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It's Time We Respond
(When Companies Cross the Line)
I was at the movies the other day, and saw that the electronic listing of movies had now been programmed to alternate between the movie times and advertising for the new eating places in the theater. When they had done a similar thing with the signs indicating which theater was playing which movie, I complained to the cashier, but didnt take the time to complain to the customer service desk. This time I did not make the same mistake, and was told that "if enough people complained, they might change it."
I realized that this mentality is all too prevalent in our society, and in the computer industry. Remember when Apple switched to a fee-based support system. They attempted to extend that across the board only to be greeted with a lawsuit by owners who had been promised "lifetime" support. While they had been halted in this attempt, other changes were made without such problems.
It has gotten to the point that companies will push things to the extreme to see what they can get away with. It reminds me of the old joke about the man who would go up to a woman and ask if they would sleep with him. Not surprisingly, he would be slapped in the face. When asked why he does this, he responded, "every once in a while, one says yes."
While many companies have been called on their attempts to put one over on the customer, it is usually after they have succeeded before. Microsoft is a prime example. Even with the anti-trust case, assuming that the appeal fails, Microsoft still gained a lot from their behavior. Even split, there will be a lot of money made by Microsoft and its executives.
I think the time has come for society to stop assuming that companies will make the "proper" choice. When we see that something is amiss, we need to respond immediately, rather than hoping it will blow over.
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