Tag Archives: advertising

A chat with Comcast… “This is a rare and complicated issue.”


Comcast Remote Mascot Rubber Suit 2011 Festiva...

Comcast Remote Mascot Rubber Suit 2011 Festival of the Arts June 04, 201124 (Photo credit: stevendepolo)

We’ve all called the cable company, right?  We all know the steps in the process; The unplugging, the replugging, the test signals.  It descends into ridiculousness pretty quickly.  So does my chat with technical support.  This was after trying the unplugging/replugging solution, calling the line and getting the automates system to send a test signal to my cable box & tell me to wait a half an hour for it to take effect, and then talking to a real live person who sent the same signal, told me to wait 45 minutes for it to take effect, and managed to advertise their home phone and internet services… on a technical support call.   That’s more annoying that seeing catering advertisements everywhere in Panera & Boston Market.

chat id: a543eaef-97d5-4dbf-b2ad-9222056467f0
Problem: Not all channels are displaying on 2nd cable box s/n:############. Problem has been occurring all week. I have tried the unplug/replug trick, called the 800# 2x, automated sys & operator both sent reset signal to the box to no avail.
Eric > My Issue: Not all channels are displaying on 2nd cable box s/n:############. Problem has been occurring all week. I have tried the unplug/replug trick, called the 800# 2x, automated sys & operator both sent reset signal to the box to no avail.
Jerand > Hello Eric, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Jerand. Please give me one moment to review your information.
Jerand > Oh my, I can’t imagine myself having those equipment issues especially that cable TV is part of my daily routine, no worries, we’ll definitely work on a sure fix to resolve this one way or the other.
Jerand > I’m really sorry that you have experienced this issue.
Jerand > I am seeing here that you have problem in getting channels with your box, correct?
Eric > Thank you Jerand.
Eric > That is correct. Not all channels are displaying on my box.
Eric > For example, the History Channel. (#53 regular, 876 digital.)
Eric > I had a similar issue when I first installed these new HD boxes.
Jerand > Are you able to see history channel in channel 46?
Eric > s/n above was somehow replaced by an emoticon… actual s/n: ############
Jerand > How may boxes do you have, Eric?
Eric > No, I try to see channel 46, and it takes it to 47 (AMC), still no picture.
Eric > We have 2 boxes. The other one is working perfectly fine. Watching H2 right now in HD.
Jerand > So you have 2 HD boxes, correct?
Eric > Yes, that is correct.
Jerand > Thanks for clarifying that.
Jerand > I am going to perform a diagnostic check of your services and equipment. This “Health Check” verifies the current status of your equipment and you services. It should only take a minute or two for the results. Would you mind staying on the chat?
Eric > No problem, Jerand. I would like this issue to be resolved tonight if possible.
Jerand > Thanks for clarifying that.
Jerand > I appreciate your cooperation.
Jerand > Thank you.
Jerand > By the way, let me share with you a very entertaining Comcast feature. Did you know you can watch many of your favorite TV shows and movies online at no additional cost with Comcast. Check out http://www.xfinitytv.com to watch the latest TV shows, relive a favorite television moment, or just relax with a movie. All you need to do is to open a browser, type http://www.xfinitytv.com and you can start to witness thousands of fascinating titles and TV shows.
Eric > Thanks for your help, I look forward to the “Health Check” results.
Eric > That sounds interesting, but I don’t watch much TV on my computer.
Jerand > Thank you for patiently waiting. I apologize for it being longer than you expected.
Jerand > I don’t see anything on your account or any outage in your area that would be causing this issue.
Jerand > Can you please check on your box and see if there is any progress.
Eric > Thanks Jerand. Our working cable box did cut out & come back on…but the box that’s not working is still not working.
Jerand > Is that with the same box, correct?
Eric > Yes, that is correct. Box ############ is still not working correctly.
Jerand > Please bare with me.
Eric > No problem.
Jerand > Would you allow me 2-3 minutes to check on this again?
Eric > Yes, be my guest. Thank you!
Jerand > You are most welcome.
Jerand > While waiting I want to introduce to you comcast.com, Comcast.com has an extensive series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that cover all of our products. Customers do not have to sign in to access the FAQs. Quick steps to do it. Open a web browser window and go to http://customer.comcast.com/Pages/HelpNFC.aspx?id=Comcast-Help-and-Support-Cable-TV On the home page, the navigation menus are on the left side of the window and click on Customers then Help and Support.
Jerand > Oh, by the way.
Jerand > Are you having skipping channel issues?
Eric > I’m trying chat because both of my phone calls to 1-800-XFINITY amount to being as helpful as asking my wall to fix the cable box. I’m not sure what you mean by skipping channels?
Jerand > Can you please tell me what channels are you trying to watch?
Eric > Thank you for informing me about the FAQ. You may want to tell your managers/superiors that it’s quite annoying to have Comcast features or other services advertised to you while you’re on chat (or on a phone line) trying to resolve a technical issue. I understand that you’re just doing your job… so I can’t get mad at you. It’s a goofy idea.
Eric > I am trying to watch the History Channel. Either 53 regular definition or 875 HD.
Eric > Actually, the box that WAS working fine… now has “To Be Announced” in every time slot in the guide menu.
Jerand > Sorry about the the advertisement.
Jerand > When you access channel 53 and 758, TCM and HISTORY HD, what can you see on the screen?
Eric > Again, I understand it’s not your fault or decision, Jerand. You are trying your best to help me out.
Eric > I see a black screen (with a temporary blue info box at the bottom) when I try 53 & 758. Those aren’t the correct channels for my area.
Eric > 53 is the History Channel here.
Eric > The menu shows that American Pickers should be on right now, but it’s a black screen.
Eric > No sound.
Jerand > Thanks for clarifying that.
Jerand > Hold on a minute please.
Jerand > This is a rare and complicated issue.
Jerand > This could be a box problem.
Eric > No problem.
Eric > Is there a way that I can get a new box to install?
Jerand > May I know the type of connector that you are using to connect the cable box to your TV? i,e. RCA(yellow, white, red), Component(blue, green, red), Coax(the same wire used to connect the box to the wall).
Jerand > Correct! It is really possible. You can swap your box at your nearest local office.
Eric > Component.
Jerand > Do you have an HDMI wire?
Eric > The TV that I’m connecting to doesn’t have an HDMI input. It’s an older flat screen with only DVI, component, & coax inputs.
Eric > I am able to see some channels with no issues. 802 (local KDKA channel 2 for example) is displaying properly.
Jerand > Can we follow these steps please:
Jerand > 1. Locate one of the following buttons on your TV remote- Input, TV/VCR, Source. Press whichever is available. 2. Select the correct input. Please take note of the following. ***If you are using HDMI cable wire to connect the box to the TV, make sure your TV is on HDMI input. *** If coax cable, it should be on channel 3 or 4. *** If component cables (colored wires), on Video or Aux.
Eric > Yes, I have the component cable connected, and the TV is on the input setting for the correct connection.
Eric > Jerand, I’m really really not an idiot. I’m actually quite technically savvy.
Jerand > I’ve reviewed our systems and we’ve performed the necessary troubleshooting. Obviously there is still an issue so I feel the best method is to open a ticket to report this to our technician team.
Jerand > I believe this is a defective box.
Jerand > You can swap this box at your nearest local office, Eric.
Eric > That would be awesome, but I work on the road & don’t have time to wait at home during the day for a cable technician to visit. Can I get a box in the mail & send one back? That’s how I got the HD boxes before.
Jerand > Sure! I would be glad to do that for you.
Eric > I have no idea where the local Comcast office is, or if I can even get there during their operating hours.
Eric > Jerand, you are a saint. Thank you for your time and persistence.
Jerand > Please give me a minute to process your request.
Eric > When you tell your manager/supervisor that the advertisements are annoying to customers, tell them that you need a raise.
Jerand > Acknowledge, Eric. I am sorry.
Eric > I think we may have a bit of a language barrier here. English isn’t your first language, is it? No matter. We’re arriving at an agreeable solution, my friend.
Jerand > Acknowledged*
Jerand > I am sorry for the typo, I am handling 4 customers now.
Jerand > But you are my first priority.
Eric > Wow, that’s a lot to handle! Thank you for your time.
Jerand > There would be a $9.95 fee for shipping the box, I will do credit this amount for an inconvenience.
Jerand > In order for me to validate this shipping transaction, I need to verify the account completely. For verification purposes, may I please have your account number?
Eric > Thank you, sounds like a plan.
Eric > Sure: ______________
Jerand > I am almost done, please give me 1 more minute.
Eric > Anything for you, my friend.
Jerand > Thank you for patiently waiting. I apologize for it being longer than you expected.
Eric > This is the best customer service I have ever received from Comcast.
Jerand > Here is your order # ______________.
Jerand > You will be receiving the HD box within 3-5 business days.
Eric > The people I talked to on the phone might has well have been robots.
Eric > Thank you, Jerand. Good luck with your other 3 customers! Don’t forget to tell your boss that you deserve a raise. (…and that in-support advertisements are more annoying than nails on a chalkboard.)
Jerand > You are most welcome.
Jerand > Just a quick recap, we have check the input on your box, connections, and since we have detected that this a problem with the box we prefer to change to box. We shipped and I already credited the $9.95 shipping fee.
Jerand > Just to let you know, at the end of this chat there will be a short survey. I would appreciate it if you would take a moment to complete it so we can continue to improve the service we provide to you.
Jerand > Is there anything else I can help you with? I am glad to assist you further.
Eric > Nope, that’s all tonight. I understand that a box is coming to my house, I will be credited the shipping charge, and that I know how to connect the box to my TV and select the correct input with the remote control. I also understand that there will be a survey. Will I get a credit on my cable bill for all the TV that I will miss in the next 3 to 5 business days while I wait for this box?
Jerand > Sure, I will also make sure you will not be billed for the interval where you had no service, so no worries, this is as good as fixed.
Jerand > Yes, you will be receiving that with 3-5 business days.
Eric > Dude, that RULES.
Eric > Thank you for your time & assistance.
Jerand > You are most welcome.
Jerand > Thank you for your patience and understanding as well.
Jerand > Is there anything else I can help you with? I am glad to assist you further.
Eric > Nope that’s all this evening, sir.
Jerand > I would greatly appreciate it if you can spare a few seconds to take the survey. Your favorable answer will inspire us to continue improving our service. Once you click on “EXIT CHAT” it is located on the upper-right corner of the chat box, you can now “TAKE SURVEY” highlighted in red. I am glad that I was able to Resolved your issue, there is no additional steps needed. Your feedback would mean alot to me.
Eric > Rock n’ roll! \m/ I’ll give you high scores on the feedback.
Jerand > You are most welcome.
Jerand > I appreciate your cooperation.
Jerand > Take care of yourself for me.
Jerand > Don’t forget the survey!
Jerand > Thank you for contacting Comcast! We appreciate your business and value you as a customer! If you need assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact us through Live Chat or E-mail (available 24 hours a day, 7days a week). Comcast also offers great FAQ and Help forums located at http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/ to help you solve many issues on your own. You can also reach us through our Hotline 1-800-9346489 or 1-800-XFINITY. To close the chat, please click the exit chat or end session button now. You take good care always and have a wonderful night!
Eric > You too, my friend, you too!
Outsourced (film)

Outsourced (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apparently being a smartass can save you a couple of bucks off of your cable bill.  It never hurts to ask, right?  I could break down so many of those responses & analyze them… but I thought it was a fun conversation as a whole.

I took a survey afterwards, & left this in the comment box:

I had to call 1-800-XFINITY twice, then do a chat to get a resolution.  Jerand who was the last to chat with me was an exemplary employee… despite what I perceived as a slight language barrier.  Your tech support shouldn’t pretend they’re in the US when they’re not.  Jerand is the man.  Give him a raise.

Also…  STOP WITH THE ADVERTISEMENTS WHILE I’M TRYING TO GET A TECHNICAL ISSUE RESOLVED.  It’s annoying, insulting, and aggravating.  Why would I want to order more services form a company that can’t provide me with ONE service that works properly?

Hope that dude gets some recognition.  Ha ha.

Go to Best Buy and set all the alarms to go off, right now.


Did you read the email that I sent to them?

I see this email reply as an (incredibly boring) invitation to go in to your local Best Buy & monkey around with everything.  Especially the alarm clocks.  Does Best Buy even sell alarm clocks any more?  If they do, do set them all to go off at weird intervals after hours… or even 10 or 15 minutes before they close.  If they’re clock radios, put them on the classical station or talk radio.  Do it on the demo cell phones if you can too.

This was their only [yawn] reply:

From: online.communities <online.communities@bestbuy.com>
Date: Fri, Jun 8, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Subject: RE: A Formal Apology
To: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>

Hello,

We always encourage you, our customer, to come in and look around or even test out our products, so you know what you like or don’t like about them. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us and I’ll be sure to pass this along to our Leadership Team.

Respectfully,
Justin|Community Connector
Corporate Campus
Online.Communities@BestBuy.com

I guess they didn’t “get” it, or find it amusing.  Of course setting all the alarm clocks is an innocuous thing to do at best, but I was acting like it was a big deal.  That’s why (I thought) it was funny.  Wow.  Best Buy popped my funny balloon.

What a boring dud.

English: Vintage clock radio

English: Vintage clock radio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

<shameless plug> Oh yeah, while you’re at it… set all the browsers to http://www.ErnieAndTheBerts.com, too. </shameless plug>

Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Beeps, & Buzzers ⌨


Well, I sent what I thought were going to be two rather fun emails, but they have both gone unanswered.  Wow.  What a giant dud.  As my wife constantly reminds me, I certainly find myself amusing.  So, in that spirit I thought I’d share these emails anyway.  Perhaps you’ll chuckle too.

The first was to Best Buy via their form online and to the Twelpforce email address:

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, May 31, 2012
Subject: A Formal Apology
To: twelpforce@bestbuy.com

Greetings Best Buy Associates,

I write to you today to offer a formal apology.  I have lived with guilt for many years, and I would like to be able to clear my conscience.  Sadly, you literally asked for what you got, but you certainly didn’t deserve it my friends.  I beg you in advance to not unleash the wrath of the Twelpforce or Geek Squad upon my humble self.

Do you remember the commercials from about ten or so years ago that begged one to come in & play with all of the electronics in the store?  Well, I said you asked for it.  You did.  I simply complied.

I went into one of your stores, and tried my best to restrain my maniacal laughter as I set all of the alarm clocks & clock radios to go off at different intervals after the store closed.  Some were 5 minutes, some where 10 or even 20.  It was incredibly hard to stifle my giggles and pretend like I was incredibly interested in these timepieces.  I don’t know how no one noticed.  Now I can’t get 10 feet into a Best Buy door without a blue-shirted hawk swooping in to ask if I need help, and I’ll get asked every 3 feet after that if I turn it down.  Perhaps shenanigans like mine are why?

At one time, I wished that I could have been around to see the chaos.  Okay, maybe I still do.  Perhaps a master switch would have cut the power to all of them after the first one went off.  I won’t pretend to know the internal machinations of such a colossal retail empire.  Perhaps I made a memory for that team and brought them together through adversity in the name of silencing alarm clocks.  Perhaps it is a good story to tell trainees, or it may have even been forgotten over time.  I was much younger & more brash then.  I thought I knew everything.  I thought the world was my playground. To be blunt, I was an arrogant young miscreant.  I don’t remember if it was planned, or spur of the moment.

I’m sure that when the internet was still “new”, I set more than a few of your browsers to my old band’s web page & walked away.  I did this in every store though, not just Best Buy.  I won’t apologize for that.  A pimp’s got to pimp, right?

I would like to offer an apology to Best Buy as a corporation, the Best Buy employees startled and/or annoyed that day (and their families), and to all of the Best Buy associates that have joined the team since that day (somewhere between 2000 and 2002).  I believe this was at the Greensburg PA location across from Westmoreland Mall.  Please pass this along to them, if there are any left that may have been working that day.  I have seen the err of my ways, and I can live with the guilt no longer!

Thank you for your time, I hope you find it within you to pass along forgiveness for this egregious behavior.

Regretfully,
-Waldo Lunar

The next one was to Bed Bath & Beyond via their webform:

Do you remember those Best Buy commercials from 10 or so years ago where they asked you to come in & try the stuff out?

I did.  I went in one night & set all of their alarm clocks to go off about 5, 10, 15, or 20 minutes after closing.  I bet it was hilarious.  I only wish I had been there to see it.  I bet that happened often.

I noticed that you have a lot of kitchen timers and egg timers.  What time do you close?

Thanks,
-Waldo

I thought it was funny.  Apparently Best Buy and Bed Bath & Beyond did not.  I did get the standard “we got your message, someone will write back with in 3 days” replies, over a week ago.  I really thought Best Buy would come out with a witty intelligent retort.  You’d think an electronics company would be helmed by geeks who found humor in such ridiculousness.  Bed Bath & Beyond apparently do not go too far into the beyond part.  Oh well.

Best Buy

Best Buy (Photo credit: Ron Dauphin)

English: A Bed Bath and Beyond store in a shop...

Bed Bath and Beyond (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, is Taco Bell in on the joke, or not?


The other day I made a Facebook post about Taco Bell‘s commercials.  It got people excited, and it got me thinking.  Are Taco Bell’s commercials purposely aiming at stoners?  I would say yes, but maybe I’m over-thinking it.  Maybe it’s a humorous accident.  Maybe I just really want to try that Dorito taco shell.

Eric Carroll | Why doesn't Taco Bell just give up on "4th meal" and "late night munchies" and this Doritos shell business and just say "Taco Bell, get high and come to the border!" That "bawww" in their commercials might as well say "bong". Cheech & Chong would probably do their commercials. They reunited & probably could use some cash.  _____  Guy Montag | i have no idea what you're talking about  Jocelyn Sunder | double like!  Eric Carroll | I may have to blog about this.  Mike Copen | When are we getting the taco bell breakfast that cali gets?  Eric Carroll | When our stoners learn to stay up that late?  Jocelyn Sunder | will never happen dude, they're too tired  Jocelyn Sunder | stoners are anti-morning  Eric Carroll | Damn dirty hippies.  Jocelyn Sunder | hey man that's racist.  Jocelyn Sunder | you don't have to be a dirty hippie to be a stoner and the anti-pot dirty hippies probably don't appreciate your stereotypes lol  Eric Carroll | Wait, what?  Jocelyn Sunder | has anyone actually tried the dorito shell taco? just out of curiosity cause it looks gross to me but... you never know.  Eric Carroll | Ha ha. Pot smokers don't have any reading comprehension unless they're high... so they won't care when they're able to understand my statements, and won't understand my statements when they'd care.  Eric Carroll | The Dorito shell kind of scares me.  Eric Carroll ‎| ...And Taco Bell is starting to have the Pizza Hut effect on me.  Eric Carroll | http://aixelsyd13.wordpress.com/2010/12/19/wald-maze-letter-for-pizza-hut/  Eric Yanyo | I dunno but I'm getting awful sick of that stupid commercial where the dude drove 900 miles to get a stupid dorito taco. More like, he drove 900 seconds to the local 7-11 to get a bag of taco flavored doritoes and then take a nap.  Eric Carroll | Ha. He drove 3 miles and forgot where he was going. That's how he ended up 900 miles away.  Chuck Adams | They should stop marketing their laxatives as food...  Eric Carroll | Late night trotskis...  Kyle Healy | That's my bronco berry you're hating on pal  Andrew Welsh | The Doritos shell is amazing. I love them and wish I could eat one every day.  Eric Carroll | I'm not hating on it, I'm just saying stop hinting... and just say it.

♫♬ Late night munchies... ♫♬

I (of course) decided to write to Taco Bell and ask them about it.  Here’s what I sent…

⌓⌓⌓

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
To: Rob.Poetsch@yum.com
Cc: Brittany.Hunsaker@yum.com
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012
Subject:
⌓ Taco Bell’s Drug Culture Advertising?

¡Hola, hombres from the border!

I’ve been wondering about your advertising for quite some time.  With phrases like “late night munchies” and “fourth meal”, are you actively trying to evoke a connection to pot smokers?  That “baaaawww” yell in you jingle might as well be the word “bong”.  Now with this Dorito taco shell and the kid that drove 900 miles to get one, it’s just pushing it over the edge.  Are you planning a film for it in the vein of Harold & Kumar go to White Castle?  If not, maybe you should.

I just can’t tell if you’re aware of it or not.  It’s genius either way.

If you are aware of it, wow.  Way to straddle the subculture line while subliminally (or not so) appealing to what has to be a core makeup of your consumer base.  If you’re not aware of it, then… well, maybe you ought to talk to your advertising agency or marketing department or whoever handles such campaigns.  They are the true geniuses to behold here.

Maybe I’m just hyper-aware of nonsense or trying to make correlations where there are none… and you really see no connection or intend one with your commercials and stoner culture.  I mean, I don’t partake… but consider myself well informed as I have seen Friday, Half Baked, and several Cheech & Chong movies.  I refuse to think I’m the only one that sees it.

If I see it, surely you see it too?  Why don’t you just come out & say it?  I have some possible new slogans for you…

“Cure the munchies with our crunchies!”
“Get baked at the Bell!”
“Fishbowl then drive thru!”
“Open late with a well lit parking lot for shady deals!”

Well, that last one needs some work.  I’m anxious to hear your thoughts on the whole thing.  Thank you for your time.

Inquisitively,
-Waldo
world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

⌓⌓⌓

TACO BELL | LEGALIZE POT OUR MENU IS FOR STONERS

At least the employees here agree (if this is indeed real).

I’m anxious to see what they send back.  Will they acknowledge it?  Will they be shocked?  Will they act surprised?

Did they give that kid enough coupons to equal 55½¢ per mile?  That’s $500 in Taco Bell Bucks… and depending on the year of that Volvo, he might not be getting that good of a deal on the gas milage.

I know, I’m over-analyzing the thing… but that’s what makes my blog fun.

I feel like they know exactly what they’re doing, but I guess there’s a fine line between finding your market & making overt marijuana references.  Perhaps the latter would get some people up in arms.  Has weed not become that acceptable yet?  I know functioning contributing members of society that smoke… but then again I have seen some people that are consumed by it.

TACO BELL | WE SUPPORT PROPOSITION 19 ~LOL~

They don't really make tilde characters for those signs, do they?

I guess it’s still illegal… so they can’t tell you to bake up & amble slowly to the border.  Actually, a string of “get high responsibly & feed yourself at Taco Bell” ads would be really really funny… or a play on the medical/medicinal angle.  Health food to go with your special green medicine & help with that nasty glaucoma?

Do you feel like Taco Bell knows what they’re doing, or do you think it’s a string of coincidence?

Are they advertising to stoners and dirty pot smoking hippies (I use that term with affection), or am I thinking too much?

Would you drive 900 miles for a Dorito shell taco?  Would you do it if Taco Bell footed the bill?  Have you tried one?  Did you like it?

Do you get late night munchies?  Do you enjoy a fourth meal?  Are you a dirty pot smoking hippie?  Do you work at Taco Bell’s ad agency?

A food order for the 22th of December, eh?


Well.  Mr. Simson & Ms. Baker have some competition in the grifter circuit.  Seems all these scam artists really like chicken Caesar products.  I’d still like to know how they got my email & why it’s associated with ordering food.  Mr. Smith would like to throw his hat into the ring:

From: paul jason
Date: Fri, Dec 9, 2011
Subject: mr paul smith food order
To:

Hello how are you doing today my name is paul smith My Mom birthday is coming up on the 22th of december and i will like to place an order for 150 grilled chicken salad in individual pack for the 150 guest, it will be pick up by 3pm on the given date and i will like to inform you that am ready to make the full payment with my credit card today so can i know the total cost for the order plus tax…..get back to me with this following information below.

Restaurant address:
Personal cell number:
Total cost for my order plus tax:
Type of the credit card you accept

Regards
paul

Ah, the 22th of December is indeed a fine day.

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Dec 12, 2011
Subject: Re: mr paul smith food order
To: paul jason

Hello Paul,

What a wonderful son you are!  It’s so nice of you to plan a party for your mom on the 22th.  Which of our locations would you want to pickup from?  Generally, I like to personally deliver to ensure the quality of the food upon delivery.  In fact, I can give 1 free grilled chicken salad in individual pack if I can deliver & hang out at the party.  I can ensure quick delivery too, my van made the Kessel run in under 5 parsecs.

Does the party have a theme?  Have you thought about a Star Wars theme?  I can make excellent TIE-fighter shaped chicken caesar wraps, that I display in front of a giant cheese-ball Death Star.  It really is quite breathtaking.  I have some friends in the 501st Legion that can come out too.  They work for a charitable donation made in their name, we’ll just have to feed them.

The price would be $10 per person, so if you have 150 people, and 5 from the 501st Legion, we’re looking at $1550 total, and $1658.50 with tax.

Have you thought about drinks?  If you’re going with the Star Wars theme, you might want to consider Imperial Stout Trooper or Dark Helmet Imperial Schwarzbier.  I can recommend a good supplier if you don’t have one.

I really hope your mom is a Star Wars fan.  Does she need a date to the party?  These are the grilled chicken caesar TIE-fighter wraps you are looking for.

Regards,
-Waldo Lunar
Owner, Operator, Emperor
OMGWTFBBQ, Inc.

I thought it was time for a departure from the Hawaiian Toga Party theme.  In hindsight, now I really do want a Death Star cheese ball.  Can someone get on that?

Death Star Cheese Ball

No one took the time to make TIE-Fighter crackers?

From: paul Smith <paulsmith5485@yahoo.com>
Date: Mon, Dec 12, 2011
Subject: Re: mr paul smith food order
To: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>

Thanks for your email,I am very happy to hear from you with the cost of the order plus tax of my order which is $1658.50 for my order and its okay by me and i want the chicken salad so I will prefer them packed in to-go boxes. Mean while i would like you to add an additional $1275 plus the total price of the order so that you can have all that charged on my credit card now. The funds will be wire to the private carrier who will be coming for the pick up of the food in your place in cash via western union money transfer. i would like you to add it all together plus extra $100 Western union charges for wiring the $1275 to the private carrier and let me have the grand total price inclusive of the tax fee and the 3% credit card company charge fee for the transaction all together,so that I can give you my credit card to charge for the total. I will also like to know what type of credit card you accept for payment. i just want to let you know that i am just back from the hospital i was down with a diagnosis of cancer of the lungs as such i had to spend some time in the intensive care. so i cannot go to western union money transfer for now and pay the driver that is why i want you to help me pay them and you will charge my credit card for the total estimation for the food and the Carrier charges,Hope to hear back from you soon with the grand total so i can forward my credit card information and the carrier’s information to wire the cash via western union transfer to them asap.

Final Break Down:
Foods Order :$1658.50
Carrier’s fee: $1275
Western union fee: $100
3% CC company fee: ?

Unfazed, he was all about putting together a price, but not sure to what end… he wanted to give me a total?  Where do I get scammed here?  Does the “oh I’m paying the courier and he’ll pay you” come next?  I really don’t want to take any credit card information, in case the action in itself is illegal.

Gross Death Star Cheese Ball

This one does not look appetizing at all.

I wrote back offering to be more helpful…

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Dec 12, 2011
Subject: Fwd: mr paul smith food order
To: paulsmith5485@yahoo.com

Hello Again Mr. Smith,

May I call you Paul?  I hope your mother is well, have you talked with her about the Star Wars theme?  I hope that your lung cancer treatment has gone well, Paul!  I’m sorry to hear that you were down with the sickness.  Ooh ah ah ah.  (Sorry, I have a form of Tourette’s that only comes out when I type.  It prevents me from using the Backspace or Delete key too.)  Perhaps you can wear a suit like Darth Vader to improve your breathing?  His lungs weren’t cancerous, but burned quite badly.  I believe all of life’s problems can be solved using Star Wars as a guide.

Why don’t you let me make this easy for you, and I’ll deliver to your location, free of charge!  That way, you don’t need to pay a courier, and I can take your card info. upon delivery, it will save you $1300… or give you a higher beer budget!  A true Jedi would carry out the mission himself.  I’ll even knock a dollar of of each head & provide the Death Star cheese ball free of charge.  Do you know if anyone attending has food allergies?  The cheese ball comes two ways – boy (with nuts) or girl (no nuts).

Does your mom like to drink?  I’m a fan of blue milk & several alcoholic beverages.  Sometimes at night when I’m all snuggled up in my Tauntaun sleeping bag, my R2-D2 trash can is my only friend.  Sometimes I sleep with leftover chicken caesar salad in the bag, because Tauntauns apparently smell bad on the inside.  I imagine rotting chicken, mayo, & raw eggs would simulate that smell pretty well.  I’m drinking blue milk now, mixed with some bourbon.  Actually, the blue milk is eggnog with food coloring.  Aldi doesn’t carry blue milk, and they look at me like I’m crazy every time I request it, so I have to make my own.

Can I come to your party?  I really need this.  In fact, I’ve never made a chicken caesar salad in my life.  But, I found a few good recipes on COOKS.com and I’m willing to try.  OMGWTFBBQ is mainly barbecue as the name suggests.  I cook my chicken breasts in a modified Darth Vader toaster so they come out looking awesome.  Our ribs are delicious, they’re Mustafarian style, blackened with smoky seasoning.

Can I ask where you found my email address?  This all has me very excited.  I think I’m really drunk, so I should end this email before I become incoherent.  I really need your business.  Can you send some photos of your mom?  Does she need a date to the party?

May the force be with you, from OMGWTFBBQ to you, happy birthday mom!

-Waldo Lunar
Owner, Operator, Emperor
OMGWTFBBQ, Inc.

No more correspondence.  Apparently Mr. Smith has no patience, or just is the same person as “John” & “Lori” from the last 2 times and was exasperated at the onset.

It's a (mouse)trap!

I Googled "Death Star Cheese Ball" & this came up. |-o-|

Why do these people prey upon us here in the United States?  From the email, I hope English is their second (or 3th) language.  Are we seen as easy targets?  Are we more Gullible?  There’s more of us?  Is there general hatred towards our country?  Do any of these emails ever work?

So, who’s going to start a catering business with me called OMGWTFBBQ?

OMG.WTF?BBQ!

OMG.WTF?BBQ!

More scams abound: Tried scamming me twice this week. (page 2)

Seriously, about the cheese ball…  Someone tell my wife.  My birthday’s coming up.  Let’s go Death Star cheese ball instead of a cake.  I want some TIE-fighter shaped crackers too.  I don’t think she reads thins unless I call her attention to it directly.  Something about “I listen to your insanity all the time in person, you expect me to read it too?” is her (valid) argument on her blog reading stance.

The worst scammers ever try again…


You read the Chicken Caesar Wrap Scam post, right? This familiar assault came at my inbox again.  I wonder if Mr. Simson and Ms. Baker know each other, went to the same poorly taught “how to be an internet scammer” class, or are indeed the same person.  If they’re not the same person, at the very least they bought the same email list or scan bot program.

From: ray baker [lorisandra72@yahoo.com]
Date: On Mon, Dec 5, 2011
Subject: Order for my Dad Birthday….
To: [blank?]

Hello

My name is Lori Sandra Baker and I would like to order individual grilled chicken Caesar salad in your restaurant,for 150 people on 13th of December and pick up time is 3 pm and it’s for my Dad’s Birthday Party and it will be picked up by Carrier Agent and I am ready to pay the full payment with my credit card so can you make the order for me on that date while you get me the grand total of the foods inclusive of the tax fee,get back to me with the total cost,you can also get back to me.

Regard

I wrote back with a similar response to last time (some parts blatantly cut & pasted – is it plagiarizing if you steal from yourself?):

From: Waldo Lunar [world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com]
Date: Tue, Dec 6, 2011
Subject: Re: Order for my Dad Birthday….
To: lorisandra72@yahoo.com

Hello Ray & Lori,

Sounds like a great time! Would you like the salads in plain old salad form, or in Chicken Cæsar Salad wrap form? The wraps have been quite a hot item lately. May I ask where you found our humble establishment, and how you heard of our incredible Chicken Cæsar Salad? If you have a courier agent, I must assume you are quite fancy. Quite fancy indeed. I’m glad to have been noticed.

Would you like a full menu? We have quite a few price levels and advertising options to help keep the cost low. I also offer party planning, and discounts if I’m invited. (I don’t get out much, I’m always making Cæsar dressing and grilling chicken!) I could deliver, and we could do cash on delivery if that’s OK.

As far as pricing… Would you like to stamp your father’s name along with a happy birthday message on the outside of the wrap(s)? Advertising with printing directly on the wraps is standard for us, so it’s no big deal & not much of an extra charge for us to add a custom message. We feel that we must seize every opportunity to advertise.You heard of us somehow, right?

Currently we’re working on exciting “edible” advertisements that will pass through your system and remind you of our catering services upon their exit. They always come out (well, usually always), but they’re not always readable. We need to work on a smooth non-stick or oily surface that always floats. We hope to be the world leader in defecation-marketing!

I have a party theme idea for you too… Toga Luau. It’s going to be a thing, I tell you. It will be huge. Your dad can say “I had that party before it was cool.” I mean, brilliantly flowered togas? Let it simmer.

About the price… I like the show Pawn Stars. You ever watch? How about you give me a number that’s ridiculously low, and I’ll come back with an equally ridiculous high number, and we’ll negotiate.

Looking forward to your business!
-Waldo Lunar

From here on out there’s no mention of Ray, the name from the original email.  I hope Ray is OK, and not tied up in his basement.  At any rate, they continue:

From: Lori Sandra [lorisandra72@yahoo.com]
Date: Tue, Dec 6, 2011
Subject: Re: Order for my Dad Birthday….
To: Waldo Lunar [world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com]

Hello

Thanks for the email Before you go Ahead i will like to Know if you accept Credit Card for Payment

Hope to hear from you asap

Regard

Regard, indeed.

From: Waldo Lunar [world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com]
Date: Tue, Dec 6, 2011
Subject: Re: Order for my Dad Birthday….
To: Lori Sandra [lorisandra72@yahoo.com]

Hello Lori,

I can accept a credit card, I guess. I’m not sure if I like accepting credit card info. via email. Perhaps I should set up a PayPal account? From which of our locations would you like to pickup? I hear there are some shady people out there looking to grab cc info from emails.

Have you thought about the wraps, the advertising, the Toga Luau, and my invitation yet?

Also, come at me with a price!

OMGWTFBBQ,
-Waldo

Seriously, if I ever own a BBQ joint, that’s what I’m gonna call it. OMGWTFBBQ! Maybe OMG.WTF?BBQ! or something close. I bet there’s already one out there.

OMGWTFBBQ

OMGWTFBBQ

Unfazed, it goes on…

From: Lori Sandra [lorisandra72@yahoo.com]
Date: Tue, Dec 6, 2011
Subject: Re: Order for my Dad Birthday….
To: Waldo Lunar [world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com]

i have Credit Card Not paypal ok

Getting testy?

From: Waldo Lunar [world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com]
Date: Tue, Dec 6, 2011
Subject: Re: Order for my Dad Birthday….
To: Lori Sandra [lorisandra72@yahoo.com]

Hello Lori,

I believe that you can use credit cards via PayPal. OMGWTFBBQ, Inc. is concerned about your privacy & personal information. Credit card will be fine.

What price would you like for the order? What about advertising, & the toga luau?

Cialoha (get it Ciao + Aloha…?),
-Waldo

Heh. At least I find myself amusing.

From: Lori Sandra [lorisandra72@yahoo.com]
Date: Tue, Dec 6, 2011
Subject: Re: Order for my Dad Birthday….
To: Waldo Lunar [world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com]

not interested

D’oh! I try to redeem myself, while trying to slightly up the ridiculousness. To what end, I have no idea.

From: Waldo Lunar [world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com]
Date: Tue, Dec 6, 2011
Subject: Re: Order for my Dad Birthday….
To: Lori Sandra [lorisandra72@yahoo.com]

Hello Lori,

May I ask why you’re all of a sudden not interested? You seemed quite eager to give me your credit card information. I’m not sure why. Shouldn’t we discuss details of the order before we discuss payment?

You’ll be sorry for passing up my Hawaiian toga party. It’s going to be all the rage next year. My on-wrap & defecation advertising promised DEEP discounts, and you still can’t see that we’re a perfect match?

I’m sorry for lashing out. Can I still come to the party?

“Welcome to Costco, I love you,”
-Waldo

Who loves Idiocracy? Everyone does (or should). Maybe “Lori” is a fan.  Maybe she thinks I’m dumb enough to fall for this crazy scam.

From: Lori Sandra [lorisandra72@yahoo.com]
Date: Tue, Dec 6, 2011
Subject: Re: Order for my Dad Birthday….
To: Waldo Lunar [world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com]

Okay

OK?  OK!

From: Waldo Lunar [world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com]
Date: Tue, Dec 6, 2011
Subject: Re: Order for my Dad Birthday….
To: Lori Sandra [lorisandra72@yahoo.com]

Dear Lori,

OK I can come to the party? Sweet! Where is it? I already know the time and date.

Want me to bring a giant Chicken Cæsar Salad, or some individual wraps? Would you like any sides?

Toga! Toga! Toga!
-Waldo

…and no further reply. Heh. Apparently the projected profit has now outweighed the effort.

I did, however, recently gain some insight on the objective.  A member at The BBQ Brethren Forum, colonel00, posted a link to my Chicken Cæsar Wrap scam blog post, and apparently Mr. Simson & Ms. Baker get around… under a few different aliases.  Poster chachahut provided some insight on the type of scam:

This is a form of a Courier Grift.

The grifter – in this case the emailer or in some cases a person calling via TTD – wants a large order of food. Rather than having the joint deliver – they will be sending a courier. As the courier requires cash payment, they will ask you to charge the credit card an additional amount – usually a few hundred to $1000 – and wire the money to the courier service. Why do you have to wire it? Well, the grifter is in the hospital & cannot take it or wire it to them & the courier does not accept credit cards (yeah right).

Of course – there is no courier service. It’s nothing more than a receiving address for any one foolish enough to send the wire. Additionally – the credit card used it certainly stolen & will ultimately get rejected or the charges will be reversed.

The whole thread can be seen here: Tried scamming me twice this week.

Interesting.  Convoluted, but interesting.  Google didn’t turn up much for “Courier Grift”, but I did find these interesting/enlightening sites after altering my search terms slightly:

Crazy.  Hard to believe that anyone can be lulled into this one.  I mean there really are a lot of steps, and it’s got to be hard to gain confidence via email.  It must work if there’s still people out there trying it.

I wonder what the BBQ aficionado guys would think of my local BBQ joint reviews or chipped ham BBQ?

The dreaded ‘individual Chicken Cæsar Salad Individual wrap’ scam…


Chicken Caesar wrap

Image by Tim Rodenberg via Flickr

At first, I thought this was someone mistaking me for McDonald’s (or another food place) again, then I thought it’s most likely spam.  At any rate, I’m having some fun at some scammer’s expense.  I don’t think English is their first language…

From: john simson <jsimson02983@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Nov 17, 2011
Subject: Attn-My Mom Birthday Party (Chicken Caesar Salad)
To:

Hello My name is John Simson and I would like to order for individual Chicken Caesar Salad Individual wrap in your restaurant for 150 people on 29th November and pick up time is 3pm and it’s for my Mom’s Birthday Party and it will be picked up by my courier agent and I am ready to pay the full payment with my credit card so get to me with the following information below…… 

Pickup Address: 
Personal cell #: 
Total cost for the food: 
Type of credit card: 


Best Regards, 
John Simson

Always eager to help, I wrote back.

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Nov 17, 2011
Subject: Re: Attn-My Mom Birthday Party (Chicken Caesar Salad)
To: john simson

Hello Mr. Simson,

It would be my pleasure to prepare your “individual Chicken Cæsar Salad Individual wrap” order for 150 people!  Can I ask where you found my company’s contact information?  We believe in strong kick-backs & discounts for referrals!

Would you like 150 wraps, or 200 or so …in case people want seconds?  I’m somewhat unclear on your wording… perhaps you would like one giant individual chicken cæsar salad wrap that can feed 150 people?

Your mom is a lucky lady!  To not only know 150 people, but to have a son like you that’s putting together such a grand event (with super-fine dining to boot) is an incredible thing.  Perhaps you can up your count to 151 and I’ll hand deliver?  I don’t have many friends, but I do like parties!

Would you like to stamp your mother’s name along with a happy birthday message on the outside of the wrap(s)?  Advertising with printing directly on the wraps is standard for us, so it’s no big deal & not much of an extra charge for us to add a custom message.  We feel that we must seize every opportunity to advertise.

Currently we’re working on exciting “edible” advertisements that will pass through your system and remind you of our catering services upon their exit.  They always come out (well, usually always), but they’re not always readable.  We need to work on a smooth non-stick or oily surface that always floats.  We hope to be a leader in defecation-marketing!

I don’t have a personal cell phone, as I mentioned before… I don’t have many friends.  I would prefer cash since I can deliver in person.  Then you won’t need to worry about my address… and I’m not sure why you’re asking for a type of credit card when you’re the one paying me.

I can get back to you with the total cost once you tell me if you desire the custom birthday message, how many wraps exactly, and if you’ll need any side orders.  May I reccomend the potato chips?  They’re homemade, and each one is designed like a tasty business card!  Also, I have a discount for friends, pending the party invitation.  Maybe your courier agent and I can hang out?  I like bicycles.

Looking forward to your business!
-Waldo Lunar

Reasonable enough questions, right?

From: John Simson <jsimson01@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, Nov 17, 2011
Subject: Re: Attn-My Mom Birthday Party (Chicken Caesar Salad)
To: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>

Thanks for the email,I want you to understand that am hearing impaired so the best way for me to communicate with you is via email and i can only make payment via my credit card.Thanks

WHAT?  Heh.  Sorry, that was tasteless.  I still don’t know how they’re going to scam me by providing their credit card information.  I don’t want to be baited into taking it either.

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Nov 17, 2011
Subject: Re: Attn-My Mom Birthday Party (Chicken Caesar Salad)
To: John Simson <jsimson01@yahoo.com>

Thanks again Mr. Simson,

We can do that then, no problem.  I abhor the phone.  See?  We’re already forming the bonds of friendship!  How is your mother?  I hope she is well.  Sorry it took so long for me to reply, I’m up to my eyeballs in turkey dinner preparation.  I think there must be a holiday next week, we’ve had a big rush for individual turkey wraps.

I am uncomfortable taking credit information via email.  Any type of card is acceptable.  Would you be able to pay upon pickup or delivery?  I can perhaps get one of those gadgets that connects to my work cell phone and swipes credit cards.  I hear that Nigerian scams abound out there on the internet… people phishing for personal details, and what-not.  They are indeed the scourge of the modern age, my friend.  They prey upon the naive, and the kind-hearted like you and me.

May I ask, why you were inquiring about a type of card if you’re the one paying… and why about a personal cell phone if you’re hearing impaired?  Is it to text?  Have you looked into a TDD system?

Also, as far as the pickup address, which location would you prefer for a pickup?

If you could please answer the questions from my last email, it would help move things along.  I also forgot to ask (silly me!) what the date of the party is?

I’m thinking cost-wise, we’ll be anywhere from $7 to $14 per person, depending on side options, possible drinks, portion sizes, and pending the custom matronly birthday wishes.  I realize that it’s a steep price, but my individual chicken Cæsar wraps are the best in the tri-state area.  “For real, son.”  …as they said in the streets a few years ago.  I joke, because I feel we will be great friends, John.

As soon as you answer all my questions, we’ll be good to go!  What kind of dress is the party?  I don’t want to show up in my tux if we’re all supposed to be in jeans!  Or is there a theme?  I went to a party one time where we all wore Hawaiian shirts.  It was very exotic!  Maybe with a chicken Cæsar theme, we could do a toga party?  Or, if everyone wore flowered sheets, a Hawaiian toga party?  Rome meets Maui!  I could put pineapple rings on the wraps to decorate.  I was also thinking if you’d like to attach a photo of your mother, we could also perhaps print that on the individual wraps?  Do you have a ukulele?  Maybe we can look up some Roman songs.

Please, respond at your earliest convenience my friend!  You should practice this to impress your mother: “Donec mater grata luau in honore tuo! Sit amicus recens Waldo.”  Google Translate is quite fun!

Malama pono salutem plurimam,
-Waldo

Your move, “Mr. Simson”!

Wraps

Image by Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr

And really though…  Toga Luau?  How awesome would that be?  And the advertisements in poop?  It’s coming.  Right after they start printing on the wraps themselves.  Why advertise on just the paper wrapper itself?

Boston Market ups the pressure… (a.k.a. What now, Panera Bread?)


Insanity.

That’s right.  Boston Market not only reached out via my contact form thanks to Facebook, but also had the cojones to do this…

Boston Market RT!

Boston Market RT!

I still haven’t received a reply to my email to Mr. Wakabayashi, but what now Panera Bread? What now?  Clearly, this will pan out to be a bigger rivalry than Neil Young vs. Skynrd, or East Coast Rap vs. West Coast Rap.  Maybe even bigger than me vs. the people that think I’m McDonald’s (At Least Mr. Wakabayashi used my contact form correctly!)

If you have no idea what’s going on, or if you work for Panera Bread.  You can catch up here…

In other news, did you know that they both cater?  I wish someone would have told me.

Panera Bread (Scott Twp. Greentree Road) on UrbanspoonI actually stopped at the local Panera the other night because the wife was sick and wanted some of that cheese-broccoli soup.  I went in to get some to go, and got myself a half of a turkey sandwich and a cup of the chicken noodle.

The employee (a young girl, of course) at the counter was quite friendly, asked if I wanted lettuce tomato or onion on the sandwich, and even asked if I wanted mustard and/or mayo.  Clearly, someone went over new procedures.  Sadly, I asked for lettuce & tomato… and got neither, but I did get mustard and mayo.  I applaud the effort, and shame on me for not checking before I left the store.

I have to say, after my initial complaint, they have totally stepped it up service-wise.  I still call shenanigans on the new soup.  They ought to let sales do the talking… OFFER BOTH.  It’s certainly a popular item.  Let the consumers decide if they want a great-tasting soup… or the crappy flat-noodled healthy soup.  Clearly, as a leader in the Fast Casual industry, you can afford to test the proverbial waters?  I think more changes have been made, but it’s still not the old soup.  Shenanigans.

Also, I counted 3 signs within  a span of about 8 feet on the counter where you wait for your order advertising the catering… and the pop machine still does it too.  I think the receipt may have even said something about it.

I spend far too much time contemplating fast food & fast casual dining.  If only I could save time buy purchasing already prepared meals.  Does anyone out there do that?

Boston Market is ready to battle.


Boston Market cup

In this corner...

Look out Panera Bread, Boston Market has your number!  I was out of town this weekend, and didn’t check email much.  I didn’t have the time & energy to properly respond to this until we came home.  I find this to be incredibly awesome.  Dennis “The New Guy” Wakabayashi from Boston Market is ready to put his company’s catering services to the test.  The line between my lunacy in email writing and reality is ever increasingly blurred.  Perhaps my preposterous idea will turn into a real happening.

Insanity.

Sparked by some snarky postings of various blog post url’s on Facebook

From: Dennis Wakabayashi <engage@bostonmarket.com>
To: <Me>
Sent: Friday, November 11, 2011
Subject: W(aL)D Feedback
Name: Dennis Wakabayashi
Email: engage@bostonmarket.com
Website: http://www.bostonmarket.com

Message / Comment:

Hi, I’m the new guy here at Boston Market, just brought on, to engage with awesomeness like yours. I loved your article and definitely interested in the catering battle royal at your place…count me in! Not only that my friend your band has some T-shirt coming your way!

Send me a list of sizes, and a couple videos of your music, so we can be sure you’re rocking the family friendly vibe that we know and love….

If you want to reach out to me directly DO IT. dwakabayashi@bost.com (Senior Manager of Digital Marketing)

How’d you find my blog?:
You posted on our Facebook page!

Time: Friday November 11, 2011 at 6:23 pm
IP Address: 000.000.000.000
Contact Form URL: http://aixelsyd13.wordpress.com/contact/

Sent by an unverified visitor to your site.

So, of course, I wrote back…

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Nov 14, 2011
Subject: Re: W(aL)D Feedback
To: engage@bostonmarket.com
Cc: dwakabayashi@bost.com

Shalom Dennis!

I see that more companies are hiring people in your position to figure out the best ways to use social media to their advantage.  What a great thing!  I have had some excellent interaction with Nate Riggs of Bob Evans.  I have even had great dealings in the past with Lori Smelt at Boston Market.

I have a goofy email sending online persona, now named Waldo Lunar… that keeps clashing with the real me.  It’s ever more impossible to separate the real from the absurd.  Ha ha.

I have asked for the T-shirt sized of the other dudes in my band, but I’m not sure if their ideals would support such blatant corporate sponsorship.  We are, after all, a punk rock band at heart.  Then again, what’s more punk rock than doing the exact opposite of what a good punk rock band should do?  Also, I’m just a Bert, so I must clear things with Ernie.

I’m not sure that the band, Ernie and the Berts, is family friendly.  Despite this perhaps somewhat misleading name… we’re prone to spew forth occasional potty humor, sexual innuendo, and movie-Tourette’s-like bouts of profanity.  Also, don’t ever eat Ernie’s soup.  This has not stopped the interest of other yet-to-be-named possible corporate sponsors.

For your review and entertainment, I do however submit the following videos:

I trust that you’ll laugh, cry, and share with friends.

I’m glad that they have someone with some wit and intelligence monitoring Facebook for Boston Market.  In 2011 (soon to be 2012), I feel that it’s extremely important for a company to use social media for important feedback regarding the perception of their brand & service.

I’m quite glad that you’re interested in the catering battle-royale!  Unfortunately, I haven’t had any takers from the Panera Bread camp.  In fact, I believe their policy is to ignore my emails from now on, or that I have been perhaps stifled by their in-house spam filtering system.  I haven’t received so much as a “thanks for your interest” or even a “please stop emailing us.”  They haven’t used Facebook to the advantage that you now have.  Although, they did reply (uninterestingly) to a tweet.  Do you perhaps have any professional colleagues at Panera that you could cajole into action?  Since Batman Movie night has come & gone, my wife & I have discussed the possibility of a Back to the Future or Indiana Jones movie night.

(I assume that your interest is in a catering battle, and not the literal scuffle for a single dollar?)

Perhaps, with the lack of interest from Panera Bread, we could involve Bob Evans?  Surely, your meal offerings are more in line with them, rather than some paltry soup and sandwiches?  How would you feel about your chances against them?  Maybe Panera needs to lie low in the media, in light of recent events that happened nearby.

You can send a goodwill token of appreciation for my new adventurous advertising ideas, if you end up using any of them.  A commission check would be nice also.  I excel in the ridiculous, but am unsure how to make a profit from such ridiculousness.  Following the model put forth by advertising within the walls of where one is currently doing business, I figured it would be OK to ask in this email.

How do you feel personally about unabashed advertising for catering service while you’re currently in the place, already spending your hard-earned dollar?  Let’s face it, at the brisket meal hovering around $10, I can go to a local diner for less and not be slapped with advertising while I sup.  I go to Boston Market for the tasty meals, (perceived) speed of service, and glittering hope of consistency.

Imagine picking up a bottle of Coca~Cola at a convenience store, and on the label, it tells you to go buy a 24 pack of cans, 2-liter, and/or six-pack of bottles.  At the moment, you’re interested in quenching your thirst… not stocking your ‘fridge or obtaining a caffeine high.  Not a perfectly parallel predicament, but food for thought nonetheless.

I would like to thank you for your interest and the response to my insanity.  I can’t wait to see how this plays out.  Can you think of any other catering battle participants?  Perhaps we can put together a rock n’ roll show rather than just a small movie night…

I’ll let you process all of this, and get back to me on your own time with your thoughts.

Excelsior!
-ERiC AiXeLsyD (a.k.a. Waldo Lunar)

Bread Soda

In this corner...

Now, how to get Panera Bread to bite?  This isn’t rhetorical.  I’m actually looking for your advice.

If you’re confused here, you may want to check these out:

New Catering Advertisement Opportunities! (for Boston Market & Panera Bread)


I’m just sayin’.

Panera Bread  - vs. -  Boston Market

Panera Bread - vs. - Boston Market

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Nov 4, 2011
Subject: New Catering Advertisement Opportunities!
To: & Cc:  A bunch of Panera & Boston Market Employees

Hello friends at Boston Market & Panera Bread,

I assume that the lack of response to my last email about an all-out catering battle at my house was ill-received.  I didn’t get any interest from either camp, or even any kind of acknowledgement of my email.  Not even a coupon.  Isn’t that the typical response?  “Throw ‘em a coupon!”  Color me disappointed.

No reply is rather rude, don’t you think?  Batman movie night has come & gone.  We dutifully provided a favorable dining experience to our guests thanks to an incredible local pizza shop.  Roasted red peppers as a pizza topping?  A hit all around, I tell you!  Subs with a homemade feel cut in to bite-size appetizers were also quite delicious.

I’m not sure why neither Panera Bread or Boston Market was willing to enter my catering battle royale.  It would have been an exciting opportunity for both of you.  I realize now… that you need help with forward thinking.  You missed this opportunity to advertise your catering and fight for my dollar.

I believe that I may have come around to your way of thinking.  Perhaps I need to fight for your dollar.  I previously saw advertisements on the pop machine and all over the windows as borderline obscene… but why stop at the border, friends?  Let’s trample the border, deface it on our way through, and not look back!  I have some ideas that you may find attractive.  I really look forward to your feedback.  (Don’t give me any shenanigans about unsolicited ideas and what-not, we’re all friends here.)

  • Advertising on the napkins.  You already do it on the receipts, walls, & windows.  Subway uses their napkins for nutrition information.  Show them up, advertise!  Think of all that clean wasted ad space ripe for the slinging of your delicious wares.  Were one ambitious, this could extend to the “to go” sandwich wrappings, the fancy new plates that you’re both using, and even the trays.  Hell, why not the drink cups?
  • Guerrilla advertising. You could have employees go into your parking lot at regular intervals, and put flyers under the windshield wipers of cars.  If you really wanna get crazy, try bumper stickers!  People would love decorations on their autos.
  • Me.  Send me a T-shirt that advertises your catering services.  I play in a band.  I’ll wear it to shows.  The throngs of bar patrons who rock out with me on a regular basis will be sure to flock to the nearest Panera Bread or Boston Market location.  I might be able to convince my band-mates to do the same.  If we’d like to get really crazy, may I offer to sell my forehead as a billboard?
  • Paystubs.  Your employees get paid right?  Get that money back!  Advertise your catering services on their pay-stubs, and any communications that you need to send.  There’s room on that W2 envelope for a 10% off catering coupon.
  • Right on the food itself.  This is the one that excites me the most!  You’ve seen the toasters that produce an image of Darth Vader, and the irons that brand your initials on to a steak, right?  There are also printers that print right on things like rice paper & cakes.  Why not take advantage of this technology?  Think about it.  Full color printing on wraps?  Toasty images on buns, bread, & bagels?  Delicious meat branded with confidence, demanding that you pick up a catering menu.  It’s never been done.  It’s opulent.  It’s genius.  (If I do say so myself.)

So, what do you think?  Can I help in this new advertising adventure?  These are the next steps in the evolution of promulgation.  Let’s move onward and upward, into uncharted catering promotional territory.  It will be an onslaught to the senses, and an influx in revenue for all involved.  I’m excited for this venture, and especially excited to get some feedback from everyone involved.

Excelsoir!
-Waldo Lunar
[ -YOUR AD COULD BE HERE- ]

incessant emails / incessant advertising

incessant emails / incessant advertising

Further Reading: