USPS EDDM Telemarketer Call
I just got an odd call from a telemarketer calling on behalf of the U.S. Postal Service to let me know about their Every Door Daily Mail (EDDM) program. Here's how the call went (paraphrasing for length):
Telemarketer (TM): Are you the head of advertising? What is your first name?
Me: Yes I am*. My name is David.
TM: Hi I'm calling today on behalf of the USPS to see if you know about our free service, the EDDM?
Me: No, I don't know what that is.
TM: Oh, well if you could just go to gateway.usps.com and click New User Registration.
Me: This looks familiar. I think I've already registered before when I went to order Priority Mail envelopes for my company.
TM: Oh, well just go ahead and click the link and fill out the form and it will tell you if you are already registered.
Me: <thinking: Um, shouldn't you already know if I'm registered? Why are you calling me?> Ok, I'll fill out the form.
<the form is long, requesting a username, password, two reminder questions, and full contact info. I laboriously fill it out. In the background on the phone I can hear a thousand other call center personnel clearly.>
Me: The form said I'm already registered. <I click back to the gateway page and log in and it works>
TM: Oh, ok. Well, now that you're logged in, do you have time to demo EDDM?
Me: Uh, sure.
TM: Ok, do you already do any direct marketing?
Me: Oh, yes of course.
TM: <long pause> Oh, well do you typically mail in amount larger than 100?
Me: Uh, actually we usually mail 100,000 or more at a time...
TM: <long pause> Oh, that's quite a few. Well, let's do the demo. Please click the link for Every Door Daily Mail.
Me: Ok, and it asks me to take a demo, so I clicked that. I got to a new page that asks me again if I want to take a demo, so I clicked that.
TM: Great! Now fill in your location.
Me: Uh, OK. <I fill in the form (which doesn't seem to remember my registration) and click for a map. The map comes up showing a broad circle around my office>
TM: Great! Now just uncheck boxes in the form below the map until you get under 5,000 names...
<the page is Flash, and it has been statically sized for a monitor bigger than mine, so I can't see the form at the bottom and can't scroll down. I click the "Select All" twice, removing all selections, and then just pick one Zip Code on the list>
Me: Ok, now what?
TM: Great! Now you'll see the cost to do what we call a saturation mailing.
Me: I know what a saturation mailing is. This would be great if I were a painter or a plumber looking for local contacts, but my company markets nationally and internationally.
TM: Oh, I guess this wouldn't work for you, then. Well, have a nice day! <hangs up>
Come on, USPS! Yes, you have to work on new offers and the EDDM thing is probably a great tool for a small, local business. But then you hire a large call center, give them inaccurate or incomplete data, and pay them to call individuals and waste their time and your money on a product that does not help them. Your web portal is terrible, and you poorly train your callers. You are trying to SELL LISTS and you have a woefully and painfully obvious bad call list to market them. Is it any wonder at all that you're having financial trouble? Does anyone there think??
* Note: I am not really the head of marketing or advertising, that distinction belongs to another. But I've learned that if I tell a telemarketer I'm not, they repeatedly request that I blind transfer them to the head of my department. If I ask them what they want, they always refuse to tell me, or give me a very vague answer, and they take an attitude that I'm some junior staffer who can't understand what they're offering and is generally a waste of their time. I'll listen to any telemarketer and whatever they have to say because I respect the profession, but you can't just throw a bunch of untrained folks in a room with telephones and a CRM with incomplete and incorrect data and expect it to work. This happens a lot in scams; it saddens me to see the USPS doing this...