Sunday, June 12, 2005

Perturbed off all over again . . .

Some years ago I got perturbed off at 76 gas stations (long story). I decided that just because 76 stations wouldn't miss my business was no reason not to indulge myself in my grudge by never giving them any business again, since they perturbed me off. So, for some years I have happily been not going to 76 stations for anything.

I liked the 76 stations; the people working there were usually friendly and helpful. I just don't like 76 corporate.

It doesn't make any difference as far as the gasoline -- it pretty much all comes from the same refineries. The only difference is who you choose to do business with, and when it comes to 76 stations, I choose to "include them out." (Colorful language courtesy of L.B.Mayer of MGM, if my memory is true.) And there was this other station I decided to go to with both our cars. It's close to home and the employees are friendly. So, guess what. The station that I've been going to for the last couple of years just put up a big 76 sign on the station. Now I can't go there anymore, unless I forgive 76, which I won't 'cause they went and perturbed me off all over again.

Hey, I'm not calling for a boycott. I'm just never going there myself, ever again.

When it comes to consumer grudges, 76 isn't my only one. I'll never own a Volkswagen, even though I really like the product. I'm p.o'd at VW of America. I'll never wear any product sold by Nike or adidas, even though they sell fine, fashionable products which would look good on me. I'm p.o'd.

I have other companies I won't deal will, and you maybe do, too.

What's the point? I know I don't make any difference to these corporate giants. But I may not be the only one who is now making a judgment about that company, not based on their products, but based on the corporate marketing and attitudes towards its customers. I don't care how good their products are. It's who I'm dealing with, not what I'm buying. Maybe some day some corporation is going to try to figure out why it seems to encounter such unusual sales resistance despite having a superior product positioned for success. Maybe somebody will think to ask, "What's wrong with out products; people used to love us?" And somebody else will be smart enough to answer, "It isn't what's wrong with our products; it's what's wrong with us. We really don't give a ratchet about our customers and they've caught on."

But I don't really care if that thought ever occurs to 76, Nike, adidas, or VWofA, or whether everybody else buys their stuff, or not. It's simple and so am I. They are on my personal list.

I'm half inclined to pay for another site and domain to invite people like me who bear grudges to post the names of corporations, to send them a message - "I don't care how good your product is. It's who I'm dealing with, not what I'm buying."

But they probably don't really care.

No comments: