No AT&T, This Is NOT Customer Service. Let’s call it what it really is: passive-aggressive badgering.

We don’t need this “friendly reminder.” We certainly didn’t ask for it. And if you check your records, we’ve never missed a payment. So getting this text doesn’t “enhance our user experience,” it doesn’t “start a two-way dialogue,” and it most definitely doesn’t “make us more likely to recommend AT&T to our friends and family.”

Reaching out this way is all about you. And only about you. Unfortunately, it’s not just you that does this type of thing. Data-hungry marketers make this type of automated false concern all too familiar. You can’t take a flight or stay at a hotel or buy anything online anymore without getting your inbox spammed by follow up satisfaction surveys. Why does buying something from you put us on the hook to provide feedback too? Besides, we know you only want good news; the car dealership service center specifically instructs us to “make sure you give us perfect scores so we can keep our rating” (I’m looking at you Lexus and Audi). It’s gone so far that this past weekend, I even inflated a satisfaction survey about Comcast (seriously) because it directly affected the bonus of the hardworking and dedicated service technician.

I get that these help you, but there is a right way to do these things. At the very least, invest in some creativity. Or perhaps even better, invest in some humanity.

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