Friday, November 14, 2008

Can PR manage Trust? Heather Yaxley - Greenbanana views of public relations and more

The BBC reports that energy prices "could fall soon" - I just received an unsolicited telephone call from British Gas offering to save me money. Was the call to tell me the company was reversing the horrendous 35% increase introduced this Summer? Of course not, the telesales chap simply wanted me to sign over my electricity supply too.

Boris Johnson reports a similar call - seems British Gas think the answer to customer satisfaction is to annoy us with the heavy sell. I told the caller that I was happy with my electricity supplier and that I didn't want to receive calls from British Gas selling me things (I am registered with the telephone preference service, but apparently that doesn't protect me against sales calls from companies I buy from!).

The guy then started into a sales pitch to counter my response - so I told him that at 4.30pm, I was working and didn't want to take his call. He seemed confused that someone could be working from home - does he think everyone who answers the phone during the day is unemployed or a housewife?

Last week, I received a package from British Gas containing some low energy light bulbs, with a patronising remark about energy efficiency. I didn't ask for these and don't need them as I already use such bulbs. Indeed, they cost pennies in the supermarkets and they generally last for years. How dare British Gas lecture me about saving the planet when it has used resources to send me something I don't need using marketing money from the extortionate bills it charges.

Do I sound like I like British Gas, let alone trust it?

If I visit the British Gas website, the green messages keep on coming - all one way regarding how it can help us to save energy, blah, blah, blah.


Continued by Heather at Heather Yaxley, Greenbanana view of Public relations




1 comment:

David said...

I find the best way to deal with these unsolicited calls is to attempt to engage the caller in some friendly small talk as though you have all the time in the world too chat.
As they are measured on their success rate they will get off the line as soon as possible to try the next victim