Persistent – adj – continuing, esp. in the face of opposition, etc. See also: Black Death, Hemorrhoids, Dell computers.
You may recall about a year ago, I purchased a Dell Mini, in purple. Cute little thing, hardly worth the trouble of owning, but adorable nevertheless. As in all of my past Dell purchases, the first thing I did when taking it out of the box was remove all of the Dell-specific spyware and garbage they pile on that allows them to track my every fart. Then I removed all the pathetic anti-virus samplers and installed a real-man’s computer condom.
I rarely used it online, since I bought it to use basically as nothing more than an easily accessible media storage and computer backup system.
But if you also recall, that became my rally-cry against Dell purchases, since they insisted on phoning me at work and home once a week, every week, for months at a time, asking if they could assist me in setting up my Dell Mini, did I require help getting it online? Why hadn’t I used it yet? Why hadn’t I turned on Lojack? Did I need their assistance in making the computer work, since clearly I wasn’t surfing the ‘net and reporting back to them my every itch.
I couldn’t take it any longer, ranted here, and swore never to buy another Dell computer as long as I lived. Which is irritating because, aside from their annoying phone calls and constant spying, the machines they sell are really good quality.
So today, nearly a full year after I purchased that Dell Mini, and a solid three months since I’d given that computer to my niece as a gift – I get a phone call. Some Indian guy, from Dell Customer Service, inquiring about my Dell Mini. Seems they noticed it’s been a year, and I still appear to be too stupid to turn it on and surf the interwebbies, and he’s here to assist me in doing so.
I hung up.
Sure, it was rude – I could have tried to explain to him that I’m not a moron, and I know how to use a computer. I could have told him that the Mini was a gift for my niece, and that she’s thrilled with the little purple computer and it’s matching neoprene case. I could have told him, politely, that I appreciated his concern, but I was quite happy with my purchase and had no plans on making another in the future.
I could have told him aliens live in my ass-crack — he got off easy.
Am I just a crazed, privacy-whore, overreacting to simple acts of customer service?
After all, I’m the nutjob who refuses to publish directly to the Kindle using Amazon’s Createspace because they require access into my personal checking account, in order to affect payment and ensure proper tax reporting data. Direct. Access. Into my checking account. You’re probably thinking “Well it’s good enough and safe enough for thousands of people who do it every day, what’s your problem? Are you Paranoid or something?”
So what if I am. Everywhere I look these days, a company wants my email address so they can spam me with special sales and coupons. They want me to sign up for their loyalty cards, get on their mailing lists, take an online survey and be entered to win a shopping spree!
My God, people. It took YEARS for the government to put together the National Do Not Call list, about as long as it took them to put a stop to tons of unwanted junk snail mail. And all they did was change their tactics. They modernized for the computer-age.
And worse – because people aren’t even paying attention anymore.
I read an article today about the most highlighted passages in popular books, as posted by Amazon. The article was terribly impressed with the various passages people are marking in their Kindle editions, and marveling at the similar passages readers are taking extra interest in. You see, if you use a Kindle, and underline passages in your Kindle edition books, Amazon makes a note of them, and compares them to everyone else’s.
Does no one see what’s happening here? Or does no one really care anymore?