How to drive away a repeat customer, in four identical steps

Step 1. Offer to sell the customer an extended warranty
Step 2. Offer to sell the customer an extended warranty
Step 3. Offer to sell the customer an extended warranty
Step 4. Offer to sell the customer an extended warranty


This is, evidently, the strategy of Bosch, a white-goods manufacturer with a good reputation for quality and reliability, but who I will quite possibly never buy another device from because they will not stop spamming me.

It’s a little over two years since I started sending back all my printed spam, at the expense of the sender. It’s actually made a significant difference. I am getting far, far less charity spam than previously. Since then, only eight organisations have sent me more than one such spam (i.e. ignored being told to stop) — five charities, two banks and a telecomms company.

Bosch is the only company to have spammed me more than twice (i.e. to have ignored two separate stop-this postings), and have now sent me a fourth. All of them offering the exact same identical service, which I do not want, and have told them I do not want, and will never want.

So this time, I am sending it back in a marked envelope:


Let’s see if that does the trick.

Meanwhile, I can only advise the rest of you to avoid buying Bosch products, however good they may be, unless you enjoy receiving printed spam.

7 responses to “How to drive away a repeat customer, in four identical steps

  1. You had me at Oakleigh Farm, Crooked End. You don’t live in Hobbiton by any chance?

  2. No, that’s where we live :-)

    To be fair, it’s pretty well established that Tolkien based the Shire on rural England, so I imagine he had somewhere much like Ruardean in mind when he conceived Hobbiton.

  3. Indesit have done the same thing to us, so it might just be an industry standard.

  4. It’s outsourced. Blame Bosch for outsourcing it, but it’s not them ignoring your pathetic attempts at spam avoidance.

  5. Yeah, I thought about that and decided it won’t do. When a company like Bosch chooses who to outsource to, they’re making a choice about the quality of what is done in their name. And it is in their name, and has their logo on the letterhead. Disclaiming responsibility for their behaviour is like hiring a hitman, then saying “But I didn’t shoot anyone!”

  6. You sure have a lot less tolerance for postal spam than I have. Sometimes I find spam educational; sometimes it’s even fun. I’m a lifelong Democrat, but now and then some Republican spam gets through, and it’s usually hilarious, always informative. I believe in knowing my enemies. Some of the commercial catalogs are real hoots. There are the cheap import ones with Hawaiian luau trinkets and sexy Frankenstein costumes to wear with your pal, an animated zombie. Some of the stuff is amazingly awful. Some of it is too tasteful for words.
    Restoration Hardware is the king of too tasteful. They go above and beyond. Their catalogs are always massive, usually just under a kilo, but once a year I get their 4+ kilo multi-catalog package. One year I got two. Some spam I miss. I was an executor for the estate of an older friend, so I wound up getting a lot of veteran’s stuff. I particularly enjoyed his Mighty Eighth Air Force alumni – there, I’m out as a civilian – newsletter. It was full of stories about flying over Germany from bases near places with names like Crooked End.
    I know I should hate postal spam, but I figure it pays for a lot of the system costs. I get a lot less mail than I used to, so I figure that spam, along with Amazon Sunday deliveries, is keeping the US Post Office alive. (Yes, the USPS has always had Sunday “special delivery”, and Amazon has figured out how to use it for deliveries that the private sector just can’t handle.)

  7. You’re right, my tolerance for postal spam is low. I think that all spam is mental pollution, but when it’s physically printed and delivered, it’s also a waste of other kinds of resources. Apart from anything else, when I get postal spam from charities whole missions I approve of, I do not want them to waste more of their time, effort and materials in sending me more!

    If I want to know my political enemies, I can find the material I want on the Internet easily enough. (This is why my eldest son has signed up to receive emails from the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties. He wants to know what they all have to say — presumably before even deciding which ones are his enemies.)

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