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I’m a gold expert!

When some time ago I extended my Premiere pay-TV subscription (the German pay-TV provider), I also got a cheap receiver as spare for a few bucks, and its package also included (all quotes translated by me):

  • A leaflet: “Voucher for playing lotto for free 4 times”.
  • An envelope with “A thank-you for Premiere subscribers”: A cell-phone offer.
  • An envelope with “For you as Premiere customer!” on it: An electricity provider switch service.
  • And an envelope “Expert survey 2008” from Bayerisches Münzkontor, a coin mail-order company.

The latter says:

We picked you representatively – your opinion is especially important to us. Our expert survey 2008 has the motto “Do you consider gold a secure investment?”.

Aaah yes, Premiere receiver buyers are representatively selected… Maybe they should use that text only for their direct mailings (which doesn’t imply that it’s necessarily correct then…); at least in the past years they did some mailings, see e.g. (in German) here or with other topics here.

Included was a questionnaire – “Opinion sheet no. 842/7452”, is that really a unique number? – with 8 questions such as “Would you invest in gold?”, “Should Germany, considering the current economic situation, sell parts of its gold treasures?” and “Would you consider giving gold in bars or coins as a present […]?” At least some of them, it seems to me, are likely to influence the advertising you’ll receive in the future.

The return envelope with its print “Important documents!” and a field for entering the date of arrival are probably “a little” exaggerated, kissing up to the potential customer…

A “personal thank-you package” is also available: A coin at a “preferential price” of 10€ instead of 49,99€ – for acquiring new customers, selling something below value isn’t uncommon, there’ll probably be nice margins later on for regular prices –, a collector’s box and a wrist watch.

And if you don’t read the fine print, you’re also about to receive, “as a special service”, more coins every month – at least this can be canceled and the coins returned at any time, they say, and that’s what one can expect anyway. Well, it should be known anyway that you have to read everything attentively… At any rate, you might be in for some advertising in the future, I guess…

Links of the Week (2008/11)

Short and sweet:

6 million liters of water

6 million liters – how much is that, what to make of it?

  • 20,000,000 glasses (0.3 l each) full – doesn’t help much…
  • 6,000,000 liter bottles (duh)
  • 1,200,000 days for cooking and drinking in German average
  • 666,666 – 2,000,000 toilet flushes
  • 500,000 bottle crates (12 bottles each)
  • 150,000 showers
  • 50,000 bathing
  • 47,244 x average daily consumption in Germany
  • 17,000 fillings for 150cm wading pools (about 20cm depth)
  • 12,500 pallets with 4x2x5 bottle crates each
  • 8,100 € at 1.35 €/m³ (though I’m not sure about this price)
  • 1,200 dripping faucets per year
  • 129 years total consumption for an average German
  • 2,4 olympic swimming pools (50m x 25m x 2.0m or deeper)
  • 1 water-mains burst in the city of Pfaffenhofen the evening before yesterday.


Consumption numbers from Quarks&Co

Fewer unsolicited calls

About half a year ago, I published some statistics about 102 unsolicited phone calls – now it’s time for an update with the data from the rest of the year. The number of such calls to me clearly decreased: to about one third, from 102 in weeks 4-29 to 31 in weeks 30-52 (labeled “~H1” and “~H2” in the following diagrams, because they don’t exactly correspond to the half years).

Maybe thanks to the nice message (implemented with my FRITZ!Box 7170 and my ISDN phone with answering machine) for callers who do not transmit their caller ID which says (translated)

“Good day. You are calling without transmitting your number. Since this is typical for unwanted commercial calls, you are directly – without audible ringing – directed to this answering machine. Please enable your caller ID transmission, or leave a message so you can be called back. Thank you.”

one or more cold call centers kicked me out of their database. :mrgreen:

Of course the “no number => unwanted” conclusion isn’t always 100% sure, but who calls me legitimately can leave a message or try again with caller ID – these (few) cases have been taken into account here.

Here’s a breakdown by weekday, time of day, and calendar week:

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