I recently had to buy some tech.
I tried to support my local Aussie retailer and my experience was terrible.
Umart sent me a follow up email and asked if I was happy with my customer support experience. Here’s my reply:
Well, since you asked… You guys really sucked. I bought a new MacBook recently and discovered my Wavlink HDD docking station didn’t work on the M2 chip. So I needed to buy a new one. After getting nowhere trying to find out that was guaranteed to work on Google, I reached out to you guys.
Maria completely misunderstood my question and sent me a dud answer. So I sent her a second email, which she couldn’t answer until she checked with her “technical team”. Meanwhile, two days passed before I got a final answer from her, which was that she couldn’t help me, but she did point me to a unit on Scorptec’s site, which she said “should work”, but that’s not what I needed.
In the meantime, I had gone to MSY in Brendale, where I’ve been a long-time customer, only to discover the original owners had sold out to you guys. I told the guys in the store about my problem. They basically told me they didn’t use Macs so they had no idea. I asked if I bought one of their docking stations, and it didn’t work, if I could return it. They said that was a hard no.
So… I bought reached out to a couple of the manufacturers of other units being sold on Amazon. They both said their units would work. I bought a FIDECO unit, it was delivered within 24 hours, and did NOT work, so I returned it to Amazon for an immediate refund. Then I ordered a UNITEK unit from Amazon which DID work, so I’m happy. With Amazon. And Unitek.
So I guess I’ll be ordering all of my tech from Amazon from now on and telling my friends and my audience about my experience, too.
These days I’m starting to use more skin care products. Partly because I’m getting older, partly because I’m still not getting much sleep (due to a combination of my work hours and having a young child), and partly because I’m doing more film-based projects, and nobody wants to see those dark circles under my eyes.
What I’ve learned is that if you’re interested in looking after your skin, you need to invest some time exploring the difference between different skin care brands – what ingredients they put into their products, and what the overall philosophy of the company is.
Lately I’ve started doing some work for Bohemian Skin, an Australian manufacturer of 100% organic, natural and ethical skincare for men and women. They got started when their founders, Morgan and Keenan, were expecting their first child, and Morgan was struggling to find skin care products that were suitable for pregnancy. Like all good entrepreneurs, they finally decided “hey – I can just make my own damn product, then I know exactly what’s going into it”. And that’s what they did. Fast forward a few years, and they have a thriving business. It’s quite a good story. They hired some scientists to design their products and then manufactured them in Australia.
The research I did for their marketing strategy suggests that a growing number of Australians are starting to pay more attention to the ingredients of the products they are using on their skin. I stopped using deodorants that contain aluminium many years ago, due to studies that connect aluminium and cancer.
After rejecting my claim for travel insurance and fucking me around for a month, Allianz want to know if they can use my story in their marketing. Yep, go right ahead, dorks. Shouldn’t be surprised by this behaviour from a company that willingly partnered with the Nazis.
I recently co-wrote the first blog post / newsletter for my client Enable Advisory. They are a boutique consulting firm made up of senior executives from the coal mining and resource sector who provide mine planning and mine project management services (among other things).
Here’s the opening of the blog post, which tries to distill some lessons from the Challenger explosion and apply them to mine planning.
When the Challenger space shuttle exploded off the coast of Florida on January 28, 1986, Wayne Hale was head of the Propulsion Systems Section, Systems Division, Mission Operations, NASA. If you think you’ve experienced systems failure in your job, imagine if the entire event was being televised live around the world to hundreds of millions of people. Hale went on to become NASA Flight Director and Space Shuttle Program Manager and has recorded ten enduring lessons from his experience on how to avoid another Challenger-type incident. One of those lessons is that “a preoccupation with failure results in high reliability organizations.” He believes that dissension during the decision making process has tremendous value and that no dissension means the issue hasn’t been examined enough. Appoint devil’s advocates, he advises, and don’t let people remain silent – draw them out.
You can read the whole thing here.
Is Evernote being evil? Or is Meko just really clever? Or is it just a strange coincidence?
Here’s my story.
A couple of weeks ago, my lovely wife brought me home a can of Meko coconut water. It’s really great stuff. Like… seriously. I had a foodgasm.
A week later I was in the supermarket and wanted to buy more. But I couldn’t remember what brand it was. Nothing in the coconut water section looked familiar, so I bought one can of two separate brands – neither was Meko. Both tasted AWFUL.
The next day, my lovely wife bought me another can of Meko. This time I snapped a picture of it into Evernote so I’d remember the next time I was doing the shopping.
A couple of days later, I’m in Facebook and I am presented with an ad for the Meko Facebook group.
Coincidence? Or did Evernote let Meko know that I snapped a photo of their product?
It states (in part):
Does Evernote Share My Personal Information or Content?
Evernote is not in the business of selling or renting user information, and we only disclose information when:
We have your explicit consent to share the information.
We need to share your information with service providers who process data on our behalf in order to operate the Service and/or complete your payment transactions; and these providers are subject to strict data protection requirements.
We need to share your information with service providers to fulfill your product or service requests, including sales, delivery and support for certain products from the Evernote Market.
We need to share your information with resellers of a Premium Service or product in order to ensure accuracy in the payment for such Premium Service or product, the management of your account and the delivery of your purchase and related support services.
We believe it is necessary to investigate potential violations of our Terms of Service, to enforce those Terms of Service, or where we believe it is necessary to investigate, prevent or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud or potential threats against persons, property or the systems on which we operate the Service.
We determine that the access, preservation or disclosure of information is required or permitted by law to protect the rights, property or personal safety of Evernote and users of the Service, or is required to comply with applicable laws, including compliance with warrants, court orders or other legal process.
We do so in connection with the sale or reorganization of all or part of our business, as permitted by applicable law.
So I don’t think they have a policy of sharing the content of my notes with advertisers.
Was this all a coincidence? Or am I Meko’s target audience? Did their Facebook targeting work?
I’m a 43 year-old cigar-smoking father of three. I doubt I’m their target audience. Now, if it was my little sister (okay, she’s 35, but she’s still little IMHO) who does yoga, works for a circus and lives in Byron Bay – sure. She’s the target. Me? Not so much.
I live in Evernote. It’s perhaps my favourite technology brand (or competes for number one with Apple). I’m an (unoffficial) Evernote evangelist and have been since I started using it in 2008. I’ve got ~10,000 notes in it. I’d be very upset and concerned if they are being evil.
Laurel’s opinion seemed to be that I’m just naïve if I don’t think they are selling my data.
What do you think?
I’ve written a post over on the Motherlode blog about scientific marketing, something I’ve been working on with recent clients. It’s basically taking the steps of the scientific method and trying to translate them to marketing strategy.