Friday, 13 December 2013

"While I’m sorry to read that you’ve made a number of disastrous life decisions, I can’t see how our letter is responsible for these." People just won't take responsibility for anything these days.



I know it has been a while since I blogged and you're all probably wondering what I've been doing with my life, but you can stop worrying about whether I have finally given up on modern technology, thrown my new phone to the dogs and gone to live in the wilderness without a computer, because here I am. (I know this is probably not the case, and you have probably just been getting on with your own lives and my blog has crossed your mind only once, possibly twice, in the past month, but there are certain things that I need to cling to in order to make it through the day, and the fact that people on the internet might like me is one of them.)

This blog is going to mainly consist of a letter of complaint I wrote to a big company who accidentally sent me a letter about life insurance that was meant to go to my mother. I was extremely proud of it when I had finished until someone brought up the good point of how successful my life could be if I put as much effort into doing something productive as I put into being a dickhead, but nevermind that. To my joy, I received a letter back the following week from a man that I can only assume wears a suit and hates his job but was marginally cheered up by my amusing (distressed) letter. Here they are:

From: Me
To: The Big Company 

Dear Sir/Madam,

I recently received a letter from your company suggesting that I invest in your improved life cover to ensure my loved ones will receive a cash sum should I come to my untimely demise. At twenty-three years old, barely reaching my prime in life, you can imagine the distress and unease receiving this letter has caused me. There is enough pain and suffering that comes with beating a path through the ever thickening forest that is the life of a twenty-something without being forced to think about the possibility of one’s death and it is a pain and suffering that cannot be minimised by your promise of £75 worth of Marks and Spencers vouchers. A new pant suit is not quite the comfort you think it is. 


As a consequence of receiving your letter and your insistence that ‘every day matters’, I have felt an obligation to reassess my life choices and have subsequently made a chain of rather disastrous decisions regarding my career, my lifestyle, and my now somewhat tangled love life. By suggesting I dwell upon the fragility of my mortality, you have caused a significant amount of emotional upheaval in my once calm and collected life. Not only have you caused distress to me, but my elderly mother, who was sitting with me as I read your letter aloud, was pained to think of the death of her youngest and most intelligent daughter. 


I hope I shall never receive a letter like this again and that similar letters have not been sent out to others my age. We are already a generation fighting our way through a swamp of tiny electric radiators and beans on toast, the last thing we need on our innutritious plates is companies like yours forcing ideas of death down our still youthful throats.

Yours faithfully,

Amy Rooke

From: The Big Company
To: Me

Dear Miss Rooke,

Thank you for your recent letter, which we received on 12 November 2013. I’m sorry you’re unhappy because you’ve received a letter from us asking you to invest in life cover. This has caused you distress and emotional upheaval, as our letter has caused you to consider your own mortality. You read our letter aloud to your mother, who was pained to consider your life ending. You’re 23 years old and feel there’s enough pain and suffering at your age, without being forced to think about your death. You feel our offer of £75 worth of Marks and Spencers vouchers doesn’t minimise the pain our letter has caused. Following our letter and our slogan, Every Day Matters, you’ve reassessed your life, which has resulted in a chain of disastrous decisions. You’ve asked us not to send you similar letters and hope other people your age don’t receive anything similar. You’re concerned your generation has enough to deal with, without having ideas of death forced down your throats. 


I’ve looked into your complaint and I can’t see we’re at fault. Although I’m sorry for any unintended upset or distress our recent letter has caused you or your mother, it was sent in good faith. We had no way of anticipating your reaction, or that you’d read it aloud to a family member. All our marketing letters are compliant with guidelines provided by the Financial Conduct Authority. They’re also prepared with guidelines set down by the Advertising Standards Agency in mind. Please allow me to respond in more detail below.


You mention our letter asked you to ‘invest’ in life insurance. However, it’s important for me to point out that like most insurance policies, there’s no investment element attached. Unlike a conventional investment, our life policies have no cash value unless a claim is made. Our marketing letters therefore don’t promote life insurance as an investment. 


Our letter was intended to prompt you to consider and need you may have for life insurance. It wasn’t our intention that you’d consider the wider issue of mortality and we certainly didn’t recommend or advise you to make any changes to your life. While I’m sorry to read that you’ve made a number of disastrous life decisions, I can’t see how our letter is responsible for these. We’ve many customers aged 23 and younger who have life insurance policies and it would be unfair for us to assume that younger people have less of a need than older people. This is why we send marketing mail to a wide audience. 


Our ‘Every Day Matters’ is the slogan we’ve chosen to represent our brand. It embodies what we believe in, care about and stand for as a company. Most companies use a company slogan to represent what they stand for. However, the intention of ours isn’t for customers to completely reassess the way they live their lives. Any changes or decisions you’ve made following our letter have been your decisions and I don’t feel it’s reasonable to hold ‘Every Day Matters’ responsible for this.

Our offer of £75 Marks and Spencers vouchers is a promotional offer for customers agreeing to take out the advertised policy. The vouchers are intended as a ‘thank you’. I’m sorry you’ve interpreted this differently. 


Our Marketing Department have suppressed your details from our mailing lists and Transactis have done the same. However, you may receive one or two more marketing letters, as they’re prepared in advance. I’m sorry for any further unintended distress these cause and if this is the case, please feel free to destroy them. 


Thank you for allowing me to respond and I hope my explanation addresses your concerns.


Yours sincerely,

Big Man in Suit


He didn't really sign it Big Man In Suit, but I think he would have done if he'd been allowed. I think my favourite part of the response is the bit when he says that my disastrous life decisions are not his fault. People just won't take responsibility for anything anymore, will they? And the worst part about the whole ordeal is that I didn't even get £75 worth of complimentary Marks and Spencers gift vouchers. I guess I will just have to continue trudging on through life, eating beans on toast in a decidedly average pant suit and wondering if I can make a living from writing complaint letters.