I was fishtrapped by the AA this week. This is the Automobile Association, not the one with the alcohol… or should I say without the alcohol!
So how does the fishtrap work.
Welcome to the AA. Here, have some cheap motor insurance. And take out our breakdown membership too.
1 year later: Here is your vastly inflated insurance quote.
Me: No thanks. I’ll go elsewhere. And cancel the breakdown cover too please.
AA: Here is your membership renewal.
Me: No thanks.
AA: And here are your membership documents.
Me: I said no thanks.
AA: Welcome back to another years membership.
Me: Cancel. Cancel. I want to cancel my membership.
AA Aaron here: Sorry, we can’t take a cancellation at this email. You need to call us.
Me: No I don’t. My bank says I just need to cancel the direct debit. Cancel the direct debit.
AA: Sorry we can’t accept your instruction by email.
Me: Cancel the goddam direct debit.
AA: Success! You have paid your membership for the year.
Me: Dear Financial Ombudsman….. here is what happened.
AA: Here’s your money back.
Marketing Lesson: And this is not me. This comes from Seth Godin. Digital Marketing Guru.
When you have a relationship that is very trusted people will give you “intravenous permission” to take their money. The above is not it. If you abuse your access to a customers bank account you will alienate them. The above dialogue is accurate and is what happened me. Some gobshite in AA marketing thought this was a good plan. It is not a good plan. It is a great way to lose friends an alienate people. It is a great way to get onto the Ombudsmans “most wanted” list.
This is NOT marketing. This is customer rape. This is theft. This is corporate crime. This is what gives marketing a bad name. Please stop.