Monday, May 25, 2015

Intrusive advertising

So I spotted a link to an article on the Nottingham Post's website which took my interest. Pity the newspaper have not quite got to grips with the business model of selling advertising AROUND content, not over it - and no, this ad could not be deleted or moved. Ho humm.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

just a bit iffy ...

So I had ordered some hankies [a chap can't have too many hankies] from a 'shop' on eBay. Before they arrived, this notice appeared on 'my eBay' ...

This, I thought, does not bode well, it looks like the seller has been up to no good. Take note of the two messages from eBay. Ah well, it was goodbye hankies - but it wasn't a significant sum of money and I use PayPal, so I'll get it back anyway.

But hey-ho ... the hankies arrived. But in the packaging was an A4 printed message, which read:



There was then a contact email address. 


I checked the website on the domain of that email address and it is an empty shop i.e. an online shopfront with no products.

So here's the thing. Buying a business in order to 'inherit' the goodwill and brand history that goes with it is a standard method of doing business [it's why BMW bought MINI].

However, this organization is seeking to buy businesses that have ceased trading but have some 'juice' with eBay i.e. a good sales record with plenty of good feedback.

Now, am I just being a bit of an old cynic - but why would a legitimate business want to do that?

And would I like to buy something from an eBay seller that has been 'resurrected' by a new owner who has already had eBay close them down?  Probably not ... if I knew.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

More [advertising] money than gas

Well ...  spring has sprung - and I was looking for a refill for my patio heater's gas bottle. So I searched on Google, and got ...

But when I clicked on the ad [remember, the seller has placed that ad, so they paid for my click], I got this ...

Ho hum

PS ... in case you are wondering why I clicked on the most expensive ad - I clicked on them all as none said if delivery costs were included.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A monster of a deal?

I clicked on an ad from It would seem someone can't add up. If I wanted to be really picky - as the advert said 'from £109', I think this might be committing an offense under some law or other.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Argos : closed for business?

In a distant and different lifetime, I worked in retail. If we wanted to re-merchandise a shop we did it during the night when it was closed. So why has this changed in the digital age?

PS - I'm not even going to comment about the coding error half way down the right hand site [follow my arrow].

Whoa ... update: two minutes after I did the screensave image above, the Argos homepage changed to this ...

So, Argos ... make your mind up: 'improving' or 'busy' - neither is really acceptable, but either is more acceptable than telling stories to customers.

PS guess where I am NOT going to buy the product I originally went to for?

Friday, March 13, 2015

words sell

I was looking on ebay to buy some snowdrops. Two suppliers were offering exactly the same deal - which one do you think got my order?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

What the Tweet?

So I posted a link on Facebook to an article I thought students would find interesting

... and using witchcraft, my Facebook post are automatically sent as Tweets. And sometimes people like the message so they 'favourite' them.

But take a look at the times on my Facebook page and the email I received telling me I had been 'favourited'. Yep in only a few seconds one person [I have made him/her anonymous so they do not benefit from this post] had read my Tweet, read the article - and 'favourited' my tweet.

Errr, no - it was obviously automated. Why would he/she do that? 

And people wonder why I am often skeptical about the use of social media for marketing.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A flight back to the future?

I'm off to Egypt in a week or so's time.That would be at the end of January 2015. Take note of the date on the voucher emailed to me by Thomas Cook. Ho hum.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

we'll take your money ...

I ordered some brake pads for my 'classic' MR2 from Eurocarparts. When I placed the order this showed on the page,

Note that one set of the the pads were in stock, the other 'available to order'. However, a day after I got an 'order confirmation' email. I got this email.

Yep ... after taking my money, they have decided to see if they can get the products I ordered. And does this email apply to both products or are the 'in stock' pads already on their way to me?

But here's the worst aspect of this. They have taken my money - but I have to contact them to see if they can supply the goods I have already paid for. What if I do not? Will they automatically refund my payment. 'Shoddy' does not do this service justice.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

and email is still the poor relation

I covered this issue back in 2008 and again in 2012 ... and things seem to be getting worse and not better.

Here's the automated response to my filling in a response form on npower's website [they keep sending me the bill for something that I paid for six months ago]. 

Can you believe it - 7 to 10 days to respond? That's up to two weeks on their Mon-Fri working times. To paraphrase what I said back in 2008: 

Yep, they can supply folk to answer phones 12 hours a day, but it can take 10 days to answer an email!

Ho hum.