It’s strange to me that we consumers sometimes don’t seem to realize how much power we have in the market place.
The biggest power we have over too high prices or poor service or poor quality products or whatever is to just not do business with those we have a problem with.
Now when someone is the only game in town or every business acts the same way, that does pose a problem — nonetheless, I’d rather go without than deal with something or someone who does not agree with me.
A young woman college graduate in Washington D.C. thought the $5-debit card fee enacted by Bank of America, along with similar actions by other banks, was unjust, so she did something about it. She got online and initiated a nationwide movement of people to move their accounts to regional banks and credit unions. Bank of America blinked (see link at bottom).
And here’s the deal:
First, as far as I see it, banks should be paying you money for using your money (of course if you barely have anything in there and keep over drafting, you don’t have much of a case).
Secondly, it was the banks that pushed people to use those plastic cards and they keep pushing. Years ago I got chewed out by a teller for having the audacity to come inside the bank to make a transaction. She thought I should be using the ATM outside.
I’ve been dealing with a regional bank for some time now, way before the current move began, and am quite satisfied.
In addition, I’m not running a nationwide boycott, but I am running a one-man boycott of Best Buy. To me they seem to be more into selling you stuff and not so much into good and/or fair service. I’m not going to put them out of business, but I am saving my own sanity.
I’m not a big fan of Walmart, but I will say this: my late wife tried to buy a flat screen TV at Best Buy and they were no help. She went over to Walmart and they even carried it out to the car for her (I was out of town driving down the road in my truck driving job).
Now here is kind of a twisted way (or logic, perhaps) where ultimately the consumer wins. Take the housing crisis, please. Anyway, for years the price of normal family dwellings, as opposed to Mcmansions or houses that were way beyond what the regular family might need, were way overpriced, especially considering the salaries that people made in any given area. Well after the real estate bubble burst in 2008 prices came way down — people weren’t buying.
Same thing with gasoline. Apparently the limit is somewhere around $5 per gallon. After that people just won’t buy.
If consumers really wanted to be smart, they would deal in cash only. Go with the rule: if I cannot pay cash, I cannot afford it.
If everyone did that prices would come down, way down.
Of course many will argue that such a cut in consumer demand would really put us into a financial depression and then no one would have money to buy products no matter how cheap the prices. Nothing is perfect.
But the most potent weapon you have or we have as consumers is to pass on that.
In the original version of my previous post about the GOP presidential candidates I paraphrased something Herman Cain said in response to sexual harassment allegations. I subsequently revised the post with the actual quote, taken both from a story on the web and from a YouTube video (the meaning does not change). It is: “The American people deserve better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion based on unfounded accusations”. If I wanted to be sarcastic I would say, yeah they do, so why don’t you just drop out. But seriously it is an interesting story with most of us not knowing whether he is the victim of a political smear or whether he just was not thinking ahead that some day he might run for president and then everything comes out. Despite his money-raising ability and even his polling, I don’t see that he has any chance to become president (vice president? I don’t think so either). The indications are that he has no real policy views, be they domestic or foreign, and all his answers revolve around his 999 tax plan. And I have already said too much about Cain.