the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

November 3, 2005

Hell hath no fury…


…like someone holding their phone bill and discovering that the huge total reflects some unknown person’s voracious phone-sex habit. Until they’ve been on hold for three hours waiting to talk to a human being, that is. The story, or ones like it, has been around for some time, but the Motley Fool tells us that being a customer isn’t what it used to be. While it’s a phenomenon most of us are familiar with, very rarely does anyone look at the history of consumer relations in order to find an explanation. With the post-war economic boom of the 1950’s (domestically driven by the families enthusiastically participating in the Baby Boom), “the customer is always right” was the watchword for service. Now, you don’t hear it anymore. Why not? I have a few ideas:

1. Because it’s expensive. The no-questions return policy (for example) costs a great deal more than just the lost sale. More to the point, a bad marketing decision can mean tremendous losses.
2. Because it’s messy. Customers want to be special cases when things go wrong for them. Special cases take time and money, and time is money.
3. Because it’s much, much easier to identify them as consumers, and assume that consuming is something they must do.

November 2, 2005

WaPo Watch


(A continuing series in which we dump on the allegedly liberal Washington Post-It Note.)

From an online chat with Steven Pearlstine:

Maryland: It seems like environmentals won’t be happy until humans have died off (from the cold?)and trees and animals retake the planet. Do environmentalists have families to feed and homes to heat?

Steven Pearlstein: They used to like the idea of eating brown rice and vegetables by the wood stove. Now, I guess, the wood stove is environmentally incorrect.

What could be more fair and balanced than reducing the entire environmental movement to a cliche? Like we’re all “tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading” left-wing elitists. (That quote was from the Club for Growth, by the way, which, presumably is where Mr. Pearlstein learned all about the “enviros”).

I resent that characterization, and I’m going to write this Pearstein creep an angry letter just as soon as I finish reading poetry to my bonzai plant.

Rovian Tactics in the Virginia Governor’s Race


If you need motivation to get involved in Virginia in the next few days, read this Nation article, “Hitler in Virginia”, about the Rove associate who’s handling the ads for Kilgore. He even has Rove’s concern for truth:

Nearly two weeks after Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore ran two of the most controversial commercials in recent political history, his media consultant would not stand by their truthfulness. “I’d love to belabor that with you,” Scott Howell told me when I asked him about the accuracy of his advertisements. “I just don’t have the — I can’t stand to talk to somebody in the media and be wrong.” He then described his ads as “tasteful.”

Other “tasteful” ads Howell has been responsible for include those used by Republican senatorial candidate Saxby Chambliss in Georgia to defeat his opponent, Senator Max Cleland — who lost three limbs in Vietnam — by associating him with Osama bin Laden, as well as Bush’s “Safer, Stronger” reelection ad, which featured fake firefighters and a shot of a dead body at Ground Zero. Let’s do what we can to see that the slime doesn’t work this time.

(Via Raising Kaine)

November 1, 2005

Last Week to Help Virginia Democrats


The Virginia election is next Tuesday, so if you want to help the Democrats win, now’s the time to act. Here’s the last message from Tanya Tarr at VA Victory 2005, with opportunities from now through the weekend and on through election day:



DCDL is a blog by Washington, DC-area members of Drinking Liberally. Opinions expressed are the writers’, not those of Drinking Liberally, which provides no funding or other support for this blog.

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