Stop Doing Dumb Things Awards – The Odd One Out Round

OK contestants, a little fun for you now. Which of these is the odd one out?

1 – Ocado

2 – South Eastern Trains

3 – Boris Johnson

4 – BT

The answer is – Boris Johnson, he’s the only one not busy doing dumb things to customers and people this week.

Boris was at BASE London yesterday talking about exciting plans for cycling in London, new lower emission buses, and a sustainable Olympics for 2012 and beyond. He’s an interesting and entertaining speaker who is clearly passionate about developing London as a sustainable city. Good work.

The others?

Ocado has previously made a big noise about how 100% of their fleet of delivery vans all run on environmentally friendly diesel. That is until a photographer spotted the vans filling up on regular diesel and sent the evidence to The Independent newspaper. “Yes it’s true that in London our vans do use regular diesel”, a spokesperson for the company confessed when confronted. Well just say so then eh? Transparency pays, credibility dented.

Southeastern Trains has been spotted selling first class tickets for a train service without first class seating. A £9.90 premium on the London to Dover Priory buys you….well nothing as it turns out, as there is no first class service on the train! Although there is a slower train with first class seating which takes you from London to the coast in almost an hour longer. You couldn’t make it up. The story expands in embarrassing detail here, the attempted justification for this dumb things is hilarious–firstclass-seats-1983916.html

BT are in the news this week. Staff were asked by their union to vote on a strike over their latest pay offer. The pay offer is 2%. BT’s CEO is “showing restraint” by opting for a pay rise of 2% himself. That will see his salary go up to £867,000. Well done. Do the same as the workers, we like that. So, I wonder when BT will announce a staff bonus for all employees in excess of 100% of salary? Yup, Mr Livingston is “showing restraint” by trousering a £1.2m bonus at the same time as insisting that staff be satisfied with a 2% rise in pay. Of course there will be arguments that bonuses are not the same as pay rises, we get that. But in the league of do as I say, not as I do, this dumb thing tops the lot.  And please, don’t get me started on service. I wonder how my mate who had to endure 8 days without broadband service as BT struggled to deliver a repair service feels about this?

So – that’s the awards handed out, or is it? If you’ve spotted anyone doing dumb things to customers this week, please let us know.

Author: Doug Shaw

Artist and Consultant. Embracing uncertainty, sketching myself into existence. Helping people do things differently, through an artistic lens.

One thought on “Stop Doing Dumb Things Awards – The Odd One Out Round”

  1. News just in from a good friend of mine…

    “A classic case of Stop Doing Dumb Things To Customers today.

    Oyster pat at London Bridge. Seek Assistance. I follow the advice. “What’s it say on the gate mate?”. “A number 12 flashes up”. “That’s Ok mate go through”. So far so good…

    Ticket inspectors on train scanning Oyster Cards. “Excuse me Sir you don’t have enough credit to travel”. He show’s me his reading – 90p. Oops, buts something doesn’t feel right. I’m sure I had enough credit on it.

    We all get off train. They want to issue £20 fine. I say I was waived through gate at London Bridge after I sought assistance and therefore shouldn’t be fined. They ask me if I’d like to go back and tell them who it was that waived me through. I agree and they change their minds and say they have no discretion and that they must fine me, then I can appeal and get my £20 back. I say this is dumb, but anyhow they insist. Ask for my details, which I give. “Sorry Sir, no trace of you at this address”. How so I say I’m on the electoral roll….

    Whilst this conversation is going on, I thought what the heck I’ll tap out at the gate anyhow. Whad’ya know?! Hey presto gate opens! £3.20 credit all along!!!! Disbelieving Ticket Inspectors say this CANNOT be so and do their checks and what do you know it IS so… His fare dodging checking machine doesn’t say 90p anymore!

    What’s going on Southern Rail?! Thanks for the inconvenience. Embarrassment for the ticket dudes. Embarrassment and inconvenience for a full fare paying customer.


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