Fourth twenty in twenty, again… – Competition

What is the go with large corporations thinking they can treat their customers like lab rats. I mean, like, I know they can and do but how have we as a society allowed the situation to develop where they can get away with it? Where is the competition? I am now old enough to remember times when people had higher expectations of the companies they used. I’m not saying things were better back in the day. Most things have gotten better. Better services, better products with better technology. Still, along with that is an acceptance that the big players ( I’m thinking Facebook, Google, Microsoft etc) can’t be expected to be held accountable for their actions. It is not unusual for me to find myself looking for alternative suppliers in my day to day life after receiving what I consider unacceptable service. I have an example on hand…

In an attempt to make my family’s xbox work, I went with a near free trial version from Micosoft’s game pass offering. I know these are often offered with the hope that people will not bother to remove the subscription. However, on this rare occasion I actually remembered to cancel the subscription after I realised the service was not going to be helpful. I received the confirmation email that the service was cancelled and I expected that would be the last of it. Not at all. While checking emails I noticed an email from Microsoft stating they had charged the full amount for the following month, which I hadn’t been aware or interested in of course. That was enough to make me disgruntled but it was far from resolved and this is where my main complaint lies. After spending copious amounts of time looking for a way to request a refund, it became apparent not such option is available. How arrogant does a company have to be to think they do not need to be contactable about products they would prefer not to discuss?

It is a crazy situation. A company that provides a substantial portion of the functionality of my computer, to which I pay frequently, feels it is OK to partake in unsavoury business practices like this with no concern of potential consequences. Indeed it is true. What choice do I have as a consumer. There is no realistic competition to MS office in the corporate world. Competition is sorely needed in the sector and in many other sectors. There appears to be no guiding principles for government to act upon other than responding to public sentiment. I see it as a symptom of bigger issues.







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