Something has been bothering me recently about some companies and how they do things that isn’t necessarily customer-friendly.

First off is Netflix. Although I’m not a fan of how customers are allowed to watch their shows, the shows that they have been making look good. Marvel’s series have stood out, and the recent Stranger Things has garnered a lot of good word-of-mouth.

What irks me is that I would love to buy and own the Marvel series they have made. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, the upcoming Iron Fist, Punisher, and eventual Defenders. But I can’t. I can’t go somewhere and buy a physical copy of any of these series on DVD or Bluray. Every time I look into it, I get old links to articles from a few years ago. My conclusion is that you may never be able to buy a physical copy of the series.

Sadly, I know that digital download is the current flavour of the month when it comes to watching your favourite shows, movies, etc. And as I’m typing this, I’m sure someone reading this will think “Pfff! Digital Download is the way of the future! Join the present you old fart!”

Funny thing is, while back, in this Facebook movie group, someone asked about illegal downloads. Turns out places like Bittorent, or Pirates bay, and other illegal sites are still out there, and people are stealing movies and TV shows quite regularly. I’m just wondering if it has become easier or harder for illegal download sites to exist, now that many of the movies and TV shows can be downloaded? I know some DVDs and Blurays come with a digital download version, but like most technology, I’m sure there’s a way around it so those can be stolen as well.

The gist of my rambling here is that, I actually PAY for the movies I buy. And I buy them on DVD and Bluray. Many people actually buy their stuff online and some even pay for their digital downloads. But unless you travel to a country with bootleg movies, when you buy a DVD or Bluray, you are actually buying it.

Which brings me to the point that Netflix, while making money on streaming services and the like, could make more money of they eventually released their shows on a physical format, filled with extras, commentary, and other stuff that many fanboys and geeks enjoy. But they are dictating what the consumers can, or can’t, buy.

 

It is sort of like Apple and the upcoming iPhone 7, that has removed the headphone jack. There are two ways around it. One, you can plug your headphones into a different port that is used to charge the phone, thus requiring an adapter. Or, you can by the wireless Bluetooth earbuds from Apple… for $160!

So, if you have an excellent, top-of-the-line set of headphones that you only use for your iPhone, I guess you’ll either be keeping your older iPhone, or when you buy a new iPhone 7, you’ll be shelling out an extra $160 for decent wireless earbuds.

Huzzah.

Sadly, many of the iSheep will blindly hand over their money for a new phone, as they probably have done before, as well as the extra cash for a pair of earbuds. Those with independent thought will balk, of course. But, unless Apple decides to supply the adapter for your regular headphones or another company creates wireless headphones that will actually work with the iPhone 7, there’s isn’t much discerning shoppers can do.

 

This is because, when a company has hooked loyal customers, they can do whatever they want, pretty much. They know those loyal to their brand will shell out the money to maintain that connection, even when the companies don’t really seem to care. In Apple’s case, they’ll pay for some current, cool, hip, whatever celebrity/ musical act/ band to help shill their latest creation via some sort of cross promotion that will cause the iSheep’s eyes to glaze over and hand over their money. Netflix may eventually release their shows on DVD/ Bluray, or they may not. They don’t care as long as the money keeps rolling in. They’ll disregard the physical release market (IE: the fanboys and geeks who want to add the shows to their collection), even if people keep asking about it. Those who stream will drown the rest out.

In both cases, the customer isn’t right, the company is. They will do what they please, instead of trying to please all of their customers.

I’m sure you think I’m just mouthing off, but consider this…

Back in 2007, Mylan gained the rights for EpiPen, an emergency injection medication for people with severe allergic reactions. Back then, the cost for a pair of syringes was $93.88. By May 2016, the price soared to $609! Thankfully in Canada, since our “evil socialist” government regulates the cost of drugs, the price hasn’t gone up here. So what was the reason behinds the ludicrous increase? The company blames US medicare system. Meanwhile, CEO Heather Bresch, who made a salary of $19 million, plus perks, in 2015, has seemingly enjoyed the increase in cost to people. The company mentions some methods to help reduce the cost for some people, but doesn’t seem interested in out-right reducing the cost for something that can save people’s lives and is a must-have for about 40 million people in America.

This company doesn’t care about the customer. They just want to make money, and they seem to be doing a great job… and the expense of their customers.

Companies of all types need customers. But if some become so big, or have a product that is popular, successful, or something people need to live, then they can dictate how customers get their product. If no one says anything, or holds them accountable, then they’ll keep right on doing it.

This is less of a problem in Canada, thankfully. But the way America is heading, it could only get worse.

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