I wanted to write a short entry about Videotron’s new “flagship” store downtown today, as I was at Tuesday’s press event, but quickly realized I couldn’t. After what happened over the weekend, I was in a lose-lose situation: Heap praise on the concept and appear like I’ve bent over for the company, or criticize and look like I’m holding a grudge. So for that reason, I’m writing this.
I was interviewed on CBC’s daybreak on Tuesday morning to discuss what happened and had the pleasure during that interview of hearing a clip of Marc Labelle, Videotron’s Senior Director of Corporate Communications. The clip features Mr. Labelle saying that “according to what they hear” I took a lot of pictures from the entrance of the store of the inside of the store with a flash. Patently absurd stuff.
Of course, no mention of the actions of their employees.
On Monday evening, however, I did have the chance to speak with Mr. Labelle personally. After sending an email to Videotron’s PR about attending their press event the next day, I was asked to call the company’s offices. They were concerned I’d pull a stunt the next day. Apparently, getting threatened by Videotron employees somehow gets you confused with Alan Funt, Ashton Kutcher, or Jamie Kennedy. Everyone who knows me is aware I’m about as controversial as 2% milk.
I won’t delve into much detail about the call, but I will say that’s it’s disheartening that they seem to be accepting the bald-face lies their employees have said following what happened. They went so far as to question whether the guy who threatened to punch me in the face even worked for Videotron. I’ve offered repeatedly to ID the culprits, but they are not interested. Mr. Labelle did express regrets that the incident happened, but there was no real apology.
Years back, I was watching a CNN interview with the Reverend Al Sharpton, who was ranting about some controversy and subsequent apology, and how offended he was by the apology. I’ve since forgotten what the controversy was, but I’ve never forgotten the analogy he used to describe an unapology-apology:
When you step on someone’s toe, you don’t say “I’m sorry your foot can feel pain.” You say “I’m sorry I stepped on your toe.”
So while I can’t say I expected much – it’s clear legalities on their end make having an honest conversation difficult, to say the least, I can say that the incident is entirely separate from what I think about Videotron’s products and services.
I don’t think two twenty-something thugs represent Videotron (although many of the people who’ve emailed, commented, tweeted, and talk to me do!) and my only real interest in the company is what they offer consumers, and its continuous battle for market share in Quebec. The actions of those employees was wrong, and as a lot of you have pointed out, assault under the Criminal Code, and they should be disciplined by their employer for their actions.
And that’s what I’ve got to say about that. Cool? Cool. Comments? Comment away.