Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Monopolists Provide Lousy Service

I think there are many companies that obviously do not attempt to provide good customer service: airlines, large banks and Verizon are examples that have huge numbers of customers being treated very poorly. If there are options to choose decent service it doesn't bother me so much (credit unions provide a very good alternative to large banks most often). Thankfully you can often avoid United, American... by choosing Jet Blue or Southwest but obviously that is not always possible. Verizon is even more annoying because they have bought their way into very anti-competitive positions (banks and airlines also obviously have done so alos).

Near monopolies have the freedom to provide lousy service. Companies like Verizon, American, Chase, Wells Fargo... attempt to make their customer hostility sustainable by securing monopolistic positions. It has worked pretty well for them. I think we are much more likely to get customer friendly policies by new companies coming along that don't sell out the oligopolists. Unfortunately the anti competitive behavior these companies favor it just to buy out customer focused alternatives instead of providing service themselves.

Regulators allow such anti-competitive behavior is another thing we could hope to see change. But the chance of proper regulation of anti-competitive behavior is not good. And hoping those companies stop being so customer hostile is not something that will likely work. I don't see good odds that the monopolistic customer hostile companies will change. Those companies that don't have monopolistic positions are not such a big issue because after providing universally bad service they go out of business. It would be nice if our regulators didn't allow the monopolistic behavior but they obviously are going to do their part to allow capitalism to function, bad service and high prices is what we can expect from the monopolistic companies.

Re: How to Design Poor Service – Expect 100% Utilization of People or Resources

Related: Why is Customer Service So Bad? - Verizon Provides Lousy Service = Dog Bites Man - Price Discrimination in the Internet Age

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