radio, so I can’t be fully convinced of that.

6. You need to teach your promo reps that, while they may have a short conversation, being abrupt and forceful does not establish a good rapport with people. They should realize that phoning people in the middle of the day likely means catching them at work, so when someone answers their greeting with “well I’m ok, I’m at work right now,” the best course of action might not be to launch right into a sales pitch and instead ask if there’s a better time to call. Hint. Hint.

In conclusion, I’ve not yet made up my mind about keeping my subscription in my vehicle. While I can see the benefits of it, I don’t use it that often, it would be more marketable as a la carte packages where customers can choose channels, and let’s face it, dealing with a poor sales rep just puts you off of a product.

I hope that reading this has given you the same warm, fuzzy feeling as I got when trying to decipher the words your promo rep was using over the phone today.

Please feel free not to respond, as I’m sure it’ll end up in my spam or junk folder anyway.

This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, I mean, I used to listen to CPAC at work, take notes and then email MPs about why I thought their opinions were stupid or wrong, referencing lots of research articles.

just remember kids, stupid people get to vote too.

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