Okay, I’m a little bored and egocentric, so I was reading back through my old posts and comments when I came across my rant about Toucan and their cold-calling antics. On that article, there’s a few comments from random strangers. Most of them are reporting similar negative experiences. One of them is different, from someone calling themselves “James”. He says:
I switched to Toucan from BT and I’m saving tons of cash. I guess you can stay loyal to BT but there is a cost.
This immediately set bells ringing. I mean, it’s entirely possible that someone really has had a good experience with Toucan, I suppose. It’s possible also that the sun will go out tomorrow and the world will be plunged into eternal darkness. Who knows? Also, there’s something about the language used in the comment that just doesn’t sit right with me: the phrases “stay loyal” and “there is a cost” sound just like the sort of thing telemarketing scummers use.
Anyway, spider-sense a-tingling, I had a dig through my logs for when that comment was posted, and found the poster’s IP address – 188.8.131.52. Plugging this IP address into whois reveals that it’s part of the range owned by a company called International Discount Telecommunications (who, it seems, have an interesting customer satisfaction record themselves).
A little more digging showed that Toucan is in fact IDT’s trading name in the UK (search for Toucan on that page). So we know our visitor came from an IP address allocated to IDT/Toucan. Now, I’ll concede that it’s perfectly possible that this IP address is simply one they’ve allocated to a customer – indeed, if anyone can confirm this, let me know – but I’m still suspicious; the commenter didn’t mention whether he was with Toucan for just phonecalls or for internet access too. So, it’s back to my logs again.
It seems the same IP address has hit my site several times since I wrote that post – and every single time the referrer URL was a search engine with terms like “Toucan Blog” or “Toucan Telecom Complaint”; and when they did come, they didn’t hang around to read any other posts (which is unusual, going by my other search-engine sourced traffic).
Now, either they really are a customer who likes the company so much they’re dedicated to searching out people – continually, over the course of several months – who’ve badmouthed them and pointing out the error of their ways, or this is actually someone inside Toucan doing a crafty marketing job. This sort of thing has happened before.
So, what do you think? Genuine customer – and if James is out there reading this and wishes to defend his innocence, he’s invited to do so – or more scumworthy marketing from a company with an already less-than-stellar reputation for honesty and integrity in this area?