I received a telephone call from a research firm on Saturday afternoon. The firm was polling on behalf of Island Tel.
From the questions asked, it appears as though the survey was designed to test how loyal Island Tel’s customers are in the face of pending local telephone competition (i.e. rate your response to “I would be unhappy if I could not deal with Island Tel”). There were also questions about where I bank, where I grocery shop, and what my department store of choice is.
Since there are no department stores on PEI (you think Island Tel would know this…), I said that I didn’t shop at a department store and the call centre operator dutifully entered “Do Not Shop” in the appropriate field in her database. When it came time to ask me more detailed questions about my department store preference, the computer thought that “Do Not Shop” was the name of the store. What ensued was a comical look into how computers rule our lives, with the operator asking me to react to statements like “Do Not Shop can always be trusted to act in the best interest of customers” and “Do Not Shop is a socially responsible company.”
You can listen to the exchange in RealAudio to get the full effect.