In a struggle to be happy and free

Drystone Wall

Half-way is no way to go

Those in sales want to appear to have put much more effort into their relationship with the buyer than they really have. At least that’s how it looks from the buyer-side of the relationship. While I can’t speak for anyone else, I prefer honesty, even if it means that the sales person isn’t putting in as much effort. At least I can see that they’re not deceptive right from the get-go.

Take Myers Volkswagen, for instance. They’re a VW dealer here in town and they bought-out the dealership from which I purchased my car. They consider me one of their customers while I consider them the company that bought-out the dealer of which I was a customer. I received a letter from them today, which surprised me because I’m pretty sure I’ve never had my car serviced with them.

The letter says,

Congratulations! You are approaching the last 24 months of your finance commitment on your 2006 Jetta!

We trust that you’ve had many months of trouble free driving but from time to time your vehicle needs and requirements chance. We are pleased to advise you that you may be in a position to trade your current vehicle towards one of the new and exciting models that Volkwagen has to offer.

We would be happy to review your options and assess what course of action would be best suited for your personal situation.

What I see is a database query on customers who have nearly paid off their car, and a form letter sent out to those in the resulting list. And they need to hire someone who understands grammar and punctuation.

I was amused at the remaining 24 months of my financial commitment. Yea right. The point at which I had 24 months remaining was three years ago. I’m guessing they wouldn’t know this because they can’t call up the bank and get that information. They get a pass on that one, though it could be better phrased so as not to make them seem clueless if they’re wrong. There’s always risk in making an assumption and their incorrect assumption doesn’t endear them to me.

Being advised that I may have an option isn’t of the greatest use to me. I understand that they don’t know everything about my situation, but perhaps some additional information would be useful? Give me a hint?

Every sales person should know that using the word exciting is a very bad idea. The word has been so abused by advertisers that it’s all but meaningless. The word’s meaning in an ad has come to be the precise opposite of the dictionary definition. If Ferrari needed ads, they wouldn’t call their cars exciting. They know that we know they are.

The letter was signed by the general sales manager, or rather the name and title of the general sales matter appear as a closing, but there’s no signature. Just the blank space where the should be. Maybe he was too busy doing something more important.

If they want to appear that they’re interested in talking to me, but all the work they’re willing to do is print a form letter that they hope doesn’t appear to be a form letter, they’ve already failed.

As it stands, the remainder of the attention I’ll give this letter is feeding it to the shredder.

Yes, I’m a bit cranky today. Maybe they don’t deserve this fisking, but that’s the risk they took by doing a half-assed job.

Postscript: It seems that Myers is acting true to form. I retract my suggestion that they may not deserve my fisking. They certainly do. ‘Half-assed’ would be a big step up.

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2 Comments

  1. Shawn

    I have a friend that works there and have forwarded this, without your name. Improving what they do can only be for the good.

    • Rick

      Agreed, but I wonder if it’ll make any difference. I say this because I’ve thought about my previous interaction with them. I wrote and gave them my point of view as a customer. The response I received indicated that they were only concerned with what the competition was doing. Keeping an eye on the competition will make sure their business isn’t lagging far behind, but it’ll never get them ahead. Only talking to their customers can do that, but they weren’t interested. Listen to your customers? What a concept.

      I’m glad you forwarded my thoughts, with my name or without, but it never even occurred to me to do so because the response I received last time showed they weren’t interested.

      And while it may seem like I’ve got a problem with them in particular, I really don’t. My problem is with businesses who seem determined to step all over their own dicks, and those businesses are distressingly common.

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