Monday, September 3, 2012

Consumers are screwed...

It doesn't matter where you live, chances are your mobile carrier is screwing with you one way or the other. If you're an Iphone owner your specially screwed since your Iphone's pretty much ultra locked to that provider. If you're a Mac user, repair is getting less and less likely. If you bought Diablo 3, you've been screwed since the beginning with the "always-on" DRM scheme. We even hire our ISPs knowing they won't deliver what they advertise. If you use facebook, and chances are you do, you're getting useless news and "trending articles" getting pushed into your timeline with no regards for privacy. The list goes on and on...
My mobile carrier for example, forces me to pay for a voice plan, which I literally never use, in order to be able to have a data plan. It doesn't matter if I want to hire a data plan that is actually more expensive than those two plans combined, they just won't let me. Don't even get me started on contracts. Shouldn't the penalty for leaving a contract subside with each month? After all, you are paying a monthly fee for their services.
What ever happened to "the consumer is always right"?... And we should be, I mean, we are the ones paying aren't we? So why is there so much blatant disregard to our rights? Any consumer advocacy group out there?
It was great last year when that one girl managed to get the Bank of America to remove a nasty fee from her debit card. Americans all over supported her thanks to the Internet. Sadly, that's only one tale of success against hundreds of tales of consumer's rights being trampled by big corporations.
It pains me to see that one has no other option but to submit to their terms... And the worst thing of it all is that the ones that need your money or your clicks, likes and shares, are them. Why isn't anyone wooing their customers anymore? At least not a lot of companies. Just a couple of days ago Samsung pulled off a nice PR stunt and scored some serious points. At least with me. 
Recently, the thing that has most affected me in this regard is Diablo 3's "always online" DRM. It means you can't actually play a single player game without an Internet connection.  So if I travel, or if my line goes down, if anything were to prevent me from getting an Internet connection... I am officially off Diablo 3. I've given the game bad reviews due to this and bad scores all over, even though I love the game. It is time we consumers get a voice and the Internet is the right place for that. The big issue here is that they think they have all the power... But what would happen if everyone decided to stop using facebook? A massive PR effort would be needed to pull off such a stunt, but it would serve to show them that they need us a lot more than we need them... At least in the very particular case of facebook. And hey, Zuck's shares are pretty low as it is so maybe it could make a change.
Even if no one listens, that doesn't mean you shouldn't complain. So remember, the next time you get screwed, file a complaint. Maybe no one will read it, but they just might.

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