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How do I love thy company poetry? Let me count the ways

Sometimes on Convo we challenge companies, discuss breaking news or launch a new campaign. Other times we like to talk about more unusual aspects of consumer life. Get ready for some energy company poetry.

Do you like it when companies show a sense of humour? We’ve all seen tongue-in-cheek marketing campaigns designed to show that the company is warm, human, caring.

This train of thought was set in motion when I saw the oddest, quirkiest Valentine’s Day campaign this year – the Energy Ombudsman wrote an anti-Valentine poem for the energy companies.

‘I admit that it appalled me
That day you first cold-called me.’

It’s a stinging opening, which was followed by a sad story of disillusionment as our hypothetical, poetical customer gradually fell out of love with his energy company after poor treatment.

Energy companies do like to try

Broken hearts all round, of course, but the cheeky staff in the Eon and Npower marketing departments obviously didn’t want to let their lost love go so quickly.

Eon replied with a heart-warming call for a second chance:

‘But I tell you what I’m going to try
I’m not ready for you to say goodbye…

Together we’ll work to reduce and to save
I’ll make improvements with the feedback you gave.’

OK, perhaps not heart-warming, but a very nice way to join in the discussion without looking like a corporate killjoy. Npower came through with a rhyme of its own:

‘It’s really hard and galling
when people say that we’re appalling.

We want our service to be great
And we know that people hate

it when they find their bills are wrong
And being on hold for long.’

Opinions in the Which? offices have been divided. Some have giggled and enjoyed the tongue-in-cheek response from companies that usually stick to straight-faced press releases.

Others have rolled their eyes and complained that it’s a far too obvious ploy to win the hearts of consumers – people like poetry, they like humour, and this is a cynical attempt to get people to share your press releases.

With my greatest apologies

I’m a sucker for rambling poetry
For roses, and romance, and rhyme
But will I be heard if I say it’s absurd
For a press team to pen their own line?

I might just be too darn romantic
Or perhaps I’m a corporate girl
But while couples can couplet I think it’s too much
When a company gives it a whirl.

Then again it’s quite nice for a business
To show that they’re humans as well.
Who am I to decry their quite valiant try?
Do we care that they’re trying to sell?

So with the sound of my heroine, Elizabeth Barrett-Browning, spinning in her grave – what do you think? Is it nice when companies show a human side, and let loose with a sense of humour? Or do you think they (me included) should avoid things that are too jokey? Bonus points if you can come up with some better rhymes than me.

Comments
Profile photo of John Ward
Member

Watt we don’t want in our ohms
Is power giants’ pathetic poems;
Simple tariffs end in tiers.
Let the meter fit the bill,
Direct debit, dual fuel –
Haven’t had it straight for years.

Profile photo of Nikki Whiteman
Member

It really is quite challenging
To rhyme ‘dual fuel’ with anything.
But with your Watts and ohms and tiers
You’ve brought great punning to our ears.
With wit and wisdom by the mile
You’ve made a point *and* made us smile.
So thought I’d pop back in to say
That you, John Ward, have made my day!

Profile photo of VynorHill
Member

Brilliant John. I agree.

I can’t say that I have seen
That much poetry on the screen.
If these firms had any clue
They’d not use verse to tempt and woo.
We’d get plain billing – head to foot,
Simple figures- clearly put.
They’d stop our rebates getting slower
When global prices become lower,
And they’d pass on every tad
With the speed with which they add
To charges when the markets rise
And false apologies for their size.
Now I’d better stop this “b***h”
Dial up Which and make the switch.

Profile photo of wavechange
Member

Come on Argonaut of the Seas.
Here is the perfect opportunity
to use the lines with few words
that you have been inflicting
on us in your
recent posts. 🙂

Member
Poetry Society says:
15 February 2012

We commissioned a poem – it was a good cause –
for the Energy Ombudsman’s Valentine’s Day.
We were pleased to be asked, and Matt Harvey said yes:
a poet-consumer who wanted ‘his say’.

It’s heartening to hear that a poem’s a cheat
because everyone loves it. All the world loves a rhyme?
A poem’s a chance to be deep, with a beat,
And to say what you can’t say the rest of the time.

A love poem’s made for the object of love –
or ‘consumer’ in energy-company lore –
An expression of passion to heaven above
precisely because when the one you adore

doesn’t do what you want, doesn’t listen to you,
finding form for your feeling can make you feel better.
And this proves that a poem, well-placed, can get through
to the parts never reached by a boring old letter.

Member
Lowri Beck Services says:
15 February 2012

We couldn’t resist joining in as metering service providers to the energy suppliers…

We work with them all – good and bad
To see them pilloried makes us sad
We know they are only trying their best
to be so different from the rest

We won’t sell our soul but we give our hearts,
The chocolates, the roses we play our part
A Valentines message is nice to do
So here is one from meter you

Profile photo of the energy badger
Member

Time to enter this Valentine’s Day craze
It beats wading through the energy maze
Although it’s a day late
And might make you irate
Please don’t be sad or dismayed.

These poems are playing to the crowd
And it doesn’t matter if we shout very loud
For cheap prices are long gone
But well done to E.On
And nPower too can be proud.

It’s good to know that they can poke fun
And after criticism, of which they’ve had a ton
So I commend both you two
After all you’ve been through
Now provide some tariffs we won’t shun.

One thing’s for sure, I’m a badger, not a bunny
And I’m sorry that this limerick hasn’t been very funny
But you can team up with Which?
And join the Big Switch
And hopefully you’ll save some money!

@TheEnergyBadger 🙂