Sometimes, you see something, and your brain just goes “What?!?” (or words to that effect, but with more swearing) Currently, there seems to be a theme connecting that with both Father’s Day and Star Wars.
Last year, we had the card with Kylo Ren…
[Spoiler from two years ago – Kylo Ren kills his father]
This year, I’ve seen this in Sainsbury’s…
I’m pretty damn sure they haven’t seen the same Star Wars films I have…
With the whole “Solo Dining” project I’ve been doing this year, one of my bugbears has become OpenTable (who provide a lot of the table-reservation services for restaurants) and – more particularly – their “Dining Points” loyalty plan.
As it says on that page about Dining Points,
OpenTable UK members can earn OpenTable Dining Points when they make and honor reservations made through opentable.com, or our related mobile sites and apps.
They say the same thing on another modal window to explain Dining Points.
Except that’s not true – not true at all. I queried why I’d received zero points for several reservations over the last year, and they then started to say (and this is a direct quote from one of the responses)
points are only given to diners who start their search on our website and not the restaurants website as you know. This is because as you came from the restaurant website, you are considered a customer of the restaurant and they use our services on the back end to take your reservation for them. If we started awarding points to the customers of our clients they would feel that we are trying to steal you as a customer.
So OpenTable are, frankly, liars. They say clearly throughout the site “make a booking through OpenTable, and get points“, with no provisos, asterisks, or get-out clauses. This isn’t even me being pedantic about something – they’ve said something (repeatedly, in black-and-white!) that’s simply not true.
This would’ve been an easy fix for OpenTable, if they’d had any sense at all. If they’d said “Oh, sod, sorry, here, have the points, and we’ll make that text clearer“, we’d be done. But no, they started backtracking, patronising, and explaining why I was so wrong to believe their “Get points every time you book” spiel. No apology, no “thanks for letting us know“, nothing. All the customer-service skills of a concrete monolith.
Having hit that concrete monolith with no joy, I decided to take it further. Having checked their criteria, I raised it with the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) and I’ve now had a confirmation from them that, having done an initial review, they’re going to investigate it further.
So, that’s going to be entertaining. I’m assuming that getting an ASA investigation done isn’t a trivial step, nor one that the ASA do for the fun of it. I’m also assuming that, because they’re investigating, the complaint has at least some merit.
As and when I hear back, I’ll write more here…
Another ‘Daft Product‘…
I love the idea of a set of dessert mousses, and have a company called Hipper to produce them.
And then, you can have the advertising slogan “Have a Pot o’ Hipper Mousse”.
Yes, I really do need to get out more…
Another for the ‘Daft Products’ thread…
How come Audi have never come up with the brand “O” for their car stereos?
It seems like a no-brainer to me, to be able to say “Car music provided by AudiO”, and the “AudiO Speakers” etc. etc.
Occasionally, my idiot brain will spark up with ideas about products, brand names, advertising slogans and the like – I don’t know why, but they occur. Until now though, I’ve never bothered to write them down – mainly because a lot are daft.
However, it does occur to me that it might be an idea (if only to provide evidence of who thought of this crap first) to write them down for reference, and give them a category of their own. And here it is…
So. The first one – and one that I don’t understand why it’s never been done – is for toothpaste.
Tuba Toothpaste, to be precise.
Think about it – it seems so obvious, yet it’s never been done. I wonder why?
And lo, already we’re a month through 2016. How time flies when you’re having fun, and all that rot.
Of course, with it being February we’re now going to be pummeled for the next couple of weeks about all the romantic shite you can do on the 14th – and on no other day, according to marketing twerds – and all that gubbins.
I’m still really tempted to book a table for a meal, and then go on my own, looking really sad as if I’ve been dumped or the other person hasn’t made it, and just generally messing with the whole thing for everyone around me…
It was interesting yesterday to see the BBC’s piece about the growing prevalence of ‘online rental fraud’ – basically, where a fraudster/criminal advertises a rental property for a great price, and people then pay a deposit for it without ever seeing the property – because it’s a great price in a sought-after area.
You can see where this is going, can’t you?
Yep – the fraudster doesn’t own the property, doesn’t represent the agents, and has no real connection to it at all. They’ve just grabbed photos, submitted the ad, and then people pay the ‘deposit’ into an account named by the fraudster.
Now, while I think it’s pretty scummy, I can’t help but also see it as more of an idiot tax. You’ve got to be pretty desperate – and pretty fucking dim – to put down money without seeing the place you’re renting, particularly without ever meeting an agent/agency/landlord etc. I know that these people are good at getting people to believe they’re valid, and that there’s this urgency – but really, it’s still taking advantage of people too dumb to look at a deal and think “what’s wrong with this picture?”
Maybe that’s harsh. Maybe not. For me, it’s hard to feel real sympathy for someone who just leaves themselves open to this sort of shit. Take a look at what one victim says in the article…
[He] said: “I was willing to take the flat without a viewing based on the location, just on the price of it.
[I felt] anger, disgust, I was really disappointed. I was thinking, ‘Wow I’ve spent money I couldn’t afford and what’s happening to me right now? I’m in a nightmare and I can’t wake up’.'”
I think the worst part, probably, is that now it’s been mentioned by BBC and on TV, it’s something that other scammers will look at and thing “Oooh, that’s a good idea”, so it’ll become even more prevalent…