The Web Designers – Pointless Letter #4

Pointless Letter

I receive a lot of emails from offshore web design companies asking if we would like to outsource our work to them. Normally I send the emails straight to the virtual grey, round filing cabinet without reading them. However, for some reason I read this guy’s first email and it irked me a little (always a bad thing). And he then followed it up with two more emails, which irked me a bit more. So I decided to hit him with one of my Pointless Letters. Here’s the thread, with his emails appearing first…

His First Email…

Dear Sir/Madam,
 
I am Peter, Business Development Manager,
 
We are an INDIA based Web Services Company with primary focus on Website Designing & Development.

We have our competency in CMS (Joomla, Modx, Mambo and other quality Content Management System) and e-commerce website.
 
As many as 90% websites do not bring business to their potential because they do not appeal to the target audience. And the reason most visitors leave a website is because of a complex design and navigation.
So is your website really customer-ready? Not really, if we go by the analysis of our experts.
 
With an experience of developing more than 2500 websites successfully, we can help you earn more business from your website if you are ready to redesign your website.  Most of our clients have benefited from our expertise. Most firms from UK, USA, Canada and Australia overseas have achieved a significant amount of savings by outsourcing either complete or part of their work to us in India. 
 
We wish you the best of luck and looking forward to a long and healthy business relationship with you.
 
Getting started is easy. Just mail us and we will definitely help you to achieve your business goals and objectives.
 
I look forward to your reply.

Peter
Business Development Manager
 
Disclaimer: The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) establishes requirements for those, who send commercial email, spells out penalties for spammers, and companies whose products are advertised in spam if they violate the guidelines, and gives consumers the right to ask emailers to control it.

His Second Email…

Hope you are doing well.
Haven’t heard back from you, just wondering if you are interested in our services.
Let me know if you are interested and we can discuss this further.
 
I look forward to your response.

His Third Email…

I am Waiting for your response yet……
Kindly let us know if you are interested in our services, so that we can discuss it further.
We will be happy to assist you and looking for your positive response.
 
I look forward to your response.

My Response…

Pete,

I hope you don’t mind me calling you Pete. Actually, I’ve changed my mind. Can I call you Greg? Thanks Greg.

Having read your response regarding my non-response to your response to your original email, I feel duty bound to respond. I am the Response Manager and my responsibility lies with responding to responses questioning lack of response. I do hope that makes sense.

Anyway, I reviewed your initial email and you’re absolutely right. Award yourself a big gold star and stick it to your handsome forehead, Crazy Chops. Our website is not ‘customer ready’. However, I’m sure that when I make you aware of our very niche target market, you’ll sink to your knees in amazement and realise the genius behind our work. We are actually the leading website in the world for meerkats with drink problems. That’s right – LEADING!

Now Betty, I know what you’re thinking (I hope you don’t mind the name change. I hate the name Greg – every Greg I’ve ever met in my life has been a crazy, deluded psychopath!). You’re wondering how you might be able to help us become EVEN BETTER. Well, let me lay it out for you big boy…

I believe that we could utilise your skills in WordPress, Joomia, Modx, Jamiroquai, Scrabble and Deal Or No Deal to help us reach out to other possible target audiences. For example, elephants with halitosis or chipmunks with a gambling addiction. I’m sure you’ll appreciate that these are big markets with the potential to earn us millions of jelly babies every month.

As you can imagine, I look forward to seeing what proposals you might have for us. Not marriage ones though – we’re not in to that, unless you’re prepared line our hands with gold (or our stomachs with Gummy Berry Juice)

Anyway, I await your email with bated breath. However, with that said, I won’t be holding my breath for a response.

Yours truly, forever and ever, ’til death do us part.

Bruce Picklebottom

Disclaimer: The Can Of Spam Act of 2003 requires me to recommend to you a pre-cooked meat product after every email. I would like to assure you that spam can be delicious, especially when served in between two slices of pre-toasted bread, perhaps with the addition of an optional slice of cheese (note that cheese is not automatically included). If you wish to opt out of eating said pork product, you can do so by choosing not to open your mouth.

The Fun Of Online Customer Services

Customer Services - Help

This afternoon, I had an online chat with a customer service representative from a well-known software company. Often chats like this can be dull, so I was determined to make it a little more interesting. However, he partially managed to do that himself with his incompetence at clicking wrong buttons for set phrases. Here’s the script of the chat…

You are now chatting with William from Customer Services.

William: Is there anything else I can help you with?
William: Hello! Welcome to Customer Services.
William: Sorry for the first statement.

Robert: No worries, you must have clicked the wrong button. These things happen.

William: Hi Robert.

Robert: Hi.

William: May I please have your email address registered with your account while I review your request?

Robert: Yes, it’s …@…. (but only on weekends)

William: Thank you.
William: I understand that you have ordered the software and did not receive the download link to your account. Am I right?

Robert: I’ve received the link to the login page but, I don’t know what to log in with…

William: I am sorry to hear that.

Robert: Thank you, that means a lot.

William: Welcome, Let me see how best I can help you with this issue. May I place you on hold for 2-3 minutes while I check for the information.

Robert: Sure, please go ahead. Am I allowed to hum the theme to Two And A Half Men whilst I wait?
Robert: “men men men, menmen menmen men, men men men…”

William: Thank you for waiting. One moment please.

Robert: You’re welcome. I hope you don’t mind, but whilst I have been waiting I’ve been vacuuming and dusting (this office needs a damn good clean, I tell you! Are any of your friends cleaners, by any chance?)

William: Thank you for the patience.

Robert: That’s what my Doctor said yesterday when I took some of my ill friends in for their flu inoculations…

William: Sorry for the wait. Please do stay online.

Robert: I’m quite happy to do that, so long as I don’t have an urgent need to pee, bake a cake or polish my wok…

William: Not to worry, I will send you the reset password link to your email address. please login to this email and click on the password link to reset the password. Is that fine with you?

Robert: Yes, please do. Thank you. How long is the email likely to take? Is it going to be instant or should I get a sleeping bag?

William: Thank you for the patience.

Robert: That’s what my Doctor said this morning when I took some of my ill family members in for their flu inoculations…

William: I have sent you the password link. Please login to this email and click on the password link to reset the password.

Robert: Ok. I’m waiting for the email – do you know how long it might take? (I’m just wondering if I have time to hang the washing out?)

William: Let me check information for you.

Robert: Thank you.

William: Here’s the link: please click on the link to reset the password.

Robert: Perfect – that’s worked.

William: That’s great! Is there anything else I can help you with?

Robert: No, that’s all. Thanks William. If only everyone in the world was as helpful and efficient as you. May you be blessed with happiness, good fortune and a large tub of cottage cheese…

William: You may receive an email survey in reference to this interaction. Your feedback is very much appreciated.

Robert: Sure. I’ll suggest they give you a big, gold star and promote you to management. I think I’ve asked this before, but are any of your friends cleaners?

William: It’s my pleasure serving you.
William: Since we have not heard from you for some time, we will now end this chat.  Please click to chat with us again if we can be of further assistance.
William: Sorry for the last statement.
William: Thank you for contacting us.  We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Goodbye!

Robert: The pleasure has been all mine.
Robert: What have you done with my cat!?
Robert: Sorry for the last statement (clicked the wrong button!).

The Email Suggestion – Pointless Letter #3

With the Internet businesses I run, I receive a lot of feedback emails. The majority are really pleasant and useful, and I reply in-kind. But, just occasionally, I receive one that gets my goat. I mean, it’s not difficult to be pleasant, is it? So, today, because I was in a funny mood, I decided to reply with one of my pointless letters. His email was about the search engine on one of my websites.

Here is the email I received…

I entered the sought after abbreviation with a few leading and trailing spaces. Your search engine failed to find any expansion.
This is a very poor show on your part. It’s the programmers’ duty to remove leading and trailing spaces, Not the users’. Please let me know when this has been fixed.

My response:

Dear X,

Thank you for your email. Your suggestion to remove spaces is one of the best we have received this week, second only to the idea of strapping flapjacks to pigs, which we are currently looking into (you should see the prototype, it really is something to behold).

Far from being a company who simply jump in and adopt every suggestion that comes our way, we like to take time to assess the positives and negatives of every suggestion. Yours is no exception. I’m excited to be able to tell you that we only found one negative, and it is this. As I’m sure you’re aware, several spaces in a row can make an abbreviation in itself. It is commonly used for giving a person time to think and breathe. Without these spaces, people may be forced to not take pauses between words or sentences, whichwouldbeterribleandmakeitverydifficulttounderstandwhattheyaresaying.

Despite coming up with that particular negative, we can see no others. So, I’m delighted to be able to tell you that we have taken your feedback onboard and have updated our search system to include this fantastic new feature. Now, although I’d like to take the development of our search engine a step further in assisting you and make it prepare you a mug of Bovril, massage your feet at the end of a long day and wipe your bottom for you, i regret that I won’t be able to do that. Still, don’t let that stop you from doing those things yourself, eh?

Please don’t let what I’ve said detract from the fact that your suggestion was a very good one. I have no doubt that it will improve the lives of tens of people throughout the world, all of whom might have been unable to fathom the idea of removing a space from before or after their search term before carrying out their search. May they be eternally grateful and send you Christmas cards year after year… assuming they can lick their own stamp for the envelope…

Give Me Some Stick – Pointless Letter #2

Email Letter

I visited London today to meet up with a friend of mine, Marcus Oakey (Marcus – you owe me a tea for the shameless plug!).

On the train journey home, I was checking my work emails and, as usual, sifting my way through the spam that had somehow fooled my spam filter (possibly with some kind of cloaking device or tomfoolery) and made it to my Inbox. For some reason, one particular email tickled my funny bone and I felt obliged to respond in the most stupid way I could think of. Here is the email, together with the message that I sent back in response…

Spam email (from ‘Wooden sticks for ice cream’):

Wooden sticks for ice cream, medical sticks and sticks for coffee.. (Birch, alder) Origin- Ukraine
94x10x2, 114x10x2, 150x16x2

My response:

Dear Mr Wooden Sticks For Ice Cream,

Thank you for your email informing me that you sell wooden sticks for ice cream, coffee and medicinal purposes (presumably for jabbing into people’s mouths, ears and up people’s bottoms – although, one hopes, not at the same time). I’m delighted to tell you that your email couldn’t be better timed. I have an urgent requirement for a wooden stick for soup – do you do those? Do you? I hope you do. Do tell me you do do do do do those?

No, seriously, do you?

Before you respond, please allow me to explain a little more about my enquiry. I am, very shortly, due to undertake a world record attempt for charity that involves swimming in a gigantic bowl of soup and I will be needing a robust, unyielding stick to stir said (tomato and basil) soup. The stick will need to be approximately 20 feet long and strong enough to take my weight as I lower myself in (I will be dressed as a crouton for added flamboyance).

The aim of my world record attempt is to raise money and awareness for the WWF (it’s an animal charity, I believe… I can’t say I’ve ever heard of it… I’m only really doing the challenge because I love soup). With that in mind, I am therefore wondering whether it would be possible for you to make the stick fatter at one end and sculpt the end of it for me? I know what you’re thinking – this could all too easily end up becoming a spoon – but ‘stick’ with me on this! Anyway, I was thinking about making the end of the stick resemble the shape of an extinct animal – a Dodo, Tyrannosaurus Rex or Goldfish would be perfect! Is it possible to construct, carve and fudge together such an amazing masterpiece?

Moving on to available budget, I have worked hard to put together as much money as I can for this spoon stick. I’ve emptied every savings account (including those of my elderly neighbours), sold my mother-in-law and scavenged the backs of every sofa in every Costa coffee shop south of Birmingham. I hope you’ll therefore appreciate it when I tell you that I have raised… and I think this deserves a drum roll… £1.42. Yes, THAT MUCH!! 🙂

Please give time to think over my proposal. I look forward to hearing your response, oh kind and honourable stick man.

Bruce Picklebottom

Funny Slogans In Online Dating Profiles

Online Dating

Ok, I admit it, I’ve been dabbling in the world of online dating. It’s been an interesting and, occasionally, eye-opening experience.

Earlier today, I was looking through a few online dating profiles and the following irritating phrase came up several times:

“I’m a lil like marmite – you either love me or hate me.”

Ah, ok, so you’re not a “lil like marmite” because you’re thick, pasty and smell like shit? Why include such an inappropriate and over-used slogan in your profile? If you do include one, at least use something interesting, like:

  • “I’m like Gillette – the best a man can get”
  • “I’m a bit like your MasterCard – I’m your flexible friend”
  • “I’m a bit like Kelloggs Frosties… I’m grrrrrreat!”

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