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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 D-Bag Awards: Business

If I could name them all and fit them on the ballet, I would. Simply put, they make up the 99% of the d-bags in this world, but alas I had to narrow it down to four. Here we go…

NetFlix – You’ve cornered the market on mail order DVD and streaming, now go screw it up.
NetFlix pretty much had all the cards. They brought down the biggest name in video stores, Blockbuster, they introduced online streaming of movies and were poised to own the market on video delivery services. What could possibly go wrong?

Well… in July the raised their prices in an attempt to separate the physical DVD business from the streaming one. Then in September they went one step further and decided to split off the DVD rental service into a new brand called Qwikster. They found out the Twitter handle, Qwikster, was already taken. The bad part was that the kid using Qwikster on Twitter was a bit of a weed smoker. Maybe they could have cut him a deal on Cheech and Chong films. Ultimately, they dropped the Qwikster idea and went back to being good ole NetFlix. Alas, the damage was done. Subscribers left, stocks dropped and the once shining company that lorded over the DVD rental service found themselves to be seen for what they were, greedy d-bags.
Bank of America – Working hard for your money.
BoA should just understand that they’re screwed. They are what’s wrong with the economy and the notion that capitalism will win out in the end. Every year they find themselves on “worst company” lists and 2011 was no exception.

2011 kicked off with indictments over wire fraud and antitrust conspiracies. Then they decided to start laying off people despite earning $6.2 billion in profits in the third quarter. But the biggest feather in their d-bag hat was the $5.00 ATM fee for Debit Card transactions which sparked outrage and led to people ‘breaking up’ with Bank of America on Bank Transfer Day. Their only defense, “We have a right to make a profit.” Fine, then we have a right to vote with our wallet.

Paypal – We Regretsy to inform you you’re doing it wrong.
Regretsy tried to do something nice. They tried to get donations to help children out this year at Christmas. For that, PayPal decided to do something douchey and tell Regretsy that they used to the wrong button for charitable donations. First they tacked on fees to the donations, then they informed Regretsy they had to refund the money to those who donated… oh wait, minus the fees that were affixed by PayPal. Then they wouldn’t release the funds and froze Helen Killer’s account, including her revenue for her book. Finally, they backed off and released the funds and apologized. Too little too late.

I am also feeling the loathe for PayPal when they recently forced one of the Print on Demand websites I use to start using a different form of payment to me which attaches fees of 2.9% plus $0.30 on payments to me. While no other PoD publisher has been affected it looks as if PayPal is going after the little guy on this one, and I don’t just mean me, I mean the PoD site.

The Retail Industry – It’s Black Friday Somewhere.
Every year the Christmas Creep begins in earnest a little earlier. Consumerist has scores of articles, with proof submitted by readers, of stores advertising holiday sales and products WAY before it’s even time to think about such things. However, this year, this shit just got real.

Thanksgiving is usually the last day before the holiday season really kicks into high gear. But stores thought it would be better to start their sales on Thanksgiving and even in the late hours of the night before. The unfortunate part was that in order to have a sale, you need a staff, and to get a staff you have to rain on somebody’s holiday.

And for all the trouble, the retail industry had record sales this year, along with a few incidences of violence among shoppers.

Listen up, retail industry, you cannot fix the economy just by offering your overly priced, slightly discounted made in China crap a day early. Americans wait until the last possible minute anyway. This shit with Black Friday has got to stop. Nobody wants to go out and get assaulted while picking up a $50 SONEE Blu-Ray Player that only plays discs in the Pacific Rim. So, stop it. Either make it safer or give up the ghost. No one gets hurt when people flood so much with orders that the site crashes. No innocent workers get trampled to death. Nobody has to stand out in the cold with a leftover turkey sandwich waiting for Best Buy to open to get a rain check for an iPad2.

The smartest thing this year was online retailers extending free shipping or shipping in general this year. There’s your new model for success. Deal with it d-bags.

OK, after that bit of cleansing, I’m ready to present this round’s winner… and it is:

Why them?
Because they grinched Christmas from kids in the quest for the almighty 2.9% plus $0.30.  This isn't just because I got burned.  Yes, BoA screwed a lot more people, but do we expect them to do any less?  NetFlix did an about face quickly when they realized their mistake and frankly, the Retail industry is a loss cause but PayPal went above and beyond douchebaggery in order to screw over someone trying to do something good.  And they did it all because of a wrong button?   Eff you. d-bags.  I'm moving to physical checks for my payments.


Anonymous said...

I agree so much with your point about Netflix, I used to be a loyal customer and I feel like I was no longer important to them. The price change, to me, wasn’t that big of a deal, it was only a couple of dollars and that’s not really going to break the bank. It was the confusion of switching companies, and then paying double for what I was already getting. I used both the streaming as well as the DVD rentals since it was usually better content on the DVDs. Now that I’ve moved on actually, I am very happy with the Blockbuster Movie Pass that I’m getting from my job at DISH, I recommend it. Unlimited streaming, great content, and no extra charges for video games or blu-rays in the mail, I can even exchange those in the stores.

Janelle said...

I have a great d-bag PayPal story. My whole family practically sells on eBay, mostly old crap we don't want/need anymore to get a little extra cash and get rid of the stuff. My brother sold Yugioh cards (I think he quit since this). Some dude bought all these cards off of him and after my my brother sent them, the dude insisted he'd never bought them and requested a refund. My brother said he'd refund the money when the dude sent the cards back, except the guy refused to do so and filed a complaint with PayPal.

My brother had proof that if not this guy, someone using his account bought the cards and refused to send them back in order to get a refund. So this guy is in possession of items he claims he didn't buy but won't send back and still wants a refund for. PayPal knows this. PayPal sides with the dude and honors his refund request, removing the money from my brother's account to this dude's.

Needless to say, my brother never saw those cards again.

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