I’ve had a few calls recently from banks conducting customer surveys, chasing call feedback, or to confirm payments that have been authorised. In each case the call was unexpected and received from a unrecognised or withheld phone number.
After introducing themselves and reciting your name, generally the first question they’ll ask is a security question. Date of birth? Mothers Maiden name? Account Password? All confidential information that takes you by surprise when requested unannounced, with no background information to qualify who’s calling.
In many of these cases I’ve refused to give this information and they’ve not taken issue with this, but neither have they suggested a workaround. They’ve offered no proof that they are genuine besides of reciting their name, the team they work in and the company they work for.
With all the phishing attempts rife throughout email, direct mail, and Nigerian 419 scams, it’s no surprise that we shouldn’t trust an unknown, unannounced caller who suddenly demands personal information. It’s just being careful.
I’m genuinely surprised that more scammers don’t actually go down this route to extract personal information from unsuspecting customers. It’s simple, easy, requires only a little upfront information, and something that could easily be done on a large scale to churn through callers quickly. Even if you scored a few hits out of several thousand it could (probably) pay off.
I don’t think it’s much of an issue at the moment, but over the next few years as consumers become more security conscious and scammers become even more devious I’d be surprised if this problem didn’t grow.
So my question to these big brands is, how do I know you’re genuine? I’m not going to give up any security information over the phone to unannounced callers unless you can prove that you are who you say you are. Text beforehand? Letter through the post? Super secret verify password? There’s plenty of options I think they’ll need to implement something before long. Otherwise they’re not going to be getting much response to their customer phone surveys.
PS: In other news, this is my first blog post in over a year! Celebrations! A hearty pat on the back for leaving it so long between posts. Long may my infrequenting posting continue (though I don’t plan to beat that record soon).
I spotted a couple of quotes from the web that I thought I would post here, from discussions on the world economic slowdown, banker bailout, sovereign debt crisis, yada yada.
Personally, I don’t fully agree with them but I liked the fact they make me think about advertising and marketing, and role it plays in society…plus they are quite passionate statements.
You’re right but the problem is that our society has spent 3 decades, starting with the greed culture that Thatcher unleashed, telling people that home ownership (and indeed materialism in general) is the thing to aim for. In fact, it’s gone a lot further, essentially mocking those that are not wealthy enough to take part in this clamour for material goods. It has told people that if they don’t have the latest gadgets and fashion, or a nice home and car, they are nobodies. Our TV and other brain-dead media bombard us with images of the lives of the wealthy shit living it up. Under these circumstances, is it any wonder that many people do whatever it takes not to be left behind, even if you and I might think it’s all vacuous and not take part in this chase ?
Blaming the poor is missing the point. It’s those that seek to exploit them where the finger should point. The finance, advertising and media sectors are hugely responsible for the state we’re in.
Because advertising convinces them there lives are meaningless and worthless unless they have X. I don’t have a TV at home but it is impossible to miss adverts whether it is the TVs in the gym or when staying in hotels. Late last year one particular advert made my blood boil, it was Nintendo telling parents (not children) that if they did not have a Wii Christmas would be ruined as no-one would want to come around to celebrate and their kids would hate them. And for 8 minutes an hour umpteen TV channels beam this propaganda and nonsense like it into millions of houses. Never mind the other adverts on everything from newspapers to bus stops.
It is little wonder that people eventually believe that there life will be better that they have X, and that people are willing to get into debt to buy it?
Our whole economy is based on this – people spending money they don’t have on stuff they don’t need. As Modern Toss so succinctly put it on a carrier bag a few years ago – Buy More Shit or We’re All Fucked.
Thought provoking or insane ramblings? Maybe a bit of both.
You might have noticed the site has been stripped back a little in recent weeks. I’ve been slimming it down as some work goes on behind the scenes which might come to fruition in the next few months.
Seeing as I haven’t posted in a while, and since being at V Festival last week, I thought it would be fitting to post this old(ish) note I scrawled.
I really don’t care who you are, where you’ve come from, what genre you chopped up, filtered, spliced and sellotaped back together again. I don’t care where you get your samples from, who’s style you’ve mirrored or where your beat has developed from.
I couldn’t care less if you’re retro, new-age, post-modern, old skool, electronic, or an all-time veteran of balancing beats and frying them up with a tasty portion of melodic drum-step. I don’t care if you’re fidget, bassline, clown step, hardcore, electro-tech, funk-indie, blues or rock and roll.
Artists change dramaticlly over the course of their careers. Usually, the journey will begin with some underground bedroom production, things will get big, and then beats will be flying out the door faster than double cheese’s at McDaddys.
I’ve seen far too much criticism thrown at artists because of what they look like, who they are, how they’ve produced and where they are heading. How they’ve fucked up and commercialised a genre by simplifying it and shipping it out to the masses. How they’ve ruined the world of music and forced us all to listen to [insert awful chooage here] for the rest of eternity. I think criticism on the internet must be the cool thing to do.
Listen to the beats, decide if you like them or not.
When you go out for a meal do you question the background history and cookery methods of the chef before you decide if you like your meal?
All that other stuff is just fluff by comparison. Stop judging music based on genres, impact and popularity – just listen to it as music and decide if you like it or not. Don’t worry about being cool or down with the kids. It matters not one jot. You like Lady Gaga? Go and dance the roof down to it, have fun!
Too many people take the ‘coolness’ of music far too seriously.
It’s all about the music.
In: Music21 Jun 2011
I’ve been on and off the musical choontrain for the past few weeks, and with so much going on (including a few gigs) I’ve found it hard to keep up with the latest releases.
In the past couple of weeks I’ve picked up an excellent podcast by Lazy Rich; a monthly 2 hour show that includes the latest releases and stormers across electrohouse and (electro)breaks. Really useful if you want listen to some new sounds but don’t have time to trawl through latest releases and charts.
The latest broadcast features a mix from one of my current favourite dj’s and producers, Far Too Loud – highly reccommend! You can grab it through iTunes or via a direct download.
Also worth noting, I’ve been mightily impressed with how the genre has been moving over the past 4-6 weeks. Cut up electro breaks seem to be coming out of the woodwork, a nice move away from the repipitive vocal heavy electrohouse of old.
“Featuring the biggest and best in Electro House, with exclusive tracks, guest mixes, and a countdown of the 10 biggest tunes each month.”
Another day in search, another Google announcement, and today it’s the fact that they are bringing voice search to Google desktop search.
Not a great surprise, voice search has been available on iPhones for 2-3 years at least, and on Android phones for around a year. Microsoft have been ramping up their voice services with the launch of Kinect, announcing more voice control services including voice driven Bing search.
Having been a long time Android user and a frequent Kinect gamer, I can honestly say these voice services have never added anything to either of the experiences they are offered with.
In 18 months of owning an Android phone I think I’ve used the voice search twice. It doesn’t offer anything I can’t do with a keyboard, and faster if the voice recognition gets my speech wrong (usually the case). In public it generally makes you look quite odd, and in office environments just isn’t practical.
For Kinect, it’s quicker and easier to use a control pad to navigate my xbox. They’ll usually be other people present or music on, and talking isn’t a very useful or efficient way to interact with the machine. I do things faster, more reliably, and easier with a control pad.
What does voice command really add to the experience? It certainly adds a ‘cool’ factor (lasting for about 4 minutes), but after that it generally becomes a pain. I don’t see it having a future across many servies, including this Google announcement.
Until voice recognition becomes perfect, I don’t see a place for it in modern life. Until it can perfectly interpret all my natural speech, allowing me to write a blog post such as this in the time it takes to speak the words, then I don’t think it’ll be going anywhere
When that day comes, the way we interact with computer devices will change forever. Productivity across workplaces will be revolutionised and the world will be quite a different place.
That can increase to an ad every 2-3 tracks with continued use (or at least has for me). Combined with their introduction of a 10 hour listen limit, it’s getting to the point where the new restrictions make the service unappealing. Only using it for occasionally for work, I don’t really justify paying for it. In it’s current form, with a 30-40 second ad every 3 tracks, I’ll simply move back to listening to my mp3 collection.
That’s not forgetting of course that there’s a great streaming music service I’ve been using for years, that I rarely hear anyone mention these days. An advertising free app, unlimited minutes music player with millions of artists, tracks and features that is totally free to use. It doesn’t seem to get as much press or media time as Spotify has in recent months (maybe because of the label interest in Spotify) but I’ve been using it for years and remains one of my favorite web services.
Scobbling and the social aspects mean, like Spotify, I can keep track of my friends beats and explore who’s bopping to what. No, it doesn’t allow you to listen to the Lady Gaga or Take That album on repeat five time, it forces you to discover new artists, no doubt a scary prospect for many of the crowd following pop sheep, and probably one of the reasons I think the masses haven’t adopted it.
Guessed yet? Last.fm.
And no, I’m not a sponsor, employee or sell out. Just a satisfied (non-paying) customer that has been using a great service for years and doesn’t think it really get its dues.
Tudor House is the personal blog of Adam Tudor. It began around two of my interests, Music and Marketing.
Currently it's a repository for random thoughts.
My posts on here and my social networks are my own and don't reflect those of my employer or anyone else.