Saturday, 26 April 2014

The Look of Less

"I'd like my name taken off your mailing list - I didn't order the catalogue."

"Are you a client of ours?"


"What's the number above the name and address printed on the magazine?"

"There isn't one."

"Not a six cijfer one?"


I spell out my name and address and there is a concentrated silence as my details are entered.

"OK. I've put your details in the system for removal from our mailing list. It will take six weeks, so you may get one more before it stops completely."

I mentioned that it too would be filed in the re-cycling and how an unwanted catalogue is a waste of resources and environmentally unfriendly.

"So, how did you get my details in the first place?"

"Probably from one of our sister companies."

A snippet from this morning's conversation with a mail-order company, requesting they take my name off their mailing list. Not only had I not requested a copy of their catalogue, they had managed to produce 133 pages printed in full colour, of a really unappealing line of clothes and one I can only describe as: Oh Dear.

Even the models in the magazine found it hard to pull off the experience as a good one. The clothes were definitely not ones they would choose to wear in their free time and that could be seen by their forced smiles and on occasion, gritted teeth. The smile of one particular model, in a taupe pleated t-shirt - from a series of cream, turquoise, purple and screaming coral - looked like the Joker from Batman. Another in a 'flattering' paisley-look blouse had the subdued expression of someone obviously running through her 'to do' list of the day. Turn the page and an attractive twenty-something has been put in a characterless tartan on one page and an unfashionable crochet the other, thereby ageing her considerably. The list goes on: unstylish, bad design, technicolour sick pattern, cheap curtain material. Who designs this stuff?

The thing that really gets my goat is not just the fact that my details are being bandied around, but the purchase of my address allows the darn catalogue to be posted through my letterbox. The fact that I have a sticker on it, especially for mail like this saying: 'no unsolicited mail,' then becomes worthless. For the inconvenience there is no apology. I then have to waste my time and money to cancel what I didn't order in the first place. It's addition, means I have to add it to my already bulging bag of unwanted paper for re-cycle, which I find irritating too. The explanation that my details came to them from 'one of our sister companies,' is not only unacceptable, but I don't find very sisterly behaviour!

Of course I realise that these days business is done in any way possible, but sending me a catalogue that I am not going to look at and which is destined for immediate re-cycle, is not only a waste of resources it is environmentally unfriendly. Then we have the fact that it takes six weeks to implement my wish, during which I may receive yet another undesired catalogue. It's mind boggling in an age of computers how backward some things remain. It's not rocket science to remove a name from a list! Are they are hoping that a second example may seduce me into making an order? Well, dream on.

Who's the company, I hear you ask? With a little edit on the possessive adjective to avoid liable, but without diminishing its amusement value, they're called: 'My Look for Less' - hmmm, I think that says it all.

© Alison Day Designs



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