There used to be a code of ethics followed by people in business for the most part, but I think that time is long gone by. An incident happened to me when my daughter bought a golf package for 2 on-line that included 18 holes of golf, a hat, balls and tees for and a golf cart to share for a really low price for a Christmas gift for me to be played at Golf Manitou. When I realised that I would not be able to go on a day they honoured the gift package I asked up front should I hold on and go at a later date and was told to come whenever it was better for me and that they would honour the gift package so that I would get all that was offered. The day I decided to go out I received the cart, the tees and balls and got to play, but no hat and no lunch. At no time was I told that they had changed their minds and it was not until I had ordered the lunch and they had prepared it all did they tell me that I had to pay. The worst part was that the People who were serving that day at Golf Manitou knew they were wrong because the lady kept telling the guy at the cash in French a language she assumed I did not understand, “I think they know that they should be getting a free lunch” and he kept saying, “It’s okay, don’t worry.” The guy had taken my contract when registering and I could not prove what the person had said when I booked the day, so I paid and left knowing that I would write a post on them so that all would know not to buy any gift certificates to play at Golf Manitou, because given a chance their personnel will try to weasel out in the sleaziest of manners from their obligations of prepaid gift packages, if my case is any indication of their behaviour normally.
What I am getting at is that when a business had to deal largely with a clientele that lived its surrounding area. It was a limited clientele and they could chance losing everything if they got caught pulling a stunt like the one mentioned above and so took great pride in providing great, honest, high quality service and standing by their word. I think it is great that with mass social networking on the computer that places like Golf Manitou can attract a lot more customers by offering great deals and reaching people further away, but find it sad that they are willing to sacrifice their good names a quality of service to make an extra buck. (Over booking at a golf course for example to accommodate the extra clientele and ignoring their own posted rules on how long per hole, time between tee offs, how long to rest in between front and back nine) These regulations were not just put in place for the fun of it; these were rules to insure that everyone had enough time to enjoy their game without feeling rushed and to keep the game moving; the regulations preserved the quality of everyone’s golfing experience. Having people instead tee off every 5 minutes so that we have a team on the tee box, 1 in the fairway and one on the green, to grab all the money you can get and ignoring your own regulations on the other hand leads to arguments and a bad over all experience for better and not so good players alike. I know that this is the type of behaviour that has a lot of people like me still gun-shy about paying for something not yet received from someone on-line and it is really too bad for the honest person who this kind of outlet gives a chance that they will get nowhere else, but fast and reckless and dishonest seems to be the way of the internet and why would you expect anything different when the leaders and the people responsible for gaining you access to the internet are no better in their business practices than the unscrupulous scammers that sometime use their services.
I find that this is a problem with honesty when it comes to some companies that provide access to the internet as well, making it really hard to trust any of them. I remember when almost no one owned a computer and you could get an AOL cd to hook up to the internet for a free trial at just about any store. Now it seems that everybody and their brother are providing internet access, one buying out the other to reduce competition. The larger companies that are being made out of all of the little ones they swallowed up are not always being honest with their customers, not providing average quality service and in my case not even giving the same quality of service of the company they bought. I find that they are guilty of doing these things to rip off consumers and for the most part are the only reason they buy up other companies:
1. Removing the lower priced, better service giving competition.
2. Increasing the rate for the service and taking away perks like unlimited free downloading in the case of internet providers.
3. Promise better service right away that they do not deliver, because that was never their intent.
4. Forcing the client to change to their equipment for something like a new modem that is not needed and then adding the price of that modem to the client’s bill.
5. Sending the client a modem in the mail with instructions to avoid the expense of sending out a tech and charging then installation fees. Blaming the client for crashes in their system by making up phony excuses that usually imply that it is somehow the client’s when they experience internet difficulties.
In my case for example I had been using a great company for ten years called 3Web. They were cheap, offered unlimited free downloading, they rarely crashed and when they did they the staff at 3Web did not lie about it, or make accusatory comments when I called in, they simply told you that they were having problems and asked you to be patient and thanked you for your understanding and co-operation. This told me that the problem was in their system and so there was no need for me to check over my total hook up for errors I knew were not there moments ago. 3Web gave me great, reliable, honest service at a great price and then my nightmare began; they got bought out by a company called Distributel, who informed me that I had to accept them as my service provider by a certain date, or find someone else. Distributel also informed me that if I chose to stay on with them that there would be an increase in price of $10 per month and I would have to change to their equipment (modem), but the whole thing will be seamless (disconnect 3Web modem, plug-in Distributel modem) and let Distributel activate the system automatically; no technician required. At no time was I informed that I needed to have a telephone jack in the same room as my computer, or that I should no longer bed using a filter, because the use of a filter and a long telephone wire will weaken my signal and cause my internet to malfunction. I mention this, because approximately 9 days after being forced to change equipment and after Distributel said no technician was needed, my internet died. My router was set up and was receiving excellent connection strength, but dns server was not responding. When I called tech service a young man asked me how long my telephone line was and when I told him that it was from another room and about 6 feet long, but was the same wire I have used with 3Web for 10 years without problem and could not be helped because there was no jack in the room where I kept the computer, he said, “I need you to plug-in a short telephone wire, the one that came with the modem, or I cannot help you and will mark down your problem as unresolved until you can comply; at no time did the offer to send a tech. I realised that they were having trouble delivering service and were handing out a load of crap as to try and cover their asses. I said goodbye and called Bell, will have internet back on Saturday afternoon and they are sending a tech to install.
My problem is not that things go wrong in transactions and with service, but with the dishonesty, the lack of transparency and the out-and-out lies that have become associated with business as usual for business being conducted on the internet, or by the people who provide the service. I find that the impersonal method of doing business via internet has removed the client owner relationship and taken away the important tool that used to allow the client to make an assessment of character and the need for the owners to be honest, because they have to deal with people they were lying to in person. How can providers do anything to enforce rules that require the people who use their services to be honest when they themselves are guilty of scamming and gouging their clients? I lie technology and for the most part what it has enabled people to do, the lives it has saved, the discoveries that would not have been possible without it and would go as far to say that there are a lot of good guys out there, but I believe that they are not doing enough to clean themselves up and get rid of the bad apples. I know that I have been forced to pay full monthly price for a service that went down within 9 days and they will not refund it. I know that I am expected to return their modem at full cost to me. I know that the deal I bought online was never honored and that they are still offering that deal. What I am trying to say is that it would seem that in this new era of technology lies and deception have made it easier for unscrupulous people to scam their clients and those who should be policing are involved in scamming of clients.