Saturday, November 09, 2013

Blockbuster's Demise: Bad Karma from Late Fees

I have a deeply-held belief that companies which generate significant, sustained ill-will from their customer base will suffer in the long run. I both think this is true, and really want it to be true. I think Microsoft is headed there.

NPR's report on Blockbuster reminded me how greedy they were with late fees, in the VHS days. They thought they had wiped out the competition, so customer goodwill didn't matter much. Now, they are closing their last few stores, and still being sued over late fees.

What are some other companies that I think are candidates for cosmic justice?

Comcast. High fees, forcing too much bundling on consumers, offering too many short-term teaser deals, rather than solid, long-term value.

Facebook. For relentlessly testing consumers' limits on privacy. Like a 2-year old testing their parents.

Verizon, AT&T. For high rates, complicated price structures, and relentlessly sticking to the opaque business model of bundled handsets and two-year contracts. Go T-Mobile!

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