Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

When bad data happens to good ideas


My wife came home from some errands this morning to find a Terminix truck in front of the house.  They had paid us a visit because the Rashids, who used to own our house, had a contract with Terminix, and they were wondering if we wanted to continue the contract.  The only problem (well, other than the fact that they were sitting in the driveway, blocking my wife from getting into the garage), was that the Rashids moved out seven years ago.  The guys claimed that the computer had just spit out our name this week.  My wife explained that we had long ago found other exterminators that we were very happy with (Gary's Pest Control in general and Aardvark for termites - for those of you in the Raleigh, NC area.  And for those of you who don't live in the South in the US, yes you need an exterminator on contract, as we discovered when we moved here from the New York City area.)

And in the "when bad sales happens to good ideas" category, the Terminix guys didn't even try to find out who we were using, what we were paying, what it would take to get us to switch, or any other follow up.