Saturday, March 15, 2008

Just Say No to Brand Molestation

When I'm in the mood for a soft drink, I want a Coca-Cola.  People who work at chain restaurants are uniformly afflicted with a disease which causes them to ask a silly question sometimes when I request my soft drink of choice.  "Pepsi?"  No.  A Pepsi is not an acceptable substitute for a Coca-Cola.  Bring me a water for which I will not pay.

The reason so many restaurants offer only Coke or Pepsi is that these enormous companies have excellent marketing departments.  They cut fantastic deals with restaurants, granting them exclusive access.  Sometimes...they own the restaurants.  Smart, but annoying for consumers.  We're basically held hostage, molested, by these huge brands.

FedEx regularly pulls a similar routine on me.  Sometimes I order products from companies which suffer from acute idiotitis.  The symptoms of this affliction include, among other things, the complete inability to tell the difference between a respectable shipping company and an incredibly shoddy one.  FedEx falls in the latter group.

Several years ago, I ordered a lot of products through the mail.  FedEx visited my house so often that I signed a slip indicating that I no longer wanted to be bothered signing for deliveries.  The reason is quite simple.  In order to afford products, I have to work.  If I'm working, I can't sit at home on my duff waiting for FedEx to show up so I can write "X" on the signature line.

It worked.  For a while.  For some reason, FedEx offers a completely counterintuitive, asinine service to shippers.  They can request that I have to sign for packages no matter what.  Since I'm paying the bill, that makes me really angry.  Literally every time someone uses this crappy shipping company, I end up with a signature slip taped to my door.  This inevitably adds another day onto the delivery time.  Does it make sense that the end consumer can do nothing about this?  No, but that's what brand molestation is all about.  Taking choice away from the consumers.

Go Brown.

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