Logic and Compassion, Facts and Nurturing, Fun and Exploring - check here

We continue the sometimes joyful and sometimes painful path to try to be better human beings - this is only possible because we can rise above logic, that we find the wonder and hope, the language and words to inspire us and keep us going. Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Betrayed by Frontier Airlines - another loyal customer lost

I'm upset because this came out of the blue, and Frontier has lost the trust of a loyal customer.

I fly to Oklahoma City every week, and often, I'm on Frontier Airlines, connecting through Denver. The Frontier Airlines folks have UP TO TODAY earned and kept my business, I trust them to fly me there and back on time mostly and the flight crew are friendly.

So, when I was approached by someone dressed in a Frontier Airlines uniform at the Denver airport, I was receptive. I had some time, so I filled out a credit card application - my current card has an annual fee, and I'd started looking for a new card without an annual fee, and this seemed to fit the bill, plus the 5000 miles would come in handy as I was building up miles on Frontier, going to Oklahoma so often.

When the card arrived, I put it aside, not planning to use it, not charging anything to it till I was ready to transition from my old card. Today, I received a statement from BARCLAYS Bank which charged me $24.95 for a Time Magazine subscription.

Ok ok, I had checked the box on the credit card application which had said check here for some free copies of Time Magazine. BUT I had expected that after trying it, I would be offered a chance to sign up or decline. But NO - Time Magazine set me up for automatic renewal and charged the credit card.

Do I hold Frontier Airlines responsible. YES I DO! I had trusted them to do the right thing by me, and not be part of a scam that tricks people into signing up for magazine subscriptions.

Do I hold Barclays responsible? YES I DO! I had to endure the Barclays call center quality monitoring requirements that lead to me being asked 7 times, please call Time Magazine and cancel my subscription.

Surely it is NOT good business for a bank with a long and proud tradition like Barclays to have their contact center employees spending so much time with angry people who have been tricked into paying for magazine subscriptions. But no... I have to be asked over and over again, to cancel the Time Magazine subscription, when I am calling Barclays to cancel the credit card.

There are policy decisions going on at Frontier and Barclays and Time which present their companies in a poor light. And the employees I have spoken with, who know my frustration and fury, have no avenue to communicate this up the line.

Well there are ways to get the word out now, that are no longer under the control of Frontier, Barclays and Time Magazine managers. Thank goodness for the Voice of the Customer on the Internet.

At a time of recession when every customer counts, and I represent a stream of hundreds of dollars on average every month to Frontier.... wouldn't it be sensible for the folks at Frontier to want to know how unhappy they are making mainstream Frontier-flying customers through the Barclays credit card offer with the so-called "free" (I call trap) subscriptions to Time Magazine?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Proven Principles of Social Networking - Lessons from the Kalahari Desert:

"People who made exquisite gifts and told enthralling stories would have been more successful in maintaining relationships."

Let's to go the anthropologists to understand social networks. Pauline Wiessner spoke in April 2009 at the Origins symposium in Arizona State University and is quoted in today's NY Times on how the !Kung of South Africa tend their social networks with loving care because they know "their networks are crucial to how they get past the hard times".

Principles summarized:

1. Use vivid Stories generate momentum and energy
2. Gifts that reflect thought and care for the recipient and show understanding of their interests and needs
3. "In Kind" exchanges are an implied contractual of the relationship, storing relationships for when they are needed
4. Maintain ties of mutual support with people outside of immediate group - diversity of ties provides insurance for hard times

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Innovation Journalism Conference May 18th

Douglas Engelbart will be making an appearance at the Stanford university Innovation Journalism Conference on May 18th at 9 am.

This is a super conference with an illustrious list of attendees ready to consider the future role of journalism in innovation

Also, International Museum Day is the same day and I will be appearing in Second Life in the Tech Virtual with Francesca LeBaron at The Tech Virtual's booth for International Museum Day - lots going on.

If you are on Second life, come to visit us!