Friday, June 22, 2018

You May Be Right

You May Be Right I May Be Crazy

22 June 2018

But in most cases, it could just be a myopic opinion that you have decided to share with the world via Faceberk/Twitter/LinkedIn whatever. Maybe you need to cast a wider net, but that'll cost you.

Just because I don't fit, doesn't mean you wont...

Thanks to everyone wanting something for nothing, media markets are now the poster child for why the free market is a delusional utopia. At first it was our own fault: the much reported on echo chamber created by surrounding ourselves with people who agree.

You say something.

They nod.

Cool, let’s be friends.

As the term “echo chamber” describes, all of a sudden all my friends are saying the same thing as each other which is the same as me, therefore it’s the majority talking.

Just to make it easier to pick out your favourite type of person, fundamentalists use easy to understand hashtags to point out who they hate: lefty, SJW, RWNJ, flatearther, feminazi. If you don’t like any of these people, you can follow any fundamentalist crackpot that suits your own particular cup of tea.

Media companies know that the key to getting more advertising is by getting more visitors. Fundamentalist crack pots, are just the type of bull horns that sites are looking for. Active social media users will share anything that matches their opinion.

That’s pretty rudimentary maths. More action= more exposure= more visitors= $$$.

Now that some media entities are realizing that, due to the obscene amount of static on the net, content quality is starting to become more important, they need to pay for that higher quality content, so they need more $$$. The best way for that to occur is subscriptions.

I’m going to cut this long story short, by letting you work out the problem with this scenario. Just answer this statement:
Would you pay to listen to an opinion that doesn’t agree with your own?

Ok, you’ve given your moral answer, now answer this question:
Are you currently paying a subscription to a service that doesn’t agree with your opinion?

So now, the type of content is being driven by what people want to hear, because that's what they'll pay for. Only public broadcasters can prevent this impending stench. Think about that next time people are talking about selling the ABC.

You may be right. I may be crazy. But it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

When Sharing Services is not Really Sharing at All

Y'all know how much I love #Custserv. Here is my current beef regarding external service providers. Note that I am also having issues with account numbers between Foxtel and Tesltra as well as a third one that escapes me right now:

"Hi Virgin, In December, my wife dropped her phone and the screen cracked. There was also damage on the frame of the phone. We pay insurance so took it to Virgin Mobile in Maroochydore to find out what to do. We ended up getting the phone fixed via the insurance service, Risk Insure. When they repaired the phone they only replaced the screen, not the frame/case of the phone.

My wife had already been without her phone for a few weeks so we didn't pursue any further. The phone worked with no issues for the next few months.

A few weeks ago the screen stopped working (there's a dull flash at one end at turn on but then it just stays black). My wife returned it to Virgin in Maroochydore for a warranty repair. It was sent away to get assessed.
Yesterday it was returned saying that
"Your device has been tampered. Physical Damaged. Due to the nature of the damage this order cannot be processed under warranty and will be return unrepaired. If the customer has Optus Insurance please resubmit the claim with Optus Insurance 1800 501 971."

The above appears on a Optus Boomerang Job sheet including a repair amount value of $335.01.

Further more, the job states "Due to no response, the quotation has been rejected and device returned unrepaired. Charge may apply to account (or dealer for pre-paid). At Optus we pride ourselves on our ability to provide quality service, you may be asked to participate in a short survey blah blah blah." I never got to that survey, but I would have said, "My wife was called once and missed the call. There was no voice mail left. She rang the number 30 minutes later, 3 times and got no answer".

When my wife was notified to pick up her phone, nobody mentioned there was an issue with the repair. When she picked up her phone, the Virgin Australia employee didn't even know if the phone had been repaired.

When my wife read the reason for the repair being rejected she questioned the outcome stating that the physical damage had remained from the repair earlier in the year.

The Virgin Mobile employee rejected my wifes explanation because they had no record of the repair having taken place.

My wife was incredibly disappointed with the outcome, and the assertion from the Virgin Mobile employee that she had been lying/dishonest.

My wifes number is XXXXXXXX and her account number is xxxxxxx. The Risk Insure Claim number from December is ABCDEF.

This should not be a difficult process. Either it's warranty or it's a faulty repair. Either way, my wife and I should not have to waste any more time resolving this issue, nor should we have to be subjected to insults inferred or otherwise.

I would suggest that your employees be better trained in customer service and dealing with Warranty/Repair resolutions, and that the repair service actually try a little harder to contact a customer and at least leave a voice mail (or send a text message for goodness sake, you're a communications company).

Further more, why there is no record on your system of the repair done by your service provider is absolutely beyond me.

Aside from this issue my wife loves her gold Galaxy S7. It's just a shame that you have treated her like she's been a criminal.

I look forward to swift painless resolution of this issue, as we have been you loyal customer with both our phones for around 5 years.

Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide. I have included this DM on my blog and will share you resolution as soon as it is sorted.

It can be found here: [insert blog address]"

Anyone else had this problem with shared services? External service providers?

Am I just being a pain in the ass?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Customer Disservice

Customer Disservice


If the first apple you bite has worms in it, there's a pretty good chance that in the future you will lean towards oranges.

Consider the true cost of giving your customers the warranty run around (AKA lost future sale).

Incidentally, Mitsubishi and Hyundai both come with a 5 year warranty.

Check out more of the Mitsubishi ASX on Instagram: #INSTANIPANDTRUCK

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Middle Of The Road

Don't you love reading all the lists that come out at the end of the year? Most Affable Car of the Year, cheese of the year, celebrity death of the year; the hits keep on coming. 

I've had a particularly long hiatus from this blog thanks to a properly head busting year and a half of work, so here's my contribution to the period point of 2015. Most disappointing performance, starring the Holden Malibu.

Aiming for the Centre Mass

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, some numbskull decided that Holden needed a new mid-sized car to replace the Vectra. For those who missed the festivities that began with the locally built Vectra B and ended with an over priced, imported Vectra C technical extravaganza, you may have blinked and missed the arrival of the Holden Epica.

Marketing praised its hushiness thanks to a range of "Porsche developed" in-line six cylinder east-west engines..... which basically makes it Holdens 914...but with 4 doors and front wheel drive and made in Korea so......

I drove the 2.0 5M when it debuted and dubbed it "automotive Valium". If I'm honest, at the time I was a bit of a junior when it came to getting the best out an engine, so I may not have been flogging it appropriately. Nonetheless, *yawn* I did find the seats reasonably comfortable but forgot what else I liked before gently putting my head down for a nap.

As time went on, I saw the occasional Epica turn up on my local roads. Then the diesel turned up and the mid sized box of mediocrity become less occasional and more common. 
I'm not talking Corolla levels of ubiquity here (obviously) but there was definitely an up tick of interest from the market. I definitely noted a large number of generally olde folks taking favour with the car of no flavour. 

There was also competition from the Blue corner in the shape of the Ford Mondeo. Sourced from Belgium, it made the Epica look like the value proposition that it was. The Mondeo won every comparison aside from cost, where a mid spec version would set you back around 38k vs the Epicas "top spec" (which was actually pretty basic) which weighed in at 33k.

Five years later, depreciation has set in and the Epica finally fronts up with a win, shedding $25,240 vs $28,890 for a Mondeo Zetec. 

I know what you're thinking: "that's pretty faint praise Mick", and also possibly "what the hell does that have to do with the Malibu?"

I'm getting there.

Who's been to Malibu?

I don't think it was the same numbskull, but it was a numbskull nonetheless, who decided that the global replacement for the slow burning oil burner should be adorned with a very non-global moniker: Malibu. Apparently it's a sunny place in a far away land, but it's also the name of a cumbersome watercraft that doesn't turn very well....

I was just as eager to find a glimmer of hope in the Malibu as I was when I first drove the Epicac. What I found was an alien design with alien fabrics and weird giant buttons. It felt neither sunny nor global, and definitely not local. The diesel was an awful racket and the steering equally disappointing. 

I found some solace in the 2.4 petrol CDX with a fairly comfortable front seat and amicable though distant electric steering. However, the boot was huge and the design (aside from the vaguely Camry-esque front end) had some great angles.

 It wasn't until the second coming of the diesel that I found a product suitable of local acceptance. Adoption of the electric rack made a massive difference and all of a sudden the Malibu had a shot at the market. So what did marketing do? They took a swing at thin air.

The TV ad tried to convey an image of escaping the city. Not exactly unique nor new, but most importantly, it did nothing to get the attention of people who may have been vaguely interested. 

The Malibu is not a bad car. In fact I quite enjoyed using it (ironically) to escape from home for the weekend. I packed up the family with everything we needed for a day trip (which fit easily in the enormous boot) and headed to the country. The kids had fun, my wife was comfortable, and in the name of science, I even took the long way home and gave the Malibu a battering over some local gravel roads. It didn't just survive. It excelled. 

It's a really good car.

In that regard, however, the Malibu is not alone. There are plenty of really good cars on the market. 

Holden did give me the car for a month though, so that I could use it as a basis for comparing commuters over my usual daily commute (105kms each way). I averaged 5.2 L/100kms and got as low as 4.5. This is exactly where the Malibu shines AND it's also where its predecessor gained market traction. 

So my award for most disappointing performance is not aimed at the product itself. It's for the marketing effort not standing up and yelling: "HEY OLD PEOPLE, THIS CAR IS CHEAP TO RUN AND WILL SAVE YOU MONEY IN THE LONG RUN!". I think with more focused presentation, the Malibu could have had a better showing.  

It's like the new Commodore ad. There's no wishy washy "lovely family car for Australia" prattle, just the LS3 punch in the face.

Holden aren't on their own with this, but I hope that in 2016, when advertisers pitch a product, they aim it at a corner of the market instead of general malaise in a general direction. 

Stop pretending your product is all things to all people. Especially when in some respects, it's middle of the road.

Video Review below

Monday, October 27, 2014

A late night chat with Sharon

I'm not sure what went wrong here, but when I approached Sci-Fleet about a new VX Landcruiser for my father in law, Sharon really didn't help me at all....

"Sharon: Hello, thanks for contacting Sci Fleet Motors. My name is Sharon, may I have your name?
System: The visitor has returned to the chat.
Visitor: Mick
Sharon: Hi Mick. How may I help you?
Visitor: I have noticed that there a few vehicles with red spot savings on them or whatever. I am looking at buyin a VX Landcruiser. Do they currently have any promotions on?
Sharon: Alright. Before we proceed, may I have your phone number and email to better assist you?
Visitor: 0403876577
Sharon: Thanks Mick. Which location is more convenient. Albion, Kedron or Taringa?
Visitor: Albion
Sharon: Okay. How soon are you looking to make a decision?
Visitor: Quickly
Sharon: Great. One of our Consultants can help with this. Would you like me to have them contact you?
Visitor: Yes
Sharon: Okay. I have sent your information to our office, and you will be contacted as soon as possible. Is there anything else I can help you with?
Visitor: Well technically you didn't really help me. In fact your answers were so benign I assume you may be a bot
Visitor: Nothing personal
Sharon: I am a real person Mick.
Visitor: So can you tell me if there are any promotions on the VX Landcruiser? That was my original question
Sharon: Here is a link to our weekly specials:
Visitor: So no is the answer
Sharon: Are you interested in a new or used vehicle?
Visitor: Yes
Sharon: Do you want to buy a new VX Landcruiser?
Visitor: That depends if there are any specials on
Sharon: Here is a link to our new vehicle inventory:
Visitor: A VX Sharon
Sharon: Alright. Our inventory is constantly changing. I recommend you speak with one of our Consultants who can confirm we have what you’re looking for in stock.
Visitor: So you are telling me you can't find a VX in stock even though you and I are both people and I just found 3?
Visitor: I think you're pulling my leg sharon
Sharon: I apologize, I don't have access to inventory. I recommend you speak with one of our Consultants who can review your request.
Sharon: I can provide this link but confirmation will be provided by the consultant
Sharon: Is there anything else I can help you with?
Visitor: Perhaps as part of quality management you could suggest to your supervisor to have access to inventory, because really, this didn't go well. You didn't really help me any more than I could help myself. The only result is you now have the email and phone number of a disappointed potential customer. Look for my blog covering this CRM experience soon. I know it's not your fault sharon, but really, after this chat all I've done is burn time I could have spent with my kids.
Sharon: Okay. I’ll include this as a query with the rest of your details.
Visitor: Sorry, my typing suffers when I'm having a rant. :D
Visitor: Thanks for your help Sharon. Have a great night.
Sharon: Alright. You are welcome. Thank you for contacting Sci-Fleet Motors.
System: The chat session has ended.

So which is it Sharon? Do you have access to inventory or not? Because you said you didn't but you sent me a link to inventory.... for the wrong vehicle. 

Seriously, CRM doesn't work if you don't give the customer any thing in return. It's even worse if they give you bad information. You've made me feel cheap Sharon. Cheap! I know you have my number but I bet it wont be you who gives me a call. 


Thursday, July 17, 2014

And on the Seventh Day

I've been watching Hyundais "Seven Days of Genesis" videos as they arrive in my mail box and just as I was trying to decide whether I liked it or not, Jane Mills a.k.a +whatjanesays tweeted "Keep it fresh and new people". 

You can watch the Genesis videos here: SEVEN DAYS OF GENESIS Don't worry, there's no Phil Collins so far, but it's only day three.

Now I'm not saying that the Genesis videos are bad. In fact, the camera action, the slo mo shots and mix of comp gen images are really well done. Even the information (which I personally prize above aesthetics) is there after a kind of awkward mid way "Genesis" brand statement. 

There's moderately emotive music, some really beautiful industrial sounds included and they've even used some areas of shooting that look like they could be Australian. That last part is a big deal because Mercedes, Audi and BMW don't seem to want to make ads for our market despite our transaction prices being up to twice that paid in other places. (please comment if you have seen some local ads from the euros)

Still, the whole thing left me kind of cold;
I wasn't anticipating day four. 
I wasn't engrossed in what was happening. 
The information was kind of redundant (muscle turns into motion? really?)
Worst of all, there were no people in it.

We know that the next car is stiffer than the last. 
We know you're making it safer than the predecessor.
We know ....what ever the third point was which I can't remember even though I only watched it 15 minutes ago (really, I'm typing this directly after watching the video)

This is not fresh. This is not new. Don't worry Hyundai. You're not on your own here. Audi have all of a sudden started using dub step in their ads...... but were beaten to the punch by Mercedes last year whom had used dub step in their cool new A Class ads....... but where also beaten to the punch by KFC who used dub step for their frozen crusher drinks..... 

At least you didn't use dub step.

So what can be done? What is fresh and new? Hyundai need to work that out as soon as possible. The Genesis is launching at the end of this year and I am very interested in the product itself. It's a very important statement to the market about what Hyundai is. 

Already they have managed to turn their perception around and battle for small car honours with their seemingly well executed i30. If 5 years ago when their best effort was the snooze worthy Sonata, you said that Hyundai would be selling mid sized wagons for $40,000+ in 2014, I would have lost a rib. 

Their products and times have changed. Brand perception for Hyundai is at an all time high, but the Genesis is the next level. Their marketing needs to make that same leap.

If this is the best they can do, they'll end up hanging out in the corner with Infiniti (sorry Infiniti, there's still time).

"Keep it fresh and new, people".

Friday, July 4, 2014

Review: Holden Captiva7 LS Normcore Edition

The recent release of refreshed Captiva models sees the slow burners of the Holden brand get not much bar a price cut. I have already posted a pretty version of the Captiva Review on

This edition talks more about the SUV label and if the LS is the crocs and socks of the current market.

Can't view YUBEs on your mobile? Here's the direct link: Review Captiva Normcore Edition

One million IG pics right here: #INSTAFUNBUS

Want to see more of these vids? Subscribe to my Youtube Channel LOFLYTKULTURE

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Here's the prettier version on