Technology is an empowering force to business and especially to the tech savvy entrepreneur.
In past blogs I've provided examples ranging from office systems to software to marketing and sales tools.
However, because it makes many activities so much more affordable, it also can empower a company to go too far.
In one area of technology, communication, a disturbing trend is being taken to the extreme.
We are all familiar with email spam. The emails are practically free and spammers send them relentlessly. This space has matured somewhat with opt-in/opt-out rules, published privacy policies, spam-filtering technology and legislation.
But now I'm seeing a new type of communication spam I find equally irritating.
A couple of months ago, I bought some appliances from a major retailer that required delivery and set up. Soon afterward, I received a call from a number I didn't recognize; it was an automated survey asking how the setup crew performed. I was busy at the time and didn't have time to take the survey, so I simply hung up.
Later that evening, I came to learn that this company didn't accept hang ups, because they called back. I didn't answer. And then they called back again. And again.
I assumed after a few tries they would leave me alone. That didn't happen. By about the seventh or eight call, in frustration, I answered the call and responded to the survey as quickly as I could. It was very frustrating to be held hostage in this way.
Here is another example: I recently contracted with an Internet service provider to run a connection into my home. I scheduled the appointment on its website, which was very nice and convenient.
But then the automated telephone calls started again. The provider called to confirm the appointment time, which I did. It called back a few hours later to confirm the exact same time. Which I did again.
In total, I confirmed the same appointment after receiving automated telephone calls no less than four times in a 24-hour time span. After all, I didn't want to not confirm it, because I had to plan time away from the office to meet the installation crew.
I had no choice but to answer each call and do what they were asking of me, even though it made no sense.
In both these examples, technology empowered the companies to protect their interests at almost no cost. However, they both took it too far.
Have you encountered examples of technology run amok?
Treff LaPlante is president and CEO of Harrisburg-based WorkXpress.