Everywhere you turn you are most likely hearing and reading about people complaining about how unfair it is that they are having to pay fees for bank services, or the products they buy costing costing more, or when they’re backed up and can’t seem to go to the bathroom (well the last one hasn’t happened…yet. You can probably find something on twitter though). It seems like people have some sort of sense of entitlement these days. Like they should be able to get everything they want all while the companies providing those products and services foot the bill. I’m beginning to think that some people just like to make big deals over nothing or like the attention it brings when they get the recognition for raising the stink (and of course since most people are followers looking for a cause, they just hop on the bandwagon blindly).
My buddy SB, who writes at One Cent At A time recently wrote an article about customers using their powers to get what they want. I myself have said that customers are the lifeblood of a successful business, even giving business owners alternatives to throwing out annoying customers. The problem I have is that it’s not that customers shouldn’t voice their opinions when they are dissatisfied, but the fact that they are using their collective voice for the wrong purposes.
Everything we consume has a cost associated with it. Look at the company you work for, or if you run a business, the products or services that bring in your income. If those businesses never raised the sales prices while facing increased costs to provide those items then profits would shrink. If those profits shrink, there may not be a version of a budget where you can be retained as an employee. In the case of you business owners, you may not have enough profits to pay yourselves anything substantial enough to justify keeping the business going and may have to return to the workforce as an employee. But, the companies who you would apply to wouldn’t have any jobs because they can’t afford to hire more people due to the fact that their profits have been cut by eating the increases in costs.
People want everything for free, or at bargain-basement pricing, but they are not willing to take the downside that comes along with such pricing structures. They want exemplary customer service and modern amenities/utilities at the same time, but they cannot have their cake and eat it too. Do you want a bank that is going to give you bill pay, many years of statement and check storage online, the ability to transfer funds between account and even across customer accounts, convenient locations and is open at times when you need although they charge a fee for some services? Or do you want a bank that offers only basic services, is difficult to get to , isn’t open at times when you would need it, yet doesn’t charge fees? Do you want a service provider like a cable/satellite company that provides you with the cutting edge technology and speed that you require to watch and record multiple show simultaneously or one that doesn’t even provide HD or DVR capabilities? Do you want a cell phone plan that allows you to access your email, banking/brokerage accounts, and provide a network that can accommodate your talking and data needs, or would you rather opt for a low-cost, stripped down option but give up the quality in the service, if they even provide the same options?
Have you ever had a problem with Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, Yahoo, etc and complained to anyone who will listen? Well I’ll tell you something: you have no right to complain. You are using a service that is being provided to you free of charge, and you are not giving anything in exchange for those services so how can you claim to be deserving of assistance and support also? And, holy crap, cover the children’s ears should any free service provider ever even think about charging for support. Who do they think they are charging to answer a question about the product they are providing to you. Never mind the fact that it’s not costing you a dime to use the service, they should give you everything for free!
It’s all about trade-offs. You cannot logically expect a business to give you everything you want while not expecting to be compensated for those services or products. You have to make the choice: do you want all of the extras you think you are “entitled” to receive or do you want to save money and opt for a cheaper version? You can’t always have both.
If you want to complain and protest against something, how about choosing something that will benefit society in a real way, like fighting fort that millions of children go hungry here in the United States each day. Or how about the rising costs of education at all levels to the degree that schools can’t even provide updated textbooks or supplies to the students. Maybe the issue of childhood obesity and making parents accountable and educating them isn’t worthy enough. And how about supporting teachers and public service personnel (police and firefighters) who see their jobs and salaries cut because cities make stupid decisions to commission art pieces on taxpayers’ dimes or build statues at the taxpayers’ expense rather than pay the people who really make a difference in their communities. Why not quit worrying about the cost of your streaming entertainment or your cell phone data plan or the lousy fee to use your debit card for a change and turn your attention to the causes that actually can make a difference to those who truly need it!