In Conversation with… Sabian Wilde

Marketing Lecturer. Writer. Music Bod. Claims to have coined 'Perthonality'

Posts Tagged ‘Customer Service

LinkedIn SinkIng

with 2 comments

Today I had to apologise.

Then vent.

Lather, rinse, repeat…

Hi X__X, sorry about that..

Sorry for the intrusion… I believe you assisted me as a customer service rep over a year ago.

I gave LinkedIn permission to access my contact list, but it’s mined *all* emails and is set to ‘invite’ by default.

This has been made worse by the fact that the list of names appeared without a scrolling navbar on my iPhone.

I’m tempted to believe this is a deliberate fault in the UX design.

If so, it makes a mockery of the privacy measures that place the onus on the user to demonstrate that they know the person they’re inviting.

Clearly the same responsibilities do not apply to LinkedIn.

Apologies too for the length of this email, but once I get started, I generally end up sending a copy to the party that has used my data to make ME a spammer.

May your day be filled with satisfied customers 🙂



Written by Xab

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 8:55 am

Posted in Whining

Tagged with , ,

Open letter to PR industry body.

with 7 comments

To whom it may concern,

Why is there no ‘opt out’ or ‘unsubscribe’  option on your mail-outs/newsletters/invitation to pay for masterclasses?

I’m sure you are well aware of the legalities of unsolicited email, but a reminder never hurts.

Australian spam law—the Spam Act 2003—covers email, mobile phone messages (SMS, MMS) and instant messaging.

Any commercial message sent to you that doesn’t meet the following conditions is breaking Australia’s spam laws:
Consent—it must be sent with your consent. You may give express consent; or your consent may be inferred from your existing ‘business or other relationships’, or certain other restricted conditions.
Identify—it must contain accurate information about the person or organisation that authorised the sending of the message.
Unsubscribe—it must contain a functional ‘unsubscribe’ facility to allow you to opt out from receiving messages from that source in the future. Your request must be honoured within five working days.

Legality aside, I also consider it a matter of common courtesy — not to mention the obvious advantages of knowing your audience and delivering the message in a format that is both appropriate and useful to the recipient — principles which I believe will probably be included in any Masterclass given by a former PR-XXXX General Manager.

I understand that my contact details would have been picked up during my time as the XXXXX’s Public Relations Officer — a role I have not held for about a year.

Nor am I a member of XXXX.

I have repeatedly asked for my name to be taken off people’s mass mail-out lists, but as usual, there is a reason why people are frequently disparaging about the public relations industry — such as the inability to tell the difference between the size of a contact list and the quality of the contacts on it (what a strangely masculine paradigm).

As a result, my email address is collected, distributed, acquired, repurposed and redistributed by every PR hack using a shotgun instead of a laser for targeted messaging.

Well done.

Oh yes… given that this is the second or third time I’ve been sent this invitation, I feel justified in venting.

Are sales not going well?


But more importantly, take the time to ensure that your emails are reaching the right audience, meet the legal requirements and don’t put your industry into further disrepute.



Written by Xab

Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 11:03 am

Virgin Blue will have to fight Dymocks for the goat-blowing deal…

with 3 comments

Dedicated readers may remember that I was stuck in Adelaide recently when my friendly Virgin Blue pilot noticed there was a crack in the windscreen on my Melbourne-Perth flight…

The Adelaide grounding was supposed to be about an hour, ended up taking 4-6  from memory, which felt like much longer as delays always do, especially when doled out in hollow, friendly increments.

By way of apology, Virgin provided free in-flight entertainment on the Adelaide-Perth leg of the journey, although satellite reception is intermittent over chunks of the Bight, the desert and the ocean…

Additionally, we were provided with $510 credit. Sweet.

Yesterday, I tried to book a flight with this credit.

Ironically, I’m going to Adelaide.

Nowhere in the online booking process could I find an option for using the credit code to pay for the flights, so today I called the call centre to make my booking.

Sure I can use the credit, but I have to do it over the phone — “for security purposes”.  WTF?

In other words, the security of the online booking process is good enough for their customers, unless of course they’re trying to spend Virgin’s money.

Then I’m told that telephone bookings incur a $15 surcharge… despite the fact that I can’t make this booking online. I grumble, but continue…

You may be surprised to learn that I don’t want to stay in Adelaide, so I’m booking a return flight.

Or at least, they call it a return flight: They slug me the $15 surcharge on each flight…

Am I annoyed?  Well, hell yes.

It’s not about the money — these days, $30 is two pack of cigarettes if you forget to buy them at the cheap places…

It’s about poor customer service — by not allowing me to access the ‘credit’ online, I’m forced to use the phone, incurring a surcharge for my booking. Yes, call centres cost money — but hitting me with the surcharge twice for making one phonecall is just a bullshit policy that creates a negative perception about the ‘service provider’.

And let’s not forget that the only reason I’m in this situation is because Virgin Blue, the service provider, has already fucked up.


It is always better to provide ‘credit’ over a ‘refund’ — It assists in the management of cashflow and it gives the disgruntled customer the perception that you care about them and will ‘make good’. What it really does is force the customer to use your service again…

If you are serious about ‘making good’ on your errors, make sure that the experience of claiming the credit is a positive one. This does not mean instructing your receptionist to wish me ‘a really excellent day’ at the end of a conversation in which it is blatantly apparent that I am pissed off.

Make the experience simple and convenient for the customer, capitalise on the  goodwill you created when you offered to make restitution in the first place.


Written by Xab

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 1:25 pm