Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Customer is Always Right

Renedox, a very good friend of mine, did a blog post a couple of months ago that's been bothering me.

The term "The customer is always right" , which has entered into our everyday vernacular, is seldom understood. As Renedox points out, it's more a statement in support of trusting to the market.

What really bothers me about it though is that it assumes that the customer has all the facts in order to make an informed choice. This is very seldom the case. Big companies hide the facts and fight for legislation to keep the customer blissfully unaware.

Badges/icons on packaging that are supposed to let us know what's going on are forms of branding only allowing for higher prices to be charged OR only meet the conditions of those icons under certain circumstances (the heart foundation tick is an interesting one. Milo did have the tick but dropped it 8 months after getting it due to the product being close to 50% sugar). How free range are the chickens who lay free range eggs?

if we knew half of what went on within the chocolate industry, around slavery, we probably wouldn't eat chocolate. Our clothing is much the same - the conditions people work and live in for us to have jeans and the like might make us consider buying locally produced clothing (Mahatma Gandhi would be proud). If manufacturers were honest about the pollution produced by all of our disposable mobile devices, we would be thinking harder about whether we really need that next shiny new generation of whatever fang dangled device.

In which case, the statement doesn't hold true. The customer can't ever be right if we're not honest with the customer...

No comments:

Post a Comment