For the past several days I have read the reports of record-breaking profits by Google and Apple. When one reads these reports, you may note a lot of back slapping from the management about how well they have done. More kudos about how they are responsible for the success of their company. Rounds of applause as they celebrate their fat bonus checks and stock options.
But when do we, the consumer, get a pat on the back? It is you and me who makes Google great, not some CEO. If all of us tomorrow stopped using Google search, quit clicking on the ads, stopped visiting their sites, how would they be doing? If we consumers decided to stop buying iPhones, iPods, iPads and other Apple toys, how would they survive? How would their profit margins be with our support?
When we patronize our favorite local restaurant or local pub, the management recognizes and appreciates our loyalty. They may provide you a free appetizer, desert and beverage in appreciation of your business. Even my local car dealership will spring for a discount on my next oil change or other service as an appreciation for bringing my car into them.
The only time companies like Apple will give us something is when they get caught with their pants down. It took a lot of arm twisting before Apple decided to provide bumpers to their clients to fix the antenna issues with their iPhone. I am not picking on Apple, because other companies are even more blatant in their disregard for us consumers. Last week I spoke with a friend who had his computer hosed by an Intuit Quickbooks upgrade. He spent 12 hours on the phone with various people from technical support, only to find that somehow his data has been lost. Unfortunately he was a bad boy and didn’t do a backup, so shame on him. But his situation reflects the problems we all have experienced with hardware or software that we spent our hard-earned money to purchase.
One would think that these mega-billion dollar companies would offer some type of major discount to their loyal customers. Apple could discount their future products for those who upgrade. Microsoft could reinstate their discount for upgrades to their popular Windows or Office software. Google could pop for a bonus to those who use their AdSense or AdWords programs.
I know it is not going to happen.
But it would be nice if it did.
What do you think?