Observations – ATMs & Advertising

Having surpassed the barrier of false notions (I’m no longer a tourist), I am slowly settling into the reality that is Brazil. When the vacation period ends and the reality starts to arrive, the Brazil you thought you knew becomes almost as foreign as you once found it to be. My friend explained it in the following manner. First it’s all love, then it’s all hate, then it’s somehow bearable, then you find equilibrium. Currently, I’m slipping into the third phase but while these rights of passage pass through and around me, more and more things I just don’t understand (but try to accept because I’m an outsider). Although as part of the bearable phase, one accepts first and asks questions later…which brings me to the current topic.

1. Why are ATMs (caixa eletrônica) used for so many functions where most of the time they are located within the bank? The lines for these ATMs are crazy long and the customers in each take an average of 5 minutes plus to use them. All the meanwhile, inside the ‘bank’ bank, there is generally quite a lot of employees with no one to attend to. Now, perhaps I’m just the only crazy one of the bunch but why not have the employees assist the customers while the ATMs are used for taking out money or depositing it? If such a thing would become reality (and I know I’m dreaming here), there would be practically no lines at the ATMs (also meaning there would be no line for somebody to cut into) and no one would get stressed with a simple trip to the ATM. Just an idea…

2. Why do oh-so-many businesses use false advertising in Brazil? By offering more products or services than one actually can provide, the only thing one creates is confusion (and probably disappointment) on behalf of the customer when they arrive at your enterprise and inquire as to a product or service which they saw or heard advertised. What is created in these circumstances is a less-satisfied customer (when they get less than they want), an entirely non-satisfied customer (when they prefer nothing over getting less than they want) as well as an employee that has to explain the reality of the situation to the customer and thereby waste time (and as we all know, time is money). From an ice-cream stand on the side of the road that advertises 15 flavors but routinely has in stock a mere 5 or 6, to a larger business (which can take hundreds of thousands in investment to start) that officially lists more services than every single employee at that company knows are actually offered. I don’t get it…


8 thoughts on “Observations – ATMs & Advertising

  1. i was actually thinking of a “truth” in advertising post.. some time back i remember seeing an ad for a laundry /9powdered) soap, “omo”, and the ad said that even though their product is more expensive on the face of it, in the long run it is cheaper, because you can wash more loads with less product.. well some weeks back my wife (btw, she washes the clothes by hand) asked me to run out and by some detergent and i picked up a box of omo.. at first my wife complained, that it was really expensive, i should have bought another brand, yaddayaddayadda.. but, like the ad said, a little really does go a long way and now she buys it all the time..

  2. That is the perfect explanation for adjusting to life here… I really did love it at first, then for a while we really hated it and felt frustrated all the time, now we are finally feeling like it’s not so bad and we can make it work. Well, that second stage sucked, but atleast there is a third and fourth!
    I have to say that I agree with your idea about the banks. Bradesco, where we bank, is the s l o w e s t bank ever, with tons of people in the ATM lines but actually even more people inside the bank. The ATM takes forever to do anything because the stupid machine has to tell you like 5 different times not to tell your senha to anyone and that someone can be watching you, so be careful. Not to mention the several unnecessary entering and re-entering of your 2 different senhas. Ugh, so annoying. Even more annoying when the ATM has no money or can’t perform the function you want. Happens a lot at Bradesco. Or better yet, their entire system is down throughout the city and you can’t use your debit card to buy something at a store and also can’t withdraw money.
    I also don’t understand the point in promising and advertising something that was never intended to be taken seriously. WHat kind of business plan is that?? We called a car rental agency, got a quote from them, took a cab to go get the car, and were told that price was not correct and whoever told us was wrong. And they definitely didn’t feel bad at all about it. Why bother telling someone the wrong thing in the first place?? What’s the point?!
    We even went to see a movie but got there 15 minutes after it started, and the kid at the counter was so lazy that he refused to give the 6 of us tickets. Apparently making money is really not a big concern to businesses here, atleast not in Manaus.
    OK, that is enough for now…. but you started it! :)

  3. Caixa Eletronico is more used for those who dont know or cannot access Brazilian Internet Banking except for cash withdraws at most of Brazilian big cities. By the way, at this January, you can found me and my family at Ilhéus Itacare BA side wich paradisiac beaches and lot of culture is not false advertising, be wellcome, wish u a nice 2010.

  4. i never went through the “hating it” phase ( i have been here now for 4 years, on jan. 30). i think some key factors here are 1) i come from a hispanic background, which while different from brazil’s, it is very similar in many ways, so it wasn’t too hard to adapt to the culture or food 2) i was fully fluent in portuguese before i moved here full time, again, knowing spanish made it very easy back in 2000 when i started learning portuguese, 3) i had been going back and forth since 2001, every step of the way “planting seeds” for a permanent move, and 4) moving here was a decision i made on my own, it wasnt “forced” upon me by other factors.. it wasnt as easy as i may have thought it was before i made my decision, but it was no where near as bad as many who tried to talk me out of it made it out to be.. i dunno, different strokes for different folks i guess..

  5. Have you ever heard about PROCON’s? When I am in Brazil, and I face an add that doesn’t correspond to the truth I easily solve the problem threating the company. Believe or not, but it always works lol… well at least in Southeastern and Southern. I have never been to north of Brazil to compare.

  6. Pingback: Effecting Change Alone – Observations « Eyes On Brazil

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