Stream of Consciousness Week 31th May 2021

Stream of consciousness and other personal thoughts garnered throughout the week and which will be added to as the week rolls on. These thoughts are unrefined, unquantified, unverified, and raw. Any of these may be either be edited, deleted or otherwise spawn out into its own separate post…

  • Just like a rocket escaping the Earth’s gravitational pull… I am starting to wonder if the markets (Housing and equities) globally have now managed to escape the surface of reality and are now permanently in orbit (where the usual counter balancing factors no longer have any effect) heading further and further away with no prospect of a return back to rationality.
  • …I guess similar to how Facebook through it’s speed of growth managed to escape the usual counter balancing conditions that afflicted it’s predecessors such as Friendster and MySpace.
  • House prices in Rolly have run away. Little chance I’m going to buy another one there now.

Older Stream of Consciousness thoughts can be found here.

Stream of Consciousness Week 31th May 2021

Corporate collection of personal data

Discovered this page in the privacy section of the Microsoft account page…

Microsoft’s Private information slurping. Windows 10 really is bad as they say.

Seems there were collecting a lot more data than I originally thought in spite of turning off the Telemetry (including Advertising ID) on all Window 10 systems I use.

Many of these queries seemed unique to the queries I threw in to TradeMe’s search. Went to view TradeMe’s privacy policies and apparently they do have some data sharing arrangement with the “Big Tech” companies including the likes of Google and Facebook.

I guess my concern is that the more information that these Big Tech companies know about us, the more powerful (in a concentrated way) they essentially become. I’m not sure how I feel about the continued concentration of power in the hands of a few profit companies. May be some form of ‘Serfdom’ would come out of it where we lose our “individual agency” or “Self determination” and become subservient to the Power Elite… I don’t know.

Corporate collection of personal data

How to offend loyal customers, lose credibility and cause irreversible brand damage

(A satirical) franchisee manual of a fictitious car rental network called “Dandy Shifty Car and Truck Rentals” regarding their formula for success on bamboozling, ripping off, and angering customers.

While this is intended to be satire. May also be useful as a general guide with which to watch out for when dealing with any rental car business as a customer, particularly at a location that may be franchised out to an independent licensee to one of the big brands such as Avis, Budget, Thrifty, Dollar, Hertz, Europcar, Enterprise.

Pre-requisites:

  • Operate from a jurisdiction with very lax enforcement of Consumer Protection Laws and regulations (e.g Australia) knowing that authorities have next to no resources for market surveillance and are very unlikely to come after your business on their own accord.
  • Take your customers as fools, especially international customers assuming they have not got the means to come back at you once they leave the country to go back home to their country of origin.

Steps to take:

  • Advertise your cars at absurdly low daily base rates (which if rented out alone at the advertised rate would be a net financial loss) in order to entice customers, and get them through your door ready to hit them with a barrage of up selling.
  • At the time of pick up, get your employees to use fear of significant financial loss by rattling off an up selling script of eye watering expensive (financial) protection options should things go awry on their lovely journey. This is a low margin business and viability of your business depends on selling add ons and other ancillary revenues. Threaten to reprimand your employees if they don’t up sell at least one add on per hire at the counter.
  • If the customer declines all the add ons, silently sneak on roadside service as this tends to be lowest priced add on. The subsequent agreement walk through gives the customer a sense that your business is upfront and honest as well as softening them up enough offering a chance for your employees to sneak on extra add ons by drawing the customer’s attention away from the add on they never asked for, through your employee deliberately skipping over it with their pen pointing, particularly if a large block of text is involved.
  • Conveniently forget to hand a copy of the signed agreement to the customer in order to hide the above. Once the customer drive off the lot, it is far less likely they’ll bother coming back to ask for the agreement, and subsequently won’t discover the extra add on(s) until long after the hire has concluded and after they’ve returned home.
  • If the customer has an accident, bonus points. Get one of your buddies in a panel repair shop to provide a hugely inflated quote and then stick on your own additional blanket administration fee on top of other administration fees. Chances are the customer will just hand the invoice directly to their insurer to deal with it without scrutinizing it themselves.
  • If they inquire politely about the unexpected charge(s) on top, start acting high and mighty, belittle them and be deliberately obtuse by saying “It’s in the agreement that YOU signed and agreed to” without actually pointing out where.
  • When they come back and say “these don’t appear to be properly detailed nor documented any where.”, simply respond by thanking them for providing their feedback on disclosure and skirt around actually answering their question.
  • When the customer advises they will now open a case with the small claims tribunal in your jurisdiction (to be held via teleconference mediation). Then offer a refund via a friendly worded email stating “as a gesture of good will” but what ever you say, AVOID apologising or admitting fault or wrongdoing. Admitting fault here could open up your business to a wave of like claims against your business from similarly affected customers.
  • Your star rating on Google and FB reviews flagging? Get your own employees to post multiple 5 star positive reviews for the rental car locations your business owns in order to try and flood out and counter the negative genuine reviews from actual customers that document irregularities they may have experienced with you.
  • When challenged by a customer whom recognises many of the staff names against the 5 star reviews, try and justify your failure to disclose your conflict of interest by saying “but the staff are customers too!” (but further fail to disclose they get their vehicle hires free as a perk)
  • The customer may try to school you on your own country’s consumer laws. Employ delay and placating tactics by fobbing them off saying you’ve referred the matter to your “compliance department” (which may or may not even exist) who are investigating and looking into the matter and lace the E-mail with as much corporate buzzword laden bullshit as possible about how you take corporate responsibility and ethics seriously.
  • If and when the customer advises they have now referred the matter (including screen-shots of all your fake reviews) to Consumer Regulators in your jurisdiction to obtain their comment on the matter… Drop all the previously provided (flimsy) excuses and delete as many fake reviews in haste as quickly as you can (irrevocably confirming your misdeeds) and completely decimating what little credibility your business had left in the customer’s eyes.

Success Criteria:

Sufficiently Paint your own business as a Mickey Mouse operation run by total clowns at the helm. 🤡🤡🤡

Based around an actual hiring experience together with other experiences and anecdotes from both car hire customers along with actual (former and current) car hire company industry staff.

 

How to offend loyal customers, lose credibility and cause irreversible brand damage

Stream of Consciousness Week 17th May 2021

Stream of consciousness and other personal thoughts garnered throughout the week and which will be added to as the week rolls on. These thoughts are unrefined, unquantified, unverified, and raw. Any of these may be either be edited, deleted or otherwise spawn out into its own separate post…

  • 21 May 2021 – An interesting online project extensively mapping and documenting the various marae over Aotearoa including photos and information about each marae: https://maorimaps.com/
  • Finally upgraded the VPS on NUI.NZ. Was really running low on web space. The lack of available space was acting as a psychological brake on adding new galleries.
  • Perplexed that NZTA appeared to have started closed the motorway an hour earlier than they had originally suggested on their website (10:00 pm advised, 9:00 pm was actual). They released new bulletins a few minutes before 9:00 pm which is useless while already on the road. Some comments coming their way are probably in order.

Older Stream of Consciousness thoughts can be found here.

Stream of Consciousness Week 17th May 2021

Stream of Consciousness Week 10th May 2021

Stream of consciousness and other personal thoughts garnered throughout the week and which will be added to as the week rolls on. These thoughts are unrefined, unquantified, unverified, and raw. Any of these may be either be edited, deleted or otherwise spawn out into its own separate post…

  • While periodontally compromised and loose, not in agreement that a natural tooth which is otherwise “vital” (alive and receiving blood flow and has no signs of decay) needs to be extracted. The area has received periodontal treatment and the gums are healing up. Suggested to them they splint the tooth at the first instance, give the bone area an opportunity to heal and then we can reassess in a couple of years whether or not we need to extract and replace it with an artificial implant. Will be seeking a second opinion.
  • However, I wish to iterate the above does not in anyway reflect on the other work that the dentists have carried out which I felt was done professionally and to a high standard.

Older Stream of Consciousness thoughts can be found here.

Stream of Consciousness Week 10th May 2021