Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Earth Trembled

Having missed this morning's earthquake excitement, on account that I was on the way to Swindon to fly a banner to celebrate the opening of a new B&Q (pictured) there, I caught up with the local KMFM news driving back into Thanet from the airfield.

While I was listening to the radio, I happened to catch an advert for another B&Q opening in Folkestone. That's interesting I thought, as I just happen to have a banner in the back of the car that B&Q Swindon have paid for, so why not call the Folkestone store and ask?

The result was a rather bizarre conversation, which went something like this:

"Would you be interested in flying the "B&Q Now Open" message over Folkestone tomorrow that I've just been flying over Swindon today?"

"We've had an earthquake you know, you won't be allowed!"

"Well perhaps not today but I doubt you'll have another earthquake on Sunday and some people are bound to need building materials in a hurry, so given that another store has already paid for the banner, why not use it for the cost of a local flight only?"

"We've had an earthquake but I'll ask."

The answer, came back as polite "no thank you", no reason given but I'm still not quite sure what an earthquake has to do with the airspace over B&Q in Folkestone on Sunday. Does anyone know?


Anonymous said...

I thought B&Q were a switched on company, but clearly not. If they knew they had stores opening on the same or consecutive days and one had an aircraft banner display, surely a coordinated marketing effort would have booked you for both? Is big business afflicted by the same malaise as our state monoliths; poorly educated people now in positions of management?

DrMoores said...

To be honest, my experience of big business in general these days, is that unless you have someone's mobile phone number, don't even think of trying to get an idea in front of him or her. All phones go to voicemail and calls are rarely if ever returned and when you are asked to send an email to info or, then you know full well that it well end-up in the spam filter. I'm sure this sense of frustration is shared by all of us, whether it be in trying to speak with "big company" customer service (British Gas) or simply trying to present a simple and cost effective idea to a company, where decisions aren't centralised and personal initiative is not encouraged.

Tony Beachcomber said...

What a bunch of whimps,Sounds like someone at B&Q hasn't got the balls to make a descision.

I suspect that the banner was not made in China,I mean most of what they sell appears to be of chinese manufacture.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps B&Q staff judged that the public would think it insensitive and inappropriate to be advertising the fact that the store was still open, when so many residents were struggling with the aftermath of the quake.

Perhaps they judged that rather than view it as a helpful "pointer", many people would view it as B&Q seeking to take commercial and financial advantage out of misery. Profit out of disaster.

They may have stumbled towards making their decision, but they demonstrated sensitivity and ethics. Did Airads do the same?

DrMoores said...

It's an interesting point of view but not a point that was raised in the conversation. Practically speaking, pointing to a new B&Q might be considered useful to people who might have needed building materials in a hurry, until late on Sunday or don't you agree?

Anyway, I'm trying to sort out a coorrdinated approach to such matters with their head office now, so all's well that ends well!