Monday, August 16, 2004

Ads on the Phone System

O.K. This pissed me off. I went to a stupid web site that had a free 30 day trial period thing that wanted a credit card to hold onto (so that they could bill be the instant the honeymoon was over) and I signed up for it because I was curious about what they were selling (no I'm not going to say what it was, but it's nothing dirty).

Anyway, I get what I'm looking for, and go to cancel the account by going to the account maintence page. Only there's nothing there about closing the account. I spend about 20 minutes looking, and eventually find the small print in the F.A.Q. that says that I have to call a phone number to cancel the account. At this point two thoughts run through my head.

  • Fuck, that's annoying
  • Damn, that's brilliant
I'm still not sure how much of my evil-radar went off on that move, but I resolved not to be too lazy to pick up the phone and call an 800 number. Anyway I call them up, and canceling the account was pretty painless, but the reason that I mention it at all is that during the phone call, rather than placing me on hold and having annying music they actually ran an audio ad.

Is this the trend that's coming? Are companies now supplementing their income by selling advertising rights for the time that you waste on the phone because they can't get enough people to say "have you tried plugging in the monitor?" I'm just glad that the world is getting to a point where I can do most of this crap on-line and don't have to deal with audio ads or people.

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