The days of Permission Marketing are perhaps getting over. The desperation of the eCommerce Sales professionals (sic ! ) is showing up. Just as the brick and mortar showroom commission salespeople following you extra-extrovertly which made me go to eCom websites - are finding jobs with eCom players. Can't blame them much. The HR which has come to be redefined as Restructure, Reduce, Retrench Machine is perhaps creating job insecurity among them. But enough of my preamble rant !
I was buying HP inkjet Cartidge 678 on the HP India Online shop. I had a past bad experience - of buying online and being supplied an Expired product thru their 'authorised dealer' ! No. They did not listen to feedback so they do not deserve the Feedforward. This time I found few deals meaning bundled products i.e. Color Ink + Black ink products at some discount. I was reading thru whether I can buy two color ink packed bundles or should I buy a black+color...
My experience with this printer is terrible. It just drinks the color ink very fast. I print 20 pages and the Ink goes off. So I was debating if there is a 2 pack of color ink - may be I would buy. I did not find one so settled for two bundles of black+ink cartridges on offer and put them in the cart. Lo, and Behold !
To my surprise, the cart became empty suddenly ! I got a call on my DND registered mobile ( Airtel DND service is another sic story - I shall tell some other day- my wants and woes are UNLIMITED as a customer) - someone identified as HP Printer sales executive and said did I try to buy something just now on HP website! That scared me stiff ! I know websites watch - and watch and gather big data and analytics and buyer behaviour and call them algorhythms etc. etc. but this gave me a shock ! Anyways, I allowed the caller to make a pitch. The pitch was if I bought 4 bundles instead of the two I am trying to buy - he would give me a discount coupon which I have to fill on checkout alongwith the sales person's name to get a huge 15 % discount. I said ok and kept the phone down. Checked the number on Truecaller and found it is correct caller - promptly declared him as spammer - blocked his future calls and went back to the site. After some struggle, I could place my order what I originally wanted 2 bundles ! Checked out and after nearly a week I am still waiting for the product despatch details ! WOW !
I recall when HP and Compaq merged - the current US President hopeful Carly Fiorina became the Chairman. The best thing she did was to create a link on their website where you could write to Chairman your grievance. In their transformation period I had bought a Compaq HP iPaq 3600 and I had problems. I wrote to her and very promptly not just received email but resolutions very quickly. I was amazed. I became a fan of this company.
Not today. This experience I just shared makes me rethink whether I should put my HP printer on sale on OLX and be done with future purchases of inkjet cartridges from this company. I don't know the legalese of whether the sales person can watch my transaction, make my cart empty, call my DND number for a 'pushy' SALE which I was anyway going to make was actually intruding into my privacy or not? Is this what people debating around me about Neutral Web? I don't know. One thing is sure, I do not have many years of life left but I am not going to buy any HP products unless I am pushed to wall ! This time I think I was.
What do you think?