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When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model 257

Posted by Soulskill
from the friendly-until-they-have-your-money dept.
jammag writes: A new trend has emerged where tech companies have realized that abusing users pays big. Examples include the highly publicized Comcast harassing service call, Facebook "experiments," Twitter timeline tinkering, rude Korean telecoms — tech is an area where the term "customer service" has an Orwellian slant. Isn't it time customer starting fleeing abusive tech outfits?
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When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

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  • "abuse" (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 22, 2014 @03:25PM (#47732091)

    "Twitter timeline tinkering" is abusive? That's a bit of a stretch.

  • by whistlingtony (691548) on Friday August 22, 2014 @03:38PM (#47732215)

    Right after the BP oil spill, I stood outside my house and watched cars go into an AM/PM for gas. Right across the road was a Shell (not that Shell is innocent or anything). I thought to myself "BP just did a Bad Thing, why are people buying from AM/PM? It says 'part of BP' right on the sign!"

    Perhaps it was habit? Perhaps it was that the gas was 5cents cheaper a gallon?

    This still bugs me to this day. Five cents a gallon, with each person having approximately a 10-15gal tank.. They couldn't or wouldn't spend 50-75 cents to send a message.

    There are already a lot of posts saying "where would they go to?". I get that. I do. But we still need to pull our heads out of our (not so) collective asses. There is only one thing that a company fears, and that is a drop in profit. As long as it's profitable to take advantage of us, they will. It's not THAT much effort to be a conscious consumer. People have been doing it with food. They just need to extend it to other things.

  • Re:Free market (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Flavianoep (1404029) on Friday August 22, 2014 @04:17PM (#47732577)

    I find it funny how people who defend capitalism in this day and age like to say that what we have is "crony capitalism" and if we'd just give real capitalism a try for once it would be super awesome.

    It's the same attitude you may have noticed that come from people who defend socialism but when confronted with the flaws of the Soviet Union, Maoist China, or Cuba will claim that those were, nor are, not under real socialism, but something else (tsarism, in the case of Russia).

  • by Animats (122034) on Friday August 22, 2014 @04:26PM (#47732661) Homepage

    You don't have to put up with jerks.

    • Internet provider - Sonic.net DSL. No packet filtering, good support, no nonsense.
    • Phone - Caterpillar B15 ruggeized Android phone.. Bought from Caterpillar dealer, not carrier. Declined Google account at first power up. Google services disabled. No updates from Google.
    • Cellular carrier - T-Mobile. Has no control over phone. No carrier apps.
    • Email - IMAP server. SpamAssassin spam blocking.
    • Main desktop machine - Ubuntu 12.4 LTS.
    • No Google account. No Twitter account. No pay TV. Ad blocking on all browsers.
    • Main news source - Reuters. (More news about Ukraine and ISIS, less about Bieber and Apple.)
    • Main food store - Trader Joe's. No "club card" required. Good prices.

    For almost every crap business, there's a competitor that isn't crap. Find them.

  • Re:Free market (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wiredlogic (135348) on Friday August 22, 2014 @04:47PM (#47732807)

    No. The execs have realized that they can get fatter paychecks if they eliminate "cost centers" that don't deliver any perceived value. Anyone not working in the executive suite is viewed as a liability to the company and needs to be eliminated to reduce the pesky overhead involved in having real employees.

  • by Prien715 (251944) <agnosticpope@@@gmail...com> on Friday August 22, 2014 @05:17PM (#47733059) Journal

    And you know what? We've got "temporarily embarrassed millionaires" who will fight you tooth-and-nail to defend that, in spite of their own interests.

    This. Further, there's the tortured logic of libertarian theology where taxing those who can pay is immoral, and that as a moral people, we must not victimized these poor, poor, wealthy people.

    The wealthy and powerful, on the other hand, have no problem voting their own interests as well as hiring pied pipers to convince the masses to vote against their own interests through propaganda. There's a reason why nominal wages haven't risen significantly in over thirty years [nytimes.com] while the stock market has: someone is making money and it ain't us.

  • Re:Free market (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bickerdyke (670000) on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:05PM (#47733321)

    Well, I once thought that too.

    But after receiving the same shitty customer "service" from a more expensive phone company, I decided that if I'm to get screwed over, I'm not going to pay extra for it.

  • Re: Free market (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bistromath007 (1253428) on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:27PM (#47733441)
    The natural result of a truly free market is socialism. Members of a vibrant community tend to realize that they do better when their neighbors do, and empathize with them enough to know that a streak of bad luck could make them the pest in their neighborhood, so it's good to take care of those who fall behind.

    Capitalism is separate from the free market, and a perversion of it. A wealthy member of a community, before this "genius" invention was made, would've been happy to organize large projects for the public good simply for the prestige of having been in charge of them. Now they require that a portion of workers' labor be diverted to them permanently, returning far more value than they ever contributed. This encourages the venture capitalist to go play in other markets, leaving the community that made him with all the money he's stolen from it, and polluting others that he cares even less about.

    While it has made large projects easier to start, those projects have had less and less value to the common people over time. At this point, the labor market is an arrangement whereby you either build something you don't care about for a rich person, or you don't eat. It is functionally indistinguishable from slavery, and it is not meaningfully consensual, given that is harder than ever to be an entrepreneur. We make a big noise about how the internet allows the little guy to make globalism work for him, but in practice what that means is that, in addition to the chokehold multinationals have on every mass market, you're fighting over the scraps of every niche market with literally every other person in the world with a vaguely similar idea.

    Capitalism only benefits the people who won the game before everyone else had a complete grasp of the rules. It won't even work for them forever; the harder they play, the less is left for them to win. Capitalism will one day be remembered mainly as the most efficient way to exploit a community to death. Unfortunately, most of us have to rediscover what a functioning community is first, and that's not going to happen before an economic collapse that kills thousands of white people.

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