from the companies-versus-customers dept
There's a very clear theme to this week's top comments: they all come from stories about companies, governments and organizations fighting and punishing the people they are supposed to serve. For example, we've got the Florida homeowner's association that is wielding lawsuits to shut down criticism in blog comments from resident James Schutt. Jeffrey Nonken stepped in with a comment that won most insightful and funniest of the week:
So... the HOA is using homeowner's fees to fund a lawsuit over blog comments accusing them of misuing homeowner's fees?
Can't imagine what Schutt could possibly be thinking.
Meanwhile, America got one step closer to an online sales tax this week, as part of the ongoing war between traditional retailers and the internet. Those retailers seem to think that they can't compete with stores that don't charge tax, which led an anonymous commenter to win the second most insightful spot by highlighting the important counterpoint:
But online buyers have to pay shipping - even if it's so-called "free" because it's been wrapped into the price.
This is anti-competitive. I buy online because I can't find the selection available at a retailer. They are living on another planet if they think I'm going to walk into a big box store, after wasting gas, time parking and then wait for service, wait again to check out, during the hours convienent for them - and half the time, I'm told I need to order what I want online anyway and have it shipped to the store. Wow. I just wasted several hours for that?
That wasn't the only maneuver in that particular war that we saw this week: there was also the news of a store charging $5 just to look around, because they don't want people browsing in-store but buying online. Once again, there's a really big counterpoint here that the store is ignoring, and fogbugzd wins our first editor's choice for articulating it:
So do if I get a discount if I get information online and go to the store to make an actual purchase? It seems like I should because I am not bothering store personnel with questions. The store is benefiting from information I got elsewhere.
But, of course, it's not just brick-and-mortar stores trying to control customer behaviour. EA is still dealing with the grief of its SimCity launch, and is currently in the "denial" phase, claiming that SimCity didn't have DRM. I've actually been beginning to wonder if they really are lying, or if they are just that stupid, and were sincerely trying to build the world's dumbest MMO. So Rikuo gets editor's choice for raising that possibility:
Only two possibilities.
1) Gibeau is lying, and they did discuss DRM and did intend to implement it
2) Gibeau and the rest of the execs at EA are so hopelessly incompetent that they don't know what DRM is.
On the funny side, we've already had our top comment, so now we head back to the story of the store that charges a cover fee, where our own Capitalist Lion Tamer took second place for funny with a simple reaction:
A store with a paywall.
We might as well round things out with two more on-theme comments for the editor's choice, since there were plenty to choose from. First, we look to the taxi and limo trade group that is fighting tooth and nail to stop any innovative new services from disrupting their business by better serving customers. An anonymous commenter wins editor's choice for pointing out that, as is so often the case with services condemned by incumbents, their list of enemies serves as a great recommendation:
Let's see, "Uber", "SideCar", "Lyft", "Tickengo". Got it. Thanks for the list of companies who do your job better than you do, TLPA! I'll be sure to keep them in mind, and not you.
From home ownership to retail to video games to taxis... and finally we end on card games, where Wizards Of The Coast has shut down the Kickstarter project Kaiju Combat, a game based on the beloved tradition of giant monsters. Capt ICE Enforcer takes our final editor's choice for expressing his awe at the power of the Wizards:
Wow. Normally it takes an entire army to kill Japanese monsters.That's all for now—barring a King Ghidora attack, I'll see you next week!