Samuel was making an online reservation with Days Inn when he suddenly found himself face to face with a robot…
I just put in a reservation at daysinn.com for a friend’s upcoming wedding. I filled out my information and credit info and hit submit. On the confirmation page a popup appears with a person typing to me inside, asking me to sign up for some extra service. The name in the little box was “Sherry”. Finding it overly invasive I was a bit curious if this was a bot or really a person, so I typed in “hi”, she proceeded to spam the ever-living-crap out of the little text box with her offer. Much faster than any human could read….
Agent: Hi Samuel, I’m Jessica and just for visiting Days Inn today, we’d like to give you the opportunity to get $15 off your Days Inn reservation. Please type HI or HELLO in the space below to let me know you are there…
Agent: Just type HI in the space below…
Agent: Are you with me Samuel?
Agent: Hi Samuel I have great news! I’ve just been authorized to increase your savings from $15 to $30! That’s a $30 cash back mail-in rebate on the reservation you just made!
Agent: This comes along with a membership to Days Inn Travelers Advantage with the first 30 days FREE. You’ll enjoy FULL ACCESS to our travel agency and get our LOW PRICE GUARANTEE on all of your eligible travel reservations!
Agent: And you can still get your $30 cash back mail-in rebate on your reservation even if you ever decide to cancel!
Agent: You have a full month to sample all the money saving benefits after joining the Days Inn Travelers Advantage program. If you wish to take advantage of this great offer, we will obtain the reservation information that you just provided to Days Inn, including credit card number and billing address, and activate your membership, where the first 30 days are free.
Agent: Unless you call to cancel during the 30-day trial period, your benefits will automatically continue at the low $11.00 monthly membership fee, or the then-current monthly fee, and will be automatically billed monthly to the credit card account described above without you having to do anything further.
Agent: You can cancel at any time by calling the toll-free number provided in the membership materials and you won’t be billed another dime – Your satisfaction is GUARANTEED. Remember, the $30 cash back mail-in rebate for your reservation is yours to use either way!
Agent: So Samuel, with your approval under the terms I just described and your confirmation that you’re over 18, I’ll activate your membership to Days Inn Travelers Advantage with the first 30 days free, and send your $30 cash back mail-in rebate. Is that OKAY with you?
Agent: Remember, you’ll have 30 days to look it over and try it out… If you decide that it is not for you, cancel within the first 30 days by calling 800-678-3029, and you will owe NOTHING!
You: Are you really a person?
You: Why do you insist on harassing customers?
Agent: i am not harrassing im just letting you know how good our offer is
You: Do you not have a macro to respond to that?
Agent: what is a marco?
Agent: Okay, no problem, I’ll note that you have declined the offer and you will NOT be enrolled. Please note that YOUR CREDIT CARD WILL NOT BE CHARGED. Thank you for your time and have a good day!
You: A programmed response, much like all of the crap you spammed with after I said “hi”
Agent: ok sorry your harrasing me !
You: Also, please be aware this conversation will be sent to consumerist.com
Agent: there is nothing i did wrong
Agent: this is my job
Agent: and this is not conssiderd harrasssing
An popup sales rep to upsell a customer IS annoying. We felt slightly bad for Jessica (or Sherry or Agent or whatever her name is), but we busted out laughing at the end, just to see the total derail and the disconnect between the auto-script she churns out and when she actually tries to talk. Or maybe it’s like the end of Blade Runner when Deckard sees the unicorn; she’s learned real human emotion. And it hurts. — BEN POPKEN