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In this day and age of OTT platforms and the changing face of ICT technology it is enlightening to see how companies try to distance themselves from having to talk to their users/customers. Especially if you are collecting and selling their personal information based on terms of service that are so general no one could imagine that the company is really scraping other websites and matching the information to what they have to then build a very deep dossier on everyone. But ask them and will get a convoluted answer that parses words such that you have no idea what they are really doing. You really don’t even have to look online to find how companies hide from their customers and have put concerted efforts into not having a way for customers to escalate their problems. Their answer is send us an email. Then you get a convoluted response that still hides the real answer, if you ever get any response at all. Those pesky customers!

This issue has an in-depth article on Facebook and how they parse their information favorably. Yet when you get people to ask the right questions it becomes quite shocking. At the recent Congressional testimony of Mark Zuckerberg, it was apparent that many of the members of Congress were clueless as to what Facebook was really doing so he could easily avoid direct answers. When a proper question was answered with evidence he had to answer, it went over everyone’s head when it should have been front page news. In 2011 Facebook signed a consent decree to not sell personal information. Yet the infamous Cambridge Analytica had a written agreement with Facebook signed in 2013 allowing them to do such. Yet publicly Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg feigned outrage that Cambridge sold Facebook data to the Obama campaign and others.  Can you call Facebook to discuss this? NO.

Try calling GM to escalate a purchase problem. No way. When Sam’s Club changed their memberships, they instructed employees to not give their business customers what they had paid for! Try calling Sam’s corporate to get this resolved. There is no way to call corporate, only a “call center” where no one is empowered to help customers. No way to talk with anyone else. Sam Walton would roll over in his grave at the arrogance of Sam’s management.

We all hope that the current environment will change. We all need to respond to these type businesses with our wallet!

 

Jeff Seal

Managing Partner

Telecom Review North America

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