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HSBC “Rgerts to Onform”

I’m always amazed at how much money companies sink into sparkling advertising and PR, but so little into ensuring the emails their staff send and receive reflect the same sheen. Especially when they call themselves the “world’s local bank”. Take this recent email exchange with HSBC. I’m a customer, and sometimes use their Premier lounge at Jakarta airport. I’m one of those annoying people who make a point of submitting comments to companies about my experience, even if they’re not solicited. A few months back I was impressed enough with the Jakarta lounge to send an email to a generic customer relations email address IContinue readingHSBC “Rgerts to Onform”

Poffertjes and Power

Continuing my search for a place to plug in and work at airports, I was pleasantly surprised to find that HSBC has laid out the red carpet for its Premier account holders, at least at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport. If you have one of their fancy accounts, anywhere in the world, you and your partner can partake of their lounge services. It’s all a bit new, and, dare I say it, charmingly Indonesian: More people (three men watching one female doing the work) were involved in making my poffertjes (a Dutch batter treat popular in the former colony) than there were actual poffertjes: HSBC’s Poffertje-Making TeamContinue readingPoffertjes and Power

Pumping Stock, Spam and the Criminal Underworld

If you ever feel the urge to trade on a spam stock tip, I offer this unsolved whodunnit as a cautionary tale. If you’ve been getting an extra dumpster of spam in your inbox lately, it’s probably because of a little known company called Cana Petroleum. If you open the email in question (and I’ve counted nearly 300 in my spam dumps in the past three days alone) you’ll find it’s a pretty straightforward pump and dump scam, where the sender tries to raise buying interest in the stock (the pumping bit) to push up the price so he can make a killing selling hisContinue readingPumping Stock, Spam and the Criminal Underworld

Forward Looking or Tired and Reactionary? Welcome to the Faux Community Site

You’re familiar with the faux blog — a blog launched by a marketing company to look like a grassroots blog to promote a product, but actually maintained by PR drones. Naff is probably the word that springs to mind. But how about the faux community site? What word springs to mind when you visit YourPointofView.com, a website set up by marketing company JWT on behalf of HSBC? Despite all the flash (and there’s lots of it), it seems to be community-oriented, interested in your point of view on gorillas, organic food, sports fans and the like. Your point of view is sought, sort of. ClickContinue readingForward Looking or Tired and Reactionary? Welcome to the Faux Community Site

News: Cambodia’s Boiler Room Scammers

Cambodia has repatriated 20 foreigners arrested last week for their involvement in the country’s first telecom scam, CNET reports. They comprised 14 Britons, two Americans and several Australian, New Zealand, Thai and Philippine nationals. Operating out of Cambodia, the group had cold-called people all over the world using cheap Internet phone connections to lure them into investing in the London and Hong Kong stock markets. Cambodian officials said their passport records show they had also worked from neighboring Laos and Thailand. This confidence trick has since been named “The Boiler Room scam” after a movie of the same name. The show, depicted “fly-by-night stockbrokers involvedContinue readingNews: Cambodia’s Boiler Room Scammers

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