321 I’m back in the room

After three years that were both weird, scary and wonderful, I am finally back in data and a few other things as well. If you are interested please read on. I may be able to help you.

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So it was just over three years ago that for various reasons I not only left Lloyd James Ltd behind me but I left the industry. After 36 years in the data driven marketing world I was ready for a change. What I had not expected was the trail of events that were waiting for me just around the corner.

Burglary, assault, freak accident, life threatening injuries, severe heart attack, open heart surgery to name a few of the things that helped shape my life and took me in every direction that I had not planned.

I am now fully recovered and ready to rock and roll so to speak and to that end was approached by a company a few months back that wanted me to advise and assist in their business growth to make them ready for sale. Ideal for me as they are based in both the UK and the city of Cebu in the Philippines my favourite place in all the world second to my Kent coastal home.

With figures agreed and flight tickets booked I was all set to go and of course excited at the prospect only to have them cancel on me a few days prior to departure. I decided to travel anyway as I needed a well earned break and so off I travelled. On my first night in a favourite restaurant/bar haunt of mine I got talking to a couple of interesting chaps and within 24 hours was drinking herbal tea (I kid you not) at the Cebu Country Club (check that gaff out on Google) discussing how I could help their growing business.

Sharing the same CEO as the SunStar Newspaper group in the Philippines this new BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) company is set to fly and very quickly, with the added benefit of being flexible enough to accommodate the strangest requests from new clients.

What they really want are UK customers and that is where I come in. One area that they excel in is building databases through clever market research, sponsored questionnaires and of course with my GDPR whip guiding them along the way (joking of course, about the whip I mean not the GDPR bit) they will be offering GDPR cleansing of existing databases. Add to this the new guidelines set out in PECR regarding PPI calling and the UK is becoming less attractive as an option for any form of inbound and outbound marketing. What we are all about is building data in line with your needs it’s really that simple.

They are already an established BPO centre offering all the usual HR, payroll, publishing, accounting, legal, web design, etc services and have over twenty years experience in providing business solutions so I am happy to speak to anyone about that or any other requirements what ever they may be.

If you want to talk data with me or simply want to find out about my adventures over the past three years I am providing my mobile number here 07854 067912  and the opportunity to meet up and discuss anything you might have a need for. Oh and if you do any business with us there is an opportunity to join me in Cebu and have a look at what we do and a coupe of trips to the bar I mentioned previously..

The Dealer always wins ?

I have just wasted a month of my life arguing with a dodgy dealer…..only to find out that asking for help from the trading standards office is like walking backwards through waist high treacle and that the law really does protect the lawless….now here is a lesson in how not to buy a car.

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I made a decision recently, it was time to ditch the gas guzzling motor and go for something smaller, more practical. After all it wasn’t as if anyone was going to hire my services anytime soon, was it, not as if I need to drive to an office or anything !! hint hint

Driving through my home town five weeks ago I noticed a nifty little Mini Cooper S convertible on the forecourt of a local second hand car dealer. Obviously, for legal reasons I cannot name the dealer on here but if you need the identity contact me privately. This Arthur Daley lookalike was very smooth talking and convincing, that should have rung alarm bells instantly, as Judge Judy often says “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!”. So let me get this straight, you take my shiny black Jaguar XF, I drive off in the Mini today, you sell my Jag within a week, which will be no problem, you say! and when you do, you hand over a cheque for £2,500. OK, that sounds like a deal to me and so off I drive in the Mini, sunny day, roof off and all seems well with the world, apart from the wind burn on my forehead that is !!! Balony !! (she also says that a lot too)

The Mini starts to sound pretty ropey after just a few hours behind the wheel, or maybe it’s just that I’m not used to manual gears and a car that can detect a matchstick just by driving over it. I probably needed to be patient. I start to look at the documents and notice to my shock that the car is due for an MOT in just four weeks time, ooooops!! first major mistake, never buy or trade a car that has not got at least one years full MOT.

Two days pass and the dealer calls me with what I hope is going to be good news. “Lloyd, I really liked you the other day and thought I could work with you, would you be interested in investing in my business?”….. Now I’ve done some really stupid things in my life but investing in a second hand car dealership with Arthur Daley is not being added to the list so I politely reject the offer. “OK, well could you see your way to loaning me some cash as I have a few deals that are taking a little longer than anticipated?” ….. You know when you do that thing with a phone, when you hear something that you can’t believe so you pull the phone from your ear and you look at it just to make sure it’s not a bath sponge or something……. I begin to worry at this point, I explain that I would not even loan cash to my family so I certainly wouldn’t to someone that I have only just met..

I kept the worrying conversation to myself but of course I was concerned. Day three saw me and a couple of friends partaking of alcohol related libation in a local drinking hole. I got chatting to this nice chap sitting next to me and started telling him about the deal I had just done on my car……”Oh dear” he said “please don’t tell me it was with a crook called XXXXXXXX” Shit, I thought, what now !!!! “He still owes me £1,000 on my dear departed Father’s car and another £1,600 for designing his website, I haven’t seen a penny from him in almost eighteen months, he’s a smooth talking bas*”@d”

I went to visit Mr XXXXXX following that revelation, he informed me that his dispute with this chap was more complicated and that I should not worry and that of course he would put my Mini through an MOT and pay for the test and any major works that needed doing to it and that he would book it in to his usual place the following week. I left the dodgy dealer feeling a little more confident.

The MOT booking of course never materialised and so off I drove again to see Mr XXX at the really dodgy dealership and I told him that I was not at all happy. I said that I did not feel safe in the Mini and would actually prefer to have my Jag back as the deal simply wasn’t working for me and of course he had not sold the Jag in the agreed time frame. I asked where the Jag was and he told me it was at a repair shop some 30 miles away. I handed him a perfectly good car with full history and no problems and yet it was now in a repair shop….. Odd !!

I also took the opportunity of visiting the MOT centre where he had told me he sends all his customers cars because he has such a great relationship with them. Not according to the lovely lady I spoke to, she informed me that this shyster dodgier than ever dealer, owed them…. ‘shedloads’ of money and that he always tells his customers that he will pay but he never does and that basically he was a ‘scumbag’….. GREAT !!

I returned to the horrible dodgy git a few days later and told him that I was not at all happy now, I definitely wanted my Jag back, this was at 1pm in the afternoon. The shit head became quite aggressive, he put his face close to mine telling me that I was making him mad and that he was getting really pissed with me….. finally he agreed that I should come back in five hours and I could have the Jag back.

I returned in four hours with my back up muscle protection to be told by this infuriating dodgy pig that my car had been sold. How was that possible in such a short time frame and so I asked who had suddenly bought it. I was told it was none of my fu^*@ng business and that the new owner had paid by card. I asked where the card machine was in his expansive empty office, he told me again to mind my own fu@^*ng business. My muscle said OK then we will take a cheque for £2,500 now, the pillock came out with the old chestnut of ‘it takes three days to clear’ story, so I said we would come back !

Four days later and we had driven back yet again, the dealer tells us he was expecting us earlier in the week as he had the cash but now he has had to put it into his bank account ‘liar, liar pants on fire’ I accepted a cheque that I knew would bounce higher than a whammo ball but what choice did I have. I paid it straight in to my bank that afternoon.

Hey Presto…. 24 hours later I received a call from old dirty dealer again, he told me he couldn’t do this any longer and that I could come and get my Jag back as he’d had enough of it all, how on earth did  he think I felt !! I collected my trusty old car but he only had one of the keys and no paperwork, he promised to get my spare key back and of course to find the paper work.

This is where I started to worry, he had the spare key and my address, without the paperwork it’s difficult to get the car taxed. I contacted Trading Standards and they informed me that I should write to the dealer recorded delivery and pointing out that he was in breach of contract. I had done this before but he simply refused to sign for the letters and they are currently sitting in my local post office collection centre.

The next day I received a call from the idiot at the dealership, he was apparently surprised that I had paid the cheque in so quickly and that it had cleared and that he needed the funds returning immediately and sent me his bank details. I then found out that day that the cheque had bounced out of earths orbit so he was simply trying to get more out of me.

I then went to the police station told them the story, that he tried to commit fraud, that he still had my key and paper work. The female officer looked at me as though I was a complete moron and said that he had not committed any crime against me, that I should hire a solicitor to get my things back. I love dealing with people paid from the public purse don’t you? about as much use as a chocolate fire guard.

I finally got my spare key back after threatening the cheating bloody dealer with the police (not that they would have helped) it worked. I got the key and he had the cheek to shake my hand again, this time though I counted my fingers both before and after the shake and thankfully they were all still there – phew !!!! The dealer usually wins but not this time, I can be a Rottweiler when I need to be. The lesson here is to never let go and give up. If anyone needs this dodgy dealers details please do let me know and if any of you want me to use my car to drive to your offices to discuss a new job I would be more than willing, yours truly ‘Left on the DM shelf Lloyd’ PS I need enough space to park a Jag OK !!

The End is Nigh!!!!

The Data industry is dying due to bureaucracy, red tape, stupidity, ignorance, idiocy, and yet the pen pushers fuelling this demise state they are doing this to protect the data subjects………yeah rite…….my ass…….

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I have just heard the news that a well known lead generation company Verso Group (UK) have been fined £80,000 by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) because it failed to comply with data protection law, in that it was not clear with people about what it was doing with their personal information.

I would say to all of you in the data marketing industry, this is a sad day indeed for you. This is simply a bunch of glorified banner waving pen pushers doing everything they can to bring to an end what has been an incredible and enviable industry and in so doing will take us back to the dark ages of mass marketing.

My heart goes out to any business that comes under the spotlight of unelected organisations whose people are there simply to destroy what has been built. Of course if you are doing something wrong then that needs to stop but everyone needs to look at the bigger picture here. All this is happening and we haven’t even started with GDPR, I hope you all have budgets put aside ready for the fines that are coming and believe me, they have made an example of one of your competitors so they are looking at you too.

This further adds to the simmering pot of PPI like claims……. PPI is dead, long live GDPR. These buffoons, rather than work with the data collective, will encourage the stupidity of the masses and claims will be forthcoming mark my words.

In the meantime, as one who landed on the trash heap two years ago, you should all start looking for new jobs, and fast, because the grim reaper is coming for you.

What they don’t get is that by reducing the effectiveness of targeting they are encouraging the rebirth of ‘JUNK’ advertising, so as I have said before, get those enclosing machines fired up because you are going to need to throw an awful lot of shit against the wall again to see if anything sticks.

In the meantime my heart goes out to anyone who is coming under the scrutiny of these pariahs, they do nothing but consume, suffocate and destroy, it is indeed a very sad day.