There are two things that get under my skin every time. Three by one extension. The first one is when they willingly deceive the consumer, and the second is when they piss unto the customers’ ear and tell them it’s raining. The extension is when these companies, and more accurately, the people enacting these actions get scot free. It simply pisses me off, because it’s also partially on the consumer who just don’t move their money away, despite them having all the rights and reasons. But of course, brand loyalty and goddamn convenience trumps over taking a stance.
At the end of 2015 Volkswagen was found guilty of a fraud. The linked BBC article covers the whole shebang in proper manner, and New York times has another, more updated piece. Whatever the future holds for Volkswagen, it was the workers that suffered from it as people were laid out due to the losses that someone else made. Seventeen people were put under investigation by Volks themselves, and we all know how those go. Some high-ranking people may be removed, and yet without a doubt they will get a golden handshake. Seeing how Volks made losses for the first time in fifteen years, the money lost to them won’t be leaving any long-standing effects.
No, the loss of money is secondary to the loss of consumer trust. Anyone who wants to purchase a car and sees a Volkswagen as a recommended car will automatically ask about the computer. The second is stock plummeting down to the drain, but I have no doubts it will restore itself whenever they make a public scene about who was in lead, or what’s more probable, pushing the whole thing down and wait until it’s forgotten outside history books.
A company that willingly deceives its customers does not deserve them.
Similarly, Nokia cheated with their tires. Essentially, they had produced custom made tires for test situations while the mass-produced ones were more or less the generic no-brand ones you can buy from China. This of course pisses me off even further because all the core Finnish heavy-industries are going down the shitter because of things like this, good-fellows clubs and goddamn socio-political bullshit. Much like Volkswagen’s CEO, Nokia’s CEO Lehtoranta admitted this directly, but their image is similarly tarnished, especially now that loads of people are under investigation and accusation of putting up a share scam, as there was a sudden surge in option sales before the tire scam was made public. Not by a whole lot, just for 600 000€ but the price is beside the point. This isn’t the first time Nokia’s heads managed to sell options with perfect timing. In summer 2005 they made successful sales just before the market price crashed 50%. Either somebody knows his shit extremely well, or somebody had access to insider information.
And nobody in the high steps will actually feel anything and after the initial boom, no journalist wants to go deep into the mass and get their hands dirty when there are easier ways to make your name. The people in charge of Volkswagen’s diesel scam will get prosecuted in American court, but that will take time and it’s almost guaranteed that whoever sits in the stand is a scapegoat. I have no hope for the Nokia case either.
These two are good examples how fucking with your customers isn’t a good idea. Well, when done right it is because it nets you tons of cash, leaving a lot people unemployed. All this what I’ve typed down is very jaded and has not faith towards the industry, mostly because car industry is an entity that’s enormous in power. I want to say that it’s all about pissing the common customer in the eye, but that might be a bit too much. Just slightly.
Nevertheless, companies don’t understand anything but data, especially Japanese companies. The best data they can be shown include things like research papers and the simply the volumes of material the customers may give out in a form or another. However, what the understand the most is sales data, and when sales data shows that screwing with the customer cuts gains, you’d think they’d change their ways. But no, even with the information out there the customer just buys whatever is convenient and easy, never making tough decision because nobody else does either, and companies have free goddamn rein pushing whatever damn policies and ideologies they want on the consumers’ expense.
I need a third shot of whisky.