Sorry this is so late. I spent a significant portion of this morning dealing with customer service for a newly-purchased malfunctioning device. It’s apparently a known-issue, though it doesn’t usually strike this early, and they’re sending me a replacement. Of course, I lost three hours of work early morning, plus having to do without the device (which I was loving) for a few days why they ship.
Which is fairly normal, but dear Lord, is the onus on the customer.
And it kind of brings us to where I am right now.
I’m annoyed that this is the normal thing of customer service. Yes, I know, they need to make sure the device really is malfunctioning and not just customer error, but can’t they stream line the process.
I know, I know I’m a spoiled American. No other country is run as much for the comfort and convenience of its citizens as the US of A, and boy are we used to it.
The other side of it is that no other country is as “efficient” to live in. People in Europe and probably the rest of the world not only put up with a ton more inconvenience, to live, which means on a routine every day basis, they lose more time and concentration than we do, but also in general have access to fewer “convenience devices” than we do. And generally endure a ton more nonsense. I described my experience with the train from Paris to Cannes, and how we were put in an un-air-conditioned first class car, but they keep running it and selling tickets to it even though the temperature in the train car could legitimately kill people who are in fragile health. In the States it would be out of business. In France, they gave a Gallic shrug and the ah “political officer” at the airport who talked to us, I suppose to determine threat levels, said that he had got that car “several times” and that he hoped we’d complain because “maybe they’ll listen to tourists.”
That’s screwed up. That’s also normal in most of the world.
You know why? Because in most of the world (not nearly all) the government steps in the relationship between customer and provider more than they do here.
All the idiot children out there who decry “capitalism” which they seem to think is some sort of organized system and not simply “people trading, as they will if no one prevents them” as a system, should think very carefully about the alternatives.
Once the government steps in: in health, in commerce, or simply by such excessive regulation about how you pay and treat your employees, the result is that the company or business is no longer serving the people but the government.
And when the customers, be they ever so humble — or derpish. Yes, I read Amazon reviews — stop counting, what you get is that train car in 90 degree weather, with windows that don’t open and the air-conditioning which apparently hasn’t worked for 3 years.
You also get a loss of things you might have used to make your life more interesting/rewarding/easier, but which never come on the market, because regulations most of all squelch the small, the innovative and the risk takers.
For instance everyone (and their father) tells me I need an assistant. I know that, you know that. But the government is convinced if I get an assistant it will be for the purpose of exploiting him/her, making them work in the dark and cold, and beat them with sticks.
So it has regulations. I have to fill all sorts of forms, but more importantly, unless I can prove the assistant is a contractor, not an employee, (and I’ve seen friends try to do that) I have to fill all sorts of paperwork (which would require another assistant to fill,) as well as provide a contribution to the assistant’s social security, which at my present stage would cost more than I can afford to pay. Oh, yeah, also of course, pay whatever the government says I should. The whole thing is daunting enough it’s not even worth trying.
My question is this: If adults are free to express themselves, buy firearms, marry whoever they want, or jump off a cliff if they so wish… why do we need the government to tell us what deals we can accept, what products we can buy, what things we can do?
And if we are not free, then what’s the point of giving us the right to vote?
Because I’m getting truly sick and tired of this idea that if I strike a bargain with someone, be it for a product or a service, the government can step in and tell us we’re wrong and can’t do what we want to do.
Which brings up another point: all the things labor and consumer regulation are supposed to prevent are already crimes under other laws. If I kept an employee locked up and mistreated him/her this would already be a crime under other laws. If I defraud a customer, that’s already a crime. Yes, even in drug and food — Sinclair’s fanciful invention not withstanding — all those things were already crimes BEFORE the FDA and could be persecuted under the law before any regulation intervened.
So, despite my being peeved at — private — customer service, and having pointed out to their Customer service person that unless performance improves and Customer Service is streamlined, I won’t buy from them again, as is my right, I do have a recourse. And customer service responds, because if I complain and don’t tell other people to buy their gadget, or even worse tell other people NOT o buy their gadget, they will suffer. Hence they comply and listen.
But if a service or a product succeeds through government intervention, they’re likely to have no competitors, and give very few d*mns what the customer thinks.
This applies, now, to any company that becomes really large like, for ex, tech giants. Because the government has set tons of barriers on small businesses and small businesses growing (Obamacare being the final nail there,) the field is in possession of a few interests that really don’t have to please the people, only the government.
This is the only result of government regulation of business and contracts. This is also ALWAYS the result. This is the secret sickness of socialist regimes, the one that eats them from the inside out, the sclerosis Europe is dying from, and the reason we’re not doing so well, ourselves.
The only question is, why do people think this is a good idea.