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FROM MY CORNER: The Consumer Con Game

Howell Hurst Digital Hell


The Consumer Confidence Game

The digital consumer world is not the miraculous answer to citizens’ woes as claimed by its software and hardware creators. I am talking about the repeated assertions of Microsoft’s Bill Gates, and previously made by Apple’s Steve Jobs. Having spent a third of my life playing the digital game, I seriously contend they have created a consumer monster that works primarily for the few key big-time, big-money players, but not the general public.

The rest of us are the tail of the dog being wagged as the key players play us all, making billions of dollars profits in the process. It is highly overhyped, and is naively accepted by media, politicians, and well-connected financial types.

Yes, it is great. For them. Otherwise, the time and money it takes to play the game is immensely expensive: endlessly waiting on the phone for service while their recorded automatic systems insure they don’t have to spend a penny of their profits creating jobs for real people to accommodate your and my real needs.

No, I am not a grouch. Yes, I am disappointed that the lawyers and financiers who created the current self-serving digital monster are so near sighted. It is nearly impossible to reach them with complaints or suggestions. Apple and others sit literally on billions of dollars of accumulated profits. But try to get really personal service anymore, from them or the many other digital giants. Try to get a message to top management of Apple or the others.

Good luck. You’re required to fill in an online questionnaire, where they explain they don’t have the manpower to deal with your request personally. They’ll consider it, their preprogrammed response tells you. Sure. And I’ll sell you Brooklyn Bridge for a dollar. Millions of hours of consumer time is wasted yearly trying to figure out how to make software and hardware work. Or to get real service for anything. When the digital giants help you, it often costs you over $125 an hour to have some $15/hour worker help you.

Getting personal service from any large corporation is impossible these days You’re more liable to be criticized by them for daring to question their right to take you to the bank and empty your pockets.

A grouch? Maybe I am. I think we need more grouches. Anyone want to join me in criticizing the corporate digital world’s assertion that we should be praying to them on our knees for the expensive right to do business in the one-way style they love?

If so, sign up. Right here.

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