Media X: No Satisfaction Guaranteed

The list of Things That Don't Work in American marketing is long--unbelievably, inconceivably long. If everybody on earth held hands and formed one line, it wouldn't be as long as the list of Things That Don't Work in American marketing.

Customer satisfaction is No. 1 on that list. And it turned my holiday weekend into a shambles.

My Toshiba laptop came bundled with TrendMicro anti-virus software. And for the past couple of weeks, every time I logged on, I got a flashing warning that my computer would explode if I didn't buy an upgrade. So on Thursday, I decide to do that--and I fall into hell.

Being less than adept at manipulating technology--like, oh, I don't know, most of TrendMicro's customers--I uninstall both my current version of TrendMicro and also the Webroot anti-spyware that came bundled with the laptop. That also has to be uninstalled before I can install TrendMicro's updated anti-virus software, and then I somehow delete both applications, apparently forever, from my laptop.



I go to their Web site and after a couple of hours, I still can't figure out how to get my software back. TrendMicro thinks I've already downloaded it--and took my money. Four times I try to get to customer service, and four times I get bupkis. So I try to download HouseCall, TrendMicro's free anti-virus program. This time, I follow the instructions to the letter.

Won't work.

So now, TrendMicro is malware as far as I'm concerned.

On Black Friday, the son, the son's girlfriend, the son's girlfriend's mother and I hit the Westfield Mall. We go to Target. The son, et. al., wants to buy a plastic white Christmas tree. It's on sale. Heavily advertised on sale. And none are left. We ask a store clerk to check around at other stores. There isn't one white plastic Christmas tree left in any Target in California. That's a lot of stores, folks.

So now, I'm a huge Sears fan.

On Saturday, my kid's new Capital One credit card is $50 under the limit, but for some reason, they say he's only got $7 available for credit. I call the 800 number to get a human on the line, and hug it out. Ha. I'd have better luck with Martin Sorrell playing center on my recreation league basketball team.

So now, Capital One is about to lose both of my credit cards and an auto loan app. Attention media agency strategists, clients, creatives and consultants. Here's the tricky thing about customer satisfaction: You actually have to do it! Asking people to take an online survey isn't enough. Hard to believe, but true.

On the Sunday of my lost holiday weekend, I say to hell with corporate America and stay home. I read the latest issue of Adwhenever. Watch a little football. And in the frig, I find a fifth of Jose Cuervo.

That works.

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