Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Enlighten me

As well as being a chartered structural engineer Mr FF has an MBA in marketing - an integrated communications-based process through which individuals and communities are informed or persuaded that existing and newly-identified needs and wants may be satisfied by the products and services of others - apparently. We have had some quite heated discussions about what makes good marketing as I like to think I cannot be persuaded to purchase items that I don't really need (apart from wool, books and toiletries of course, but that's not need that's lust). I am not a lover of the buy one get one half price offers though I admit I can be tempted by the buy one get one for free, aptly abbreviated to BOGOFF, if its a product I know and use. Equally I don't like the vouchers you get when you make a purchase for say £5 off next time, this has seen me leaving the checkout to go back round the aisles searching for a way to spend the voucher but there is never anything for just £5 in the range and I then have to make a determined effort to leave the shop and throw the voucher away. I'm much happier with a straight forward pricing system, just give me £5 off the bill now, though of course finding anything that has been substantially reduced is tempting, I found two perfectly healthy clematis the other day at £1 each in the bargain bucket and soon snapped them up.
So how can you explain this. I was in Homebase (again) and after finding the above mentioned clematis I went to buy some energy saving light bulbs, the main purpose of my visit. I needed two types of bulbs, one priced at 99p each and the other at £1.29 each, however there was an offer on 3 for £1. That just doesn't make sense, who would ever buy one for £1.29 when you have have 3 times what you need for £1 and afford to throw 2 away. Even the marketing engineer couldn't explain that one, the offer is endorsed and subsidised by the energy supplier E-On, but they are in the business surely of getting us to use their electricity not save it. Needless to say we bought a few. Mr FF was so delighted with the purchase that he actually replaced any remaining energy consuming light bulbs we have in the house with these new ones (even though there was still life in them and he comes from Yorkshire). He did point out that the new bulbs have a lifetime of 10 years allowing for them to be switched on for 3 hours a day. No way do we leave lights burning unnecessarily so we have reached the conclusion aged 60 and 61 respectively that our bulb changing days may be over.


  1. If only! We bought these energy saving bulbs too. and while they did last much longer than the old ones, so far, we've only been able to get about 3 years out of them before they blow out.

  2. You never know, they may last for quiet some time. We have a bulb on our landing which is now 9 years old and survived three house moves with me (yes I am that sad...) and it is still going strong.

    On the point of E.on getting energy to us rather than saving it. They are obligated to assist customers in reducing their carbon emmisions and aid in energy savings under Carbon Emission Reduction Target or CERT, which was introduced in some deeply exciting Gas & Electricity legislation, and further emphasised in the Climate Change Act.

    They do this usually by heaping money into a pot which funds grants for projects such as Cavity Wall insulation or Loft Insulation. Or, in this instance, subsidising energy efficient bulbs.

    You'd never guess that I specialise in environmental sustainability!

  3. Ha ha ha ha ha - this made me laugh all evening!!! I didnt realise that your hubby was a tight Yorkshireman!

  4. Hmm! We've been using them for several years. Periodically, we get freebie ones through the post after signing up for some energy conservation scheme ( can't remember what) . Trouble is, we are beginning to stock pile because they last so long! So what will happen to the bulb montains I wonder!!! Ros

  5. I recently had an energy saving bulb conk out on me too. I think it had done about 4 years good service, which is still good going really, but you might have to climb the stepladders once or twice more!

  6. Aren't they kind of dull? I've been told they are but I've had no experience myself so cannot judge!

  7. I know what u mean regarding the "special's" that supermarkets try to get you to purchase.
    And you have to be careful as soemtimes here they put the spcial sign next to a non special item, we have learnt to check everything,
    And our house is energy bulb filled, Hubbie made sure of that sometime
    We sure do love sepcial's as well, like the time we bought sandpaper for his sander, it was cheap so we stocked up on some stupid amount that will never get used, yep we sure do love a bargain here...'
    Tracey x

  8. Slightly similar to the £5 voucher and so on is the offer that comes with a certain book mail order company, who offer you free postage worth £3.50 if you spend over £25. My order comes to £ do I look to see if there is anything I want that is worth the same as postage, or just put it down to my usual luck and pay it? I did the latter!


    (oh god I have just realised the caps lock was stuck on - sorry - too busy watching "Love Actually" while I type - sorry!)