Your phone-y friends

May 11, 2023

Just recently a mobile phone company accused rival operators of swindling their customers by deliberately failing to move them onto cheaper tariffs once they’d paid in full for their phones. Naturally the other phone companies protested that the accusations were ‘misleading’ and ‘confusing’ (but, you notice, not ‘untrue’).

Capitalist firms bickering over altruistic concern for their customers? Surely not. In volume 1 of Capital, Marx relates how big factory owners pressed for health & safety measures which small factory owners couldn’t afford, not through concern for workers’ welfare, but simply to drive the other firms out of business. Here, the intention is similar, to stop rivals getting an unfair advantage. It’s backstabbing dressed up as customer care.