by Mike Masnick

Your Ex-Carrier Can Stalk You

from the leave-us-alone dept

Database company Accudata has a new offering likely to annoy the hell out of many people. They're offering a service to carriers to help them track down and annoy anyone who has ditched them for a better provider. So, if you thought you had finally gotten rid of those awful "we want you back" letters by changing your phone number, your address, and possibly your name -- too bad. Accudata is on the case and going to make sure that the rest of your life (starting 24 hours from when the carrier gives them your name) you will be hounded by requests to come back to the carrier who wouldn't seem to lift a finger to help you when you actually were a customer, but preferred to charge you extra fees for just about everything. If an ex-significant other did something like this, it would be called stalking. However, apparently, in the business world, it's called "marketing." Next thing you know, your carrier will start making drunk phone calls to you at 2am wishing they had you back as a customer...

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  • identicon
    Joe Baderderm, 26 Jul 2004 @ 2:36pm

    Bad Marketing

    This is absolutely the dumbest thing that I have heard in awhile. Customers are already convinced that they have to switch company's to get the best deal, now they will get the better offer that they may have originally wanted from their old company. Isn't that getting from A-B by going through L-M-N-O-P?

    Day one in basic marketing is that it is easier & cheaper to keep a customer than it is to get a new customer. The whole business model will not be about retaining customers, it will be about turning everyone into a new customer. If you care more about me when I leave than when I am actually a currentcustomer, it is usually too late, unless you offer me a profit sacrificing offer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TJ, 26 Jul 2004 @ 4:44pm

    Just last week

    Sprint just did this to me. I cancelled my landline, after discussions led to no options for an option or bundle that would make it financially logical to keep a landline and a cell phone. The woman insisted I give Sprint my cell phone number so they could contact me after the phone was disconnected. Since I've paid their bill for the last 14 years the only reason for a # is marketing. I told her anything Sprint had to say to me they could say before the disconnect date. I ended up mentioning the Public Service Commission before she finally 'figured out' the computer would take the order without my number.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2004 @ 6:13am

      Re: Just last week

      Sadly the poor customer service tron probably didn't know that you didn't have to provide her with a #. She was never trained to provide customer service but to record a phone # of disgusted previous customers that are leaving for a hopefully better offer.

      She probably lost her job for entering 555 - 1212 into the ever important database.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chomper, 27 Jul 2004 @ 6:40am

    No Subject Given

    This stuff is too funny. Like most businesses, they don't have a clue about how to market to people anymore. If Sprint did that to me, I would sue if I could. They're still after me for a lousy .42 cents even though I paid my final bill in full. What BS this stuff is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2004 @ 10:26am

      Re: No Subject Given

      I've let Providian spend about 50 DOLLARS trying to collect a full 47 CENTS from me. I wouldn't DREAM of paying that bill for anything! I derive far more pleasure from knowing I am sucking the profits right out from the shareholders that invest in corporations like Providian. I've told the customer service people that I am too destitute to pay it ... that they can come and collect it from me ... that I will bequeath a FULL 50 cents to them upon my death ... ALL kinds of amusing responses.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Taylor Cleghorn, 3 Nov 2004 @ 12:34pm

    Response to your Worries

    I'm the network administrator for Accudata. I helped put together the technology that makes this work.

    You seem to be missing the point that these people have ported their numbers to a different carrier. They still have the same phone number. We're not trying to find the perons that's gone from XYZ Cellular with 469-555-1122 to PBX Cellular 469-555-9988. What we find is the person that switched carriers and kept the same phone number. All we do is tell XYZ Cellular that their former customer has ported their number to PBX Cellular.

    XYZ can still call their former customer even without using our service. Our service provides an extra value to their win-back marketing efforts by letting XYZ know that they're competing with PBX on the win-back.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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