I don’t know how many of you have received your AT&T Wireless bill as a video recently. I’m not kidding. So now, what used to take, oh, 15-30 seconds to log on, scan your bill and pay it, now walks you through a playfully animated video that takes two-and-a-half minutes to
endure enjoy. It’s so cool because there’s your own name, right there in the video and spoken so personally by Happy Lady Voice, (OMG! How’d they do that? I absolutely love her! And now she knows my name!). And there are your actual charges, also animated (the miracles never cease!). The cartoon runs you through all the exciting new features of your bill, features you might have had to once view statically, without flying colors and foot-tappable music. Oh, this brave new world we live in!
But I have to wonder; who sold them this? How is it supposed to be an advantage to view your bill as a video instead of just as a plain page with a “Pay Now” button? Does it make the bill more exciting? Does it make up for the high price, the surprise charges, the dropped calls, the slow download, the two year lock-in contract?
I happened to be in a coffee shop when I checked my e-mail and up popped this video, blaring out of my mobile’s tinny speakers and annoying the people at the seat next to me while I frantically fumbled to mute it. (Heh, heh. Sorry.) Do the marketers who embrace these new “customer engagement technologies” think of things like that? That they might be annoying? That they might waste time? That maybe I don’t want their bill all wrapped up in dancing graphics with blaring music and read to me by Happy Lady Voice?
It’s still a bill. Just give it to me.
If you search on YouTube for a sample of this, you’ll notice that the “Dislikes” outnumber the “Likes” by four-to-one. I hope somebody at AT&T is noticing that.
Just because you can do something with a piece of technology, doesn’t mean you should.