Marketing - by - Insult



  • In school, I recall going over a half-dozen or so strategies used in advertising: the bandwagon strategy, the elitist strategy, the "apple pie" strategy, etc. Lately, I have been running into a strategy that wasn't discussed in school, and which I don't understand. That is, I don't see how this approach could ever work, and I really question the collective sanity of a society that could give rise to such advertisements. Basically, the approach is to insult the potential customer.

     

    The two examples that pop to mind are Cintas (the "uniform people") and LoJack (who want to put some kind of tracking device in your car, in case it's stolen).

    Cintas runs radio ads where they spend 20 seconds or so trying to sell you on the comfort and attractiveness of their product... so far, so good. Then, the narrator says something like "With Cintas, your employees will look like valuable members of a team. Without them.... well, take a look for yourself." I think they even insert the old "record needle lifted off a running 33 1/3 RPM record" sound effect.

    At this point, I imagine that the listener (who, of course, is manager of a business) is supposed to look over at his latest slacker employee, who will presumably be wearing Crocs, a pair of clam diggers, and a Dinosaur Jr. tube top. Thus enlightened, this listener is supposed to call Cintas to rectify the problem.

    Do I misinterpret this ad somehow? I find the ad insulting and, as a result, Cintas has no shot at getting my money.

    LoJack has been running print ads whose tone I can only desribe as stern. They read about like the speech I got from my dad about auto insurance when I was 16. The tag line is something like "It's your property. Protect it."

    One particularly puzzling part of the LoJack ad attempts to deconstruct the obvious reason for NOT buying LoJack: that if my car gets stolen, I probably won't want it back. I'll probably just want the insurance money. At this point, the ad moves from fatherly to downright abrasive. "Here's some news for you," it reads, "If you finance your car, it's not your decision." That's about one "buddy boy" away from being a Dennis Leary rant. Paraphrasing, they are arguing that if my car gets stolen, the bank will want to give it back to me so I can keep paying on it, even in its now questionable condition. And I'm supposed to help them do this by buying LoJack, out of a sense of obligation gleaned from this stern advertisement.

    At a rational level, this is ridiculous; I am about as likely to do Chase Bank a favor as I am to sprout a third eye out of my forehead. They make me carry insurance to cover their risk, and I do, but I'm sure not doing them any additional favors. That would be (contrary to LoJack's hectoring ad) irresponsible on my part, considering how I have children to feed and must build a retirement for my wife and me.

    Because this makes so little sense at a rational level, I think these ads must be directed at people who, for mental health reasons, respond to abuse. I mean, I think one would almost have to be suffering from PTSD or Battered Wife Syndrome to respond to that LoJack ad.

    Have I misinterpreted something? All in all, this is one of the many things I run into in the mass media that just make me feel out-of-touch with people. I can write off a great many things I dislike as bad taste (disco, "glare effects" on buttons, Pokemon, that new "Silverback" thing Microsoft is pushing, etc.) but this transcends mere bad taste. It's downright #$@%-ing irrational...
     



  • What you're describing sounds very much like political advertising. First claim "this is what the other guy does", then "the other guy is an idiot", then "you're not an idiot ... or are you?"

    And yes, a certain sector of politics (I won't name it) consistently treats its supporters as if they were naughty children; yet not in a supportive encouraging way. Some people do indeed respond positively to abuse. It plays on insecurity resulting from the audience's own less-than-ideal childhood experiences.

    The same is true of some faith-based organizations. (Again, it would be unwise to name any in this forum.)

     So yes, it does appear that this a new technique in product advertising... but in publicity campaigns in general, it's as old as the hills.

     

    (I do like the irony that LoJack is saying "It's your property. Protect it." -- when in fact their only semi-valid reason for using their service is to protect someone else's property! Rational thought and abuse tend not to go together!)



  • @rfsmit said:

    (I do like the irony that LoJack is saying "It's your property. Protect it." -- when in fact their only semi-valid reason for using their service is to protect someone else's property! Rational thought and abuse tend not to go together!)

    I can think of another reason: to hunt down the bastards that took your car and pump them full of lead.

     

    Of course, I still don't see why you need to waste the money on LoJack when the kids in your trunk have that GPS locator technology that's so popular with parents nowadays.



  •  Don't diss Pokemon, man.

    The rest of your post is fine.



  • Maybe you could sue LoJack for intimidation...



  • Truprint use an even better one.  Marketing by blackmail.  truprint is a UK photo printing service.  You register an account with them, upload your pictures and then select the ones you want printed, pay, and they send you your printed pics.

     

    I must say their service is cheap, good quality and fast.  I planned to use them a lot.  But then for a while I just didn't take any pictures. 

     

    Then one day I got an email from them basically saying "You haven't asked us to print any pictures recently.  Unless you order some pictures through us within the next 30 days we will close your account."

     

    I mailed them back "I'm not scared of you. Do your worst".



  • Companies have been trying to annoy people into buying things for ages. How is it surprising that they're now trying to insult people into buying?



  • @rfsmit said:

    And yes, a certain sector of politics (I won't name it) consistently treats its supporters as if they were naughty children; yet not in a supportive encouraging way. Some people do indeed respond positively to abuse. It plays on insecurity resulting from the audience's own less-than-ideal childhood experiences.

     

    One similar thing I've seen recently is something I'll call the "what the hell is wrong with you" approach.

    I've seen ads on TV recently for one of those for-profit trade school/college establishments (community college education at a private school price!) which does this.  The ad features some black dude in an off-center baseball cap, berating the viewer for not getting off their ass and getting some kind of education.  One line actually goes something like "You're sitting there watching TV, your life is passing you by."

    It's weird, but considering the target audience, maybe that's the message they need to send.



  •  I'm not sure I find the examples given to be particularly insulting (however, I haven't been hit by them).

     The ones I hated were the Billy Mays' SHOUT AT YOU CUZ YOU MUST BE SO F***ING DUMB THAT YOU BUY STUF CUZ PEOPLE YELL AT YOU.

    NOW THAT'S INSULTING.

    I WANT TO TELL THEM THAT WHEN BILLY MAYS SHOWS UP, I SWITCH F***ING CHANNELS AND YOUR CHANNEL AND ALL ITS ADVERTISERS HAVE LOST AUDIENCE.

    I try to be charitable, BUT I DON'T MIND THAT THIS GUY IS DEAD. MAYBE THE ADVERTISERS WON'T RE-RUN THE DEAD GUY'S ADS.


  • @D-Coder said:

    The ones I hated were the Billy Mays' SHOUT AT YOU CUZ YOU MUST BE SO F***ING DUMB THAT YOU BUY STUF CUZ PEOPLE YELL AT YOU.
    We have (well, had - someone found the volume) an annoying, shouty, advertising bloke - "Barry Scott" advertising Cillit Bang a kitchen/bathroom cleaning product.

    Apart from the volume, the other thing that annoyed me about these adverts is "how the fuck can that woman allow her kitchen/cooker/bathroom/toilet get into that fucking state without realising that it needs a clean that even some water and light elbow grease could mitigate?" (Actually this applies to cleaning product adverts in general.)

    First few seconds of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gKjjEctWuo for example.

     



  • @D-Coder said:

    I try to be charitable, BUT I DON'T MIND THAT THIS GUY IS DEAD.

    So he made a couple of ads that annoyed you and you are pleased that he died prematurely?  And you actually try to claim you are charitable?



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @D-Coder said:

    I try to be charitable, BUT I DON'T MIND THAT THIS GUY IS DEAD.

    So he made a couple of ads that annoyed you and you are pleased that he died prematurely?  And you actually try to claim you are charitable?

     

    READ MY F***ING -- whoops. Read my words: "try". I claim "try" to be charitable, not "are". And not "pleased", but "don't mind". Like Ted Bundy, or Timothy McVeigh.

     And he made 5,253,038 ads, not "a couple", on every channel that I watch, at 31 dBA above normal TV sound levels.

    (Some numbers above are approximate.)

     



  • The one I have the most trouble with is an ad for a monitored alarm system company called "AlarmForce".  The premise is that the alarm panel is connected to the central station with a voice interface (a speakerphone I guess).  Their ads suggest that, when the alarm is triggered, a booming voice will come over the intercom: "Attention: This is the AlarmForce central station.  The police have been dispatched.  Identify yourself immediately!"  Then they tell you that the police will prioritize your call because it's a verified burglary.

    One, I find the closing tagline of the radio ads insulting: "And remember, if you buy anything else, you're wasting your money."  Oh, gee, thanks for clearing that up for me!  I guess because I heard it on your ad, it must be true!  Would you prefer cash or a check?

    Second, the whole premise is silly.  Think about it.  There can only be three possible outcomes when the alarm is triggered.  One, you triggered it yourself, so you just tell the booming voice, "Oh hi, sorry, false alarm, here's my passcode", and all is good.  Second, your cat triggers the alarm while you're away, so the booming voice isn't going to get any response.  If they listen in, they'll hear nothing.  No verified burglary.  Net gain over a non-voice-enabled security system?  Nothing.  Third, it's actually a burglar.  What do they think they're going to hear if they listen in?  How do they verify a robbery is in progress? Perhaps they'll hear yelling?  "Quick, Joey!  They're listening!  Grab the cash and jewels and let's get out of here!"  Or perhaps "You'll never catch me, coppers!  Ahahahaaa!!"

    Or perhaps the burglar will stay silent, say nothing at all... and you're back to the same "the cat did it" scenario.

     



  •  Personally the insults don't bother me, the blatant lieing does.  I mean honestly Insurance Companies, can I really save money by switching my car insurance?  Awsome, then I can save even more money when I switch to the next one.  Eventually YOU will end up owing ME money!!! Brilllllaiant!



  • @amischiefr said:

    I mean honestly Insurance Companies, can I really save money by switching my car insurance? 
    Of course people save money when they switch, otherwise they're incredibly unlikely to switch.



  • As reported above, he's made millions of ads, was loud and obnoxious and, as it turns out, was a cocaine user.

    Why must I listen to a loud obnoxious drug user trying to sell me something? In fact, I am less apt to buy anything he pushes because like others I don't like to be yelled at.



  • @amischiefr said:

    I mean honestly Insurance Companies, can I really save money by switching my car insurance?  Awsome, then I can save even more money when I switch to the next one. 

    Unfortunately what this line of thinking omits is the price increase over the whole industry between one year and the next.

    So after year one, company one puts up your premiums 10%. Company two offers you a cheaper quote (than company one) thus (technically) 'saving money.' But it's still going to be more expensive than company one's first year premium. Year three, both companies put their premiums up again, but with company one being cheaper than company two, so going with them you will still (technically) save money.

    Nowhere in the advertising economy with the truth do they say they'll be any cheaper than last year's premiums



  • @amischiefr said:

    Personally the insults don't bother me, the blatant [lying] does.

    What world do you live in? I'd love to live somewhere where the ads are factually accurate.



  • @WhiskeyJack said:

    There can only be three possible outcomes when the alarm is triggered

     

    Four- The Burglars properly identify themselves. "Hi, I'm Jimmy, this is Bob. We're teenagers from down the street breaking in to steal loose cash or easy to pawn items."

    Five- The Burglars improperly indentify themselves. Jimmy: "Uhm... Meow?"  Bob: "Yeah... Woof, Woof!"



  • @PJH said:

    @amischiefr said:
    I mean honestly Insurance Companies, can I really save money by switching my car insurance?  Awsome, then I can save even more money when I switch to the next one. 

    Unfortunately what this line of thinking omits is the price increase over the whole industry between one year and the next.

     

    I getcha, it's just the whole premise is that everybody who switches from Geico to Allstate will save money, then Geico says that everybody who switches from Allstate to Geico will save money, which both can't obviously happen.  I hate Government intervention as much as the next guy, but I wish they would put a cap on these increases.  At least here in florida the governor told Allstate to fuck off when they wanted to nearly double their home owners insurance premiums.



  • Also, prolixis (I don't care how it's spelled), the male enhancing drug.  "well you think it's length that matters.  You're wrong."

    @beau29 said:

    Dennis Leary
    It's Denis.  I know I'm a pedant, but I thought I'd point that out.



  •   @amischiefr said:

    @PJH said:

    @amischiefr said:
    I mean honestly Insurance Companies, can I really save money by switching my car insurance?  Awsome, then I can save even more money when I switch to the next one. 

    Unfortunately what this line of thinking omits is the price increase over the whole industry between one year and the next.

     

    I getcha, it's just the whole premise is that everybody who switches from Geico to Allstate will save money, then Geico says that everybody who switches from Allstate to Geico will save money, which both can't obviously happen.  I hate Government intervention as much as the next guy, but I wish they would put a cap on these increases.  At least here in florida the governor told Allstate to fuck off when they wanted to nearly double their home owners insurance premiums.

    Actually the fine print to the Allstate ad states something along the lines of: Of the customers that switched to Allstate, that actually saved money,
    the average was 40% or whatever the claim is.  But they word it so that
    it sounds like everyone joining Allstate is saving money. I don't know
    what Geico's excuse is, but I agree that these ads are totally
    obnoxious.



  • @Atticus said:

    Of the customers that switched to Allstate, that actually saved money,
    the average was 40% or whatever the claim is.

    @Atticus said:

    But they word it so that
    it sounds like everyone joining Allstate is saving money.
    Well, everyone is.  If they wouldn't save money (lower premium or same premium but better insurance) they wouldn't be switching and wouldn't be part of the stat.

    I can't remember who, but I was on the phone with one of them and he could save me money, but it was for less insurance than I was currently getting.  WOOBOY!  Less insurance costs less money.  How about that?



  • @SilentRunner said:

    As reported above, he's made millions of ads, was loud and obnoxious and, as it turns out, was a cocaine user.

    Why must I listen to a loud obnoxious drug user trying to sell me something? In fact, I am less apt to buy anything he pushes because like others I don't like to be yelled at.

    Then you're not the target audience.  He sold product, so they kept using him.


  • @belgariontheking said:

    @Atticus said:

    Of the customers that switched to Allstate, that actually saved money,
    the average was 40% or whatever the claim is.

    @Atticus said:

    But they word it so that
    it sounds like everyone joining Allstate is saving money.
    Well, everyone is.  If they wouldn't save money (lower premium or same premium but better insurance) they wouldn't be switching and wouldn't be part of the stat.

    I can't remember who, but I was on the phone with one of them and he could save me money, but it was for less insurance than I was currently getting.  WOOBOY!  Less insurance costs less money.  How about that?

     

     

    I wouldn't say that everyone who switches insurance companies does so to save money.  Yes, I have had the same experience wherein the quoting company conveniently leaves out coverage to make their rates appear lower.



  • @Atticus said:

     

    I wouldn't say that everyone who switches insurance companies does so to save money.  Yes, I have had the same experience wherein the quoting company conveniently leaves out coverage to make their rates appear lower.

    This is true: completely stupid people will not bother investigating what coverage the new plan offers and just sign on because "it's cheaper".  On the one hand, stupid people probably need better insurance than smart people since they will be subject to more losses due to their stupidity.  On the other hand, there's a better chance the stupid people will catch on fire and then find out their insurance doesn't cover putting them out and the world will have one less idiot.



  • @bstorer said:

    @SilentRunner said:

    As reported above, he's made millions of ads, was loud and obnoxious and, as it turns out, was a cocaine user.

    Why must I listen to a loud obnoxious drug user trying to sell me something? In fact, I am less apt to buy anything he pushes because like others I don't like to be yelled at.

    Then you're not the target audience.  He sold product, so they kept using him.

    See, I don't even have a TV but I'm the kind of person who would gladly pay money just for the satisfaction of knowing there are millions of people out there being screamed at by a coked-up infomercial pitchman.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    See, I don't even have a TV
    That's because Billy Mays never found time in his busy schedule to come 'round to your place and scream at you about how great TVs are.  If he had, you'd have six of them; especially when he threw in the limited-time offer of Mighty Putty and Oxiclean.



  • @amischiefr said:

    I hate Government intervention as much as the next guy, but I wish they would put a cap on these increases.  At least here in florida the governor told Allstate to fuck off when they wanted to nearly double their home owners insurance premiums.
    A) Your a fuckin' commie.

    B) If you don't want to pay high home owners insurance, don't live where hurricanes come through every year.



  • @spike_tt said:

    ...Marketing by blackmail...

    Then one day I got an email from them basically saying "You haven't asked us to print any pictures recently.  Unless you order some pictures through us within the next 30 days we will close your account."

    I mailed them back "I'm not scared of you. Do your worst".

     

    WTF?  Blackmail would be if they said that some of the pictures you uploaded were incriminating or embarrassing and that if you didn't use their service they would send them to the police/your friends.  The fact that you think they were trying to intimidate you bothers me, perhaps you suffer from paranoia.



  • @tster said:

    @spike_tt said:

    ...Marketing by blackmail...

    Then one day I got an email from them basically saying "You haven't asked us to print any pictures recently.  Unless you order some pictures through us within the next 30 days we will close your account."

    I mailed them back "I'm not scared of you. Do your worst".

     

    WTF?  Blackmail would be if they said that some of the pictures you uploaded were incriminating or embarrassing and that if you didn't use their service they would send them to the police/your friends.  The fact that you think they were trying to intimidate you bothers me, perhaps you suffer from paranoia.

    Seriously, WTF?  I thought about replying but just didn't have the fight in me.  A service that gives you a warning that they will remove your personal info* if you don't generate revenue for them within a reasonable timeframe?  My God, the bastards!  Hotmail (or whatever-the-fuck it is called this week) has been blackmailing me for years!

     

    * While typing this I realized this is almost the opposite of blackmail.  They aren't keeping your personal info around forever like, say, Google.



  • @tster said:

    @amischiefr said:

    I hate Government intervention as much as the next guy, but I wish they would put a cap on these increases.  At least here in florida the governor told Allstate to fuck off when they wanted to nearly double their home owners insurance premiums.
    A) Your a fuckin' commie.

    B) If you don't want to pay high home owners insurance, don't live where hurricanes come through every year.

    +1, Obvious.

     

    Really, fuck Floridians who somehow think they are entitled to having the rest of us pay to rebuild their house every 3 years because they're too fucking stupid to move out of a place where God and Nature are doing their best to murder them.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @tster said:

    @spike_tt said:

    ...Marketing by blackmail...

    Then one day I got an email from them basically saying "You haven't asked us to print any pictures recently.  Unless you order some pictures through us within the next 30 days we will close your account."

    I mailed them back "I'm not scared of you. Do your worst".

     

    WTF?  Blackmail would be if they said that some of the pictures you uploaded were incriminating or embarrassing and that if you didn't use their service they would send them to the police/your friends.  The fact that you think they were trying to intimidate you bothers me, perhaps you suffer from paranoia.

    Seriously, WTF?  I thought about replying but just didn't have the fight in me.  A service that gives you a warning that they will remove your personal info* if you don't generate revenue for them within a reasonable timeframe?  My God, the bastards!  Hotmail (or whatever-the-fuck it is called this week) has been blackmailing me for years!

     

    * While typing this I realized this is almost the opposite of blackmail.  They aren't keeping your personal info around forever like, say, Google.

    I have to say I'm a little surprised by these replies. Admittedly "blackmail" is extreme and semantically inaccurate (but possibly just used for exaggerative comic effect), but surely you do agree that effectively saying "Hello, unless you use our service very soon whether you need to or not, we are going to make it harder for you to use us in the future by removing details that cost us virtually nothing to maintain." is pretty fucking stupid? It wouldn't endear them to me to be sure.



  • @Zagyg said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @tster said:

    @spike_tt said:

    ...Marketing by blackmail...

    Then one day I got an email from them basically saying "You haven't asked us to print any pictures recently.  Unless you order some pictures through us within the next 30 days we will close your account."

    I mailed them back "I'm not scared of you. Do your worst".

     

    WTF?  Blackmail would be if they said that some of the pictures you uploaded were incriminating or embarrassing and that if you didn't use their service they would send them to the police/your friends.  The fact that you think they were trying to intimidate you bothers me, perhaps you suffer from paranoia.

    Seriously, WTF?  I thought about replying but just didn't have the fight in me.  A service that gives you a warning that they will remove your personal info* if you don't generate revenue for them within a reasonable timeframe?  My God, the bastards!  Hotmail (or whatever-the-fuck it is called this week) has been blackmailing me for years!

     

    * While typing this I realized this is almost the opposite of blackmail.  They aren't keeping your personal info around forever like, say, Google.

    I have to say I'm a little surprised by these replies. Admittedly "blackmail" is extreme and semantically inaccurate (but possibly just used for exaggerative comic effect), but surely you do agree that effectively saying "Hello, unless you use our service very soon whether you need to or not, we are going to make it harder for you to use us in the future by removing details that cost us virtually nothing to maintain." is pretty fucking stupid? It wouldn't endear them to me to be sure.

     

    How do you know it costs them nothing to maintain.  What if they use a third party to store your credit card info so that they are not responsible for the security of it?  What if he has a GB of photos uploaded?

    Anyways, what they probably had was many customers who used their site one time then never came back.  This email serves as a sort of reminder ("Hey, we still exist!") whereas it won't trigger the innate "junk mail" response in all of us.

    I'm not saying it was a good idea in any case, but it is not "blackmail" and to claim it is makes the argument look stupid.



  •  spike_tt still had a kind of valid point..not blackmail but an ultimatum nonetheless.

     What if it was like "This is your bank. you haven't lodged anything into your savings account for 30 days since you last cleared it out; put something in or we'll close it"

    And there's a difference between "closing an account" and "deleting all your uploaded shit".  As for the 3rd party; well delete the CC details then so he can re-enter them the next time.

    Are you going to tell me that they factored in the cost of one record in a customer_accounts table?

     

    Point being, it's a fucking stupid way to contact your customer. Why not say "We notice you haven't used our facilties in over 30 days, why not avail of blah blah free offer that only looks like you're saving money blah blah"...that's how you keep customers and make money from them. Recurring revenue, anyone?




  • @katana said:

    What if it was like "This is your bank. you haven't lodged anything into your savings account for 30 days since you last cleared it out; put something in or we'll close it"

    [...]

     Point being, it's a fucking stupid way to contact your customer. Why not say "We notice you haven't used our facilties in over 30 days,

    Where did you get this "you haven't used <stuff> in the last 30 days" bollocks from? Apart from engaging in some hyperbole, in which case why not use 7 days? or 24 hours?

    The OP was given 30 days to start using stuff they hadn't used for ages (or at least presumably a lot longer than 30 days.)



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    So he made a couple of ads that annoyed you and you are pleased that he died prematurely?  And you actually try to claim you are charitable?

     

    Not 24 hours after I heard he died, I saw a commercial he made selling health insurance.

    I laughed.  Hard.  And I felt like an amazing asshole for doing so.

    Does this make me a bad person?



  • @bstorer said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    See, I don't even have a TV
    That's because Billy Mays never found time in his busy schedule to come 'round to your place and scream at you about how great TVs are.  If he had, you'd have six of them; especially when he threw in the limited-time offer of Mighty Putty and Oxiclean. Oxycodone.

     

    FTFY



  • @katana said:

     What if it was like "This is your bank. you haven't lodged anything into your savings account for 30 days since you last cleared it out; put something in or we'll close it"

     

    What if it was like, "This is your wife.  You haven't generated a child with me for 30 days.  Put something in me or I will cut it off."

    Point being, you can make random unrelated comparrisons all day, but in the end it probably was an online startup desperate to generate some extra revenue.



  • @tster said:

    @amischiefr said:

    I hate Government intervention as much as the next guy, but I wish they would put a cap on these increases.  At least here in florida the governor told Allstate to fuck off when they wanted to nearly double their home owners insurance premiums.
    A) Your a fuckin' commie.

    B) If you don't want to pay high home owners insurance, don't live where hurricanes come through every year.

     

    A) Wow, "your a fuckin' commie"  First, it's "you're" as in: you are.    Just because somebody wants a little regulation that doesn't make them a communist.  You think that something that is manditory by federal law (such as home insurance and car insurance) shouldn't be regulated?  So, the government should make them manditory, but not ensure that the insurance companies a practicing fair policies?  Wow, just wow.

    B) That's a great idea!!!  We should move everybody from Florida, Lousiana, California and everywhere else to Idaho where nothing happens.  Force people out of their homes and drive them into more 'controllable' regions.  Now, who in this argument is starting to sound more like a communist?  (I'll give you a hint, it's not me)

    I don't have a problem paying more for home owners insurance than somebody living in say Wisconsin.  I have a problem with them raising the rates way above what a normal increase should be.  The insurance racket market is one of the few industries still posting huge profits during this economic downturn.  They hardly need to double their rates.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Really, fuck Floridians who somehow think they are entitled to having the rest of us pay to rebuild their house every 3 years because they're too fucking stupid to move out of a place where God and Nature are doing their best to murder them.
     

    Sort of +1.

    Why is there such a disjoint between:

    - The USA, where they often build flimsy hice from wood that are destroyed because there's hurricanes and shit;
    - Here in the Netherlands, where we build utterly indestructible hice from BRICK and MORTAR and CONCRETE with weather patterns producing at most a stiff breeze that sensually caresses the rooftops.

    I mean, I know brick houses are more expensive to build, but, erm, you only do it once and you're done for the next 50 years. At least. Timber won't last forever, you know.

    Perhaps I'm lacking understanding of some important practical aspect of housebuilding in dangerous areas. Or perhaps there's economical habit such that decent but expensive housing will never sell.



  • @amischiefr said:

    @tster said:

    @amischiefr said:

    I hate Government intervention as much as the next guy, but I wish they would put a cap on these increases.  At least here in florida the governor told Allstate to fuck off when they wanted to nearly double their home owners insurance premiums.
    A) Your a fuckin' commie.

    B) If you don't want to pay high home owners insurance, don't live where hurricanes come through every year.

     

    A) Wow, "your a fuckin' commie"  First, it's "you're" as in: you are.  Secondly, you're (see how I use that in a sentence) fucking stupid.  Just because somebody wants a little regulation that doesn't make them a communist.  You think that something that is manditory by federal law (such as home insurance and car insurance) shouldn't be regulated?  So, the government should make them manditory, but not ensure that the insurance companies a practicing fair policies?  Wow are you stupid.

    B) That's a great idea!!!  We should move everybody from Florida, Lousiana, California and everywhere else to Idaho where nothing happens.  Force people out of their homes and drive them into more 'controllable' regions.  Now, who in this argument is starting to sound more like a communist?  (I'll give you a hint, it's not me)

    I don't have a problem paying more for home owners insurance than somebody living in say Wisconsin.  I have a problem with them raising the rates way above what a normal increase should be.  The insurance racket market is one of the few industries still posting huge profits during this economic downturn.  They hardly need to double their rates.

     

    1. Attacking spelling and punctuation is usually not a very good way to start when you have an actual argument to make (which you do, so don't ruin it by being a spelling bitch). 

    2. Car insurance is not mandated by federal law.

    3. Car insurance is not mandated by any law.  If you don't want insurance you are free to not have it, you just can't drive on the roads.

    4. Home owners insurance is not mandated by federal (or any other level) law either.  I honestly have no idea what you are talking about, but perhaps if you have an FHA loan then the government actually requires you to have insurance.  Then again, FHA loans are basically the government loaning you money, so they are just acting as most banks do when they require you to have home owners insurance for the duration of the mortgage.

    5. I would never force someone to move from anywhere to anywhere else (unless they have broken the law in some way in which case I would move them to prison).  That violates their human rights I believe.  

    6. Here is basically what you are arguing.  Person A offers to sell their product/service for a given price ($X).  Events change and that product service drastically increases in price for person A to produce.  So person A changes his price to $Y.  Now there are a whole bunch of people offering similar services, and a fuckton of people buying those services.  Those people could tell person A to fuck himself and his service and go use a competitor.  Instead those people use the force of government (people with guns and prisons) to tell person A, "you can't sell the fruits of your labor for the price you want, you have to sell it at the price we want you to.  If you don't we will take you from your family and put you in prison."  How do you not see that as a violation of the most basic human right (the ownership of self and your own labor)?

    7. I never said any kind of insurance should be mandated by government.  You seem to assume that I think it should, but I don't.

    8. I have no idea what you are talking about the insurance industry is raking in huge profits.  AIG alone lost $100 billion last year.  Lots of other insurance companies posted loses (Allstate, Progressive, CNA, Fidelity).   I am completely dumbfounded by your assertion that insurance is the most profitable sector of the economy.  The only one hit harder was probably investment banking.  The technology, energy and healthcare sectors are all posting pretty good profits.  Perhaps you better do some actual research before blindly lashing out at companies you hate.  



  • @Zagyg said:

    ...surely you do agree that effectively saying "Hello, unless you use our service very soon whether you need to or not, we are going to make it harder for you to use us in the future by removing details that cost us virtually nothing to maintain." is pretty fucking stupid?
     

    I can think of several reasons that are not stupid:

    • They have statistics, quotas, online caches, etc. and don't want them polluted by inactive/dead accounts.
    • They send out periodic e-mails, and don't want to waste bandwidth on thousands of messages to people who no longer use their service.
    • They were switching to a different platform or authentication system, hooked the login logic for 3 months to automatically migrate the existing accounts, and sent this e-mail out as a final warning to people who never logged in and therefore couldn't be migrated.  (You try doing a migration any other way, without actually cracking your own password database)

    I'm sure that if you actually bother to think about it, you can come up with several other possibilities for why they would need to either refresh or remove inactive accounts.  It's not necessarily a marketing stunt, even if the service is pay-per-use.



  • @dhromed said:

    weather patterns producing at most a stiff breeze that sensually caresses the rooftops.
    I'm hard now.  I hope you're happy.



  • @Aaron said:

    • They were switching to a different platform or authentication system, hooked the login logic for 3 months to automatically migrate the existing accounts, and sent this e-mail out as a final warning to people who never logged in and therefore couldn't be migrated.  (You try doing a migration any other way, without actually cracking your own password database)

     

    I was thinking about something like that but I couldn't come up with some reason they couldn't automate it.  I never thought about password conversion.



  •  Yeah and what if it was like, "this is tstr's mom. Please put your fingers back in me for 30 days."

    Fucking hell, can't a fellow have a casual troll with his morning coffee any more? I remember now why I don't post in these comments...

    @PJH - ok, sue me, I misread spike's original post. See my above  re. casual trolling.

    Yes there are gazillions of valid technical reasons why an account might be removed after some inactivity; but from a marketing and sales point of view, there's only one valid reason to delete an account and that's when the customer has requested it.Especially if they were desperate to generate some revenue..notwithstanding my inept analogy, cutting off possible repeat business is a bit retarded, wouldn't you agree?

     

    @spike_tt - that's what you get for sharing your experiences. Welcome to the neighbourhood.



  • @dhromed said:

    Why is there such a disjoint between:

    - The USA, where they often build flimsy hice from wood that are destroyed because there's hurricanes and shit;
    - Here in the Netherlands, where we build utterly indestructible hice from BRICK and MORTAR and CONCRETE with weather patterns producing at most a stiff breeze that sensually caresses the rooftops.

    I mean, I know brick houses are more expensive to build, but, erm, you only do it once and you're done for the next 50 years. At least. Timber won't last forever, you know.

    Perhaps I'm lacking understanding of some important practical aspect of housebuilding in dangerous areas. Or perhaps there's economical habit such that decent but expensive housing will never sell.

    The problem wasn't so much that the builders were cheap (well, that's part of the problem), but that the homes weren't designed to withstand a hurricane.  A well-designed wood home can withstand a great deal, giving you a lot of protection for the money.

    The biggest weaknesses of a wood-framed home in a hurricane are the roof, followed by the floor framing.  A roof often acts like a wing or sail (depending on slope), neither of which is a particularly good thing with the high winds of a hurricane.  In addition, most roofs aren't particularly well fastened.  Traditionally, neither are floor joists.  They can't withstand the force placed on them, the exterior walls fall in without the beams to buttress them, and down it goes.

    To combat this, building codes in hurricane areas often demand specific roof slope, and superior fasteners for roofs and floors, and sometimes windows (these are all lumped together under the general term "hurricane clips").  There's some disagreement on the matter, but a modern, wood-framed house constructed using the hurricane-proofing requirements of the Miami-Dade building code should withstand a Cat 2 or Cat 3 hurricane.  Anything more than that, well, it doesn't really matter what kind of home you have.  Get the hell out of there.

    The biggest risk in modern wood-framed homes is the threat of debris piercing the walls (and, of course, windows).  To that end, homes are now required to have their exterior walls sheathed in plywood, as opposed to the old practice of sheathing in foam insulation.  The plywood also improves the wall's ability to withstand lateral loads.  You can do much better if you add a brick veneer instead of, say, aluminum siding.  But the brick is actually fairly worthless against the wind.  A brick veneer is using only one course thick, and is capable of withstanding only minimal horizontal forces.  The wood framing actually supports the veneer, so you need heavier-duty walls to withstand the same wind.

    A fully-masonry house is still the best solution, obviously.  But it is tremendously expensive in comparison.  While hurricane-proofing wood construction results in an increase of between 8% and 30% (depending on who you ask), masonry homes can easily cost double the amount to construct a similarly-sized wood home.  And what does it get you?  Perhaps it can withstand a more powerful hurricane, but perhaps not: masonry homes still have to have well-designed roofs or they're going to fly away just as on a wood home.  They have their long-term drawbacks, too: they're more difficult to heat and cool, they require heavier foundations, especially in swampy areas, and they're difficult to earthquake-proof, if that's a concern.

    All in all, it comes down to money, though.



  • @Justice said:

    One similar thing I've seen recently is something I'll call the "what the hell is wrong with you" approach.

    I've seen ads on TV recently for one of those for-profit trade school/college establishments (community college education at a private school price!) which does this.  The ad features some black dude in an off-center baseball cap, berating the viewer for not getting off their ass and getting some kind of education.  One line actually goes something like "You're sitting there watching TV, your life is passing you by."

    It's weird, but considering the target audience, maybe that's the message they need to send.

    That's great, I wish we had those ads around here. I really enjoy snickering at those "ITT Tech" commercials, in which people find happiness due to their l33t server-rebooting skills, as the camera pans affectionately around some cubicle farm like it's the #$%$-ing Vietnam Memorial or something. Seeing the ads you're describing would take me to a whole new level of elitist smugness.

    I guess the quality of the educational institution is inversely proportional to the amount of bullying-people-through-the-front door that goes on. At the bottom level, the juvenile detention center has men with guns. One level up, public schools have truant officers. One more level up, ITT Tech hits you with the "hard sell." Beyond that, real colleges won't even return your call without looking at your tax return and an SAT score.

     

     



  • @amischiefr said:

    A) Wow, "your a fuckin' commie"  First, it's "you're" as in: you are.    Just because somebody wants a little regulation that doesn't make them a communist.  You think that something that is manditory by federal law (such as home insurance and car insurance) shouldn't be regulated?  So, the government should make them manditory, but not ensure that the insurance companies a practicing fair policies?  Wow, just wow.

    Applying your rules: "manditory"?  Also, you are completely making shit up regarding Federally-mandated car and home insurance.  Food, water and shelter are all more necessary than insurance and yet we (generally) avoid price regulation there because, well, it doesn't work.  Rent control is an example of this type of regulation and the results are awful.

     

    @amischiefr said:

    B) That's a great idea!!!  We should move everybody from Florida, Lousiana, California and everywhere else to Idaho where nothing happens.  Force people out of their homes and drive them into more 'controllable' regions.  Now, who in this argument is starting to sound more like a communist?  (I'll give you a hint, it's not me)

    He didn't make that argument, he just called you a moron for living there.  And considering how much taxpayer money gets dumped into rebuilding places like New Orleans and Florida, it's pretty stupid to complain about expensive insurance rates.  If you had to bear the full cost of living in a disaster-prone area, you insurance would probably more than double.

     

    @amischiefr said:

    I don't have a problem paying more for home owners insurance than somebody living in say Wisconsin.  I have a problem with them raising the rates way above what a normal increase should be.  The insurance racket market is one of the few industries still posting huge profits during this economic downturn.  They hardly need to double their rates.

    Who defines "normal increase"?  Basically, you're just talking crap.  The insurance companies can raise their rates and if the cost is too much people will switch to lower-priced insurance.



  • @beau29 said:

     

    That's great, I wish we had those ads around here. I really enjoy snickering at those "ITT Tech" commercials, in which people find happiness due to their l33t server-rebooting skills, as the camera pans affectionately around some cubicle farm like it's the #$%$-ing Vietnam Memorial or something. Seeing the ads you're describing would take me to a whole new level of elitist smugness.

    My favorite is the one for Education Connection, mostly because at about 24 seconds in, they have a blue-screen fail and you can see the background text through the polka dots on her shorts.

Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.