I listen to the sales rep tell me about their customer service.
He says, “Really, the best thing is to download our app. It’s basically a control center in the palm of your hand. You could do anything from the app! You can schedule service, you can chat with a representative when you need help, you can order parts, and you can look up all of your service contracts!”
“Oh that’s interesting,” I say. “So can I pay my bill through that too?”
“Actually,” he says, “you have to have a different app to pay your bill. So you need this app to keep up with your service contracts, and then you need this other app in order to manage your billing and payments.”
“So… I need two apps to realize the full benefit of all your services?”
I wonder if he can tell that my inner Gen-Xer is rapidly losing interest.
“Well yes,” he says. “But then if you want our premium membership services too, then you need this other app for that.”
:: blink ::
I get why Amazon has multiple apps. I don’t get why this brick and mortar store that I walked into does.
“Do I have to have your app in order to look up my service contracts? Or can I just look them up on my computer?” I ask.
“Oh sure,” he says. “It’s just easier if you have the app since it’ll all be right there in your hand.”
Considering that I have almost no room left on my phone, and I value what is already there, the last thing I want to do is install 3 apps just to realize all the benefits of shopping at one store I just walked into.
But that’s the way of the world today. Everybody wants you to have their app now. Everybody wants you to register an account.
Everyone wants to help you for the low, low price of your email, address, phone number and GPS location.
Just to get coupon discounts on fabric that used to come in the mail, they want me to create an account.
If I want to use any service with extra benefits, I better be ready to surrender my phone number too.
Gone are the days of just simple favors and discounts. Today everybody wants to track every conversion. Today everyone wants to plug into me 24/7.
And I can’t blame them. I mean I want to know how well my marketing efforts are working too.
However my inner rebel says enough is enough. There’s not enough of an “in” anymore.
If I don’t want it bad enough, I’m not signing up for one more account to keep track of.
Just how many different accounts with user names and apps is it reasonable to expect a single person to have? Our digital footprint is rapidly becoming humongous. And if I were to die tomorrow, how many fragmented bits of accounts are going to be left floating around out there because they’re not really that important. Should I expect my kids to go close all of my accounts for the fabric store, the grocery store, the appliance store, the department store, not to mention all the online places I might shop?
What about the newsletters for the city, the neighborhood association, the drug store?
Will there come a day when all my bills will be required to be paid via app?
Does there really need to be one more app? One more account, for that?