James Governor's Monkchips

HP the only tech vendor with an excellent online customer respect rating

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According to the latest list from the Customer Respect Group HP is the only tech vendor with an excellent rating, in terms of its online properties responsiveness and care of users’ information.
No Sun
No Microsoft
At least Intel gets on the privacy rating scheme- at number one.
What are we to make of this data, is the methodology out of whack, or are major technology firms not concentrating closely enough on their front doors?
It is also intriguing that not one of the Web 2.0 leviathans, Google, Yahoo, eBay  is on the list as “excellent”. Evidently customer respect is not an essential part of a succesful online business model…
In fact, organisations that maintain a somewhat laissez faire approach to their customers data are doing better than others that might closely protect it in Web 2.0. Is this just a question of expectation management, or have we identified a proof point in the old classic “regulated businesses get screwed” meme, which says businesses in regulated industries must adhere to a higher standard or probity in dealing with consumers, which creates additional costs and therefore makes the business less successful? (clarification: I don’t agree regulation is always bad- there are almost always hidden costs of non-regulation, but that’s a different argument)
Have CRG’s target customers missed the boat on “declarative living”; that is – people evidently want to share information about themselves and will declare it on websites and so on? Just check out Last.fm. Maybe oldline businesseses need to rethink how they persuade customers to share data with them – using, for example, lightweight tagging rather than ten field registration documents.
People will give up their social security number for a free candy bar. What does that tell us about
the future of online commerce?  I have a certain warmth for CRG’s approach because I am a bit of privacy loon. I am very aware of the contradictions inherent in our world of information sharing. Dark side perhaps – but then what would life be like without the dark alley to explore?
Alex Bosworth asked about this trust question today in a blog called Trust Morality and Software Services.
The most important thing for services and users of services to realize is that trust is an extremely valuable commodity that is hard won and easily lost. Sony slipping DRM rootkits on their CDs can erase a lifetime of good will. The only way to restore or create trust is by over time and repetition creating a pattern of ethical decisions.

Essentially I am with Alex. Trust is about a pattern of right thinking and right acting behaviour over time. If you don’t respect your customers you will get found out.

I somehow knew I would end up with SONY


  1. Scott McNealy’s quip about the lack of privacy comes to mind: “You have zero privacy anyway”. As things have turned out, it is the General Theory of Privacy. It not only applies to individuals, but to businesses as well.

    Example 1:

    Sony’s inability to media manage the dismal affair of DRM on CDs, with sophisticated users taking the software apart piece by piece and analysing it for weakness and improper use of copyrighted material

    Example 2:

    Business processes that rely on privacy. Credit card issuers are assuming that only customers have access to private information about themselves such as birthdate, SSN.

    The sooner businesses adapt and get over this the better it is for all.

  2. James,

    Did you ever consider the fact one may (or may not, but that’s an eventuality) need to subscribe to be featured in those surveys?

    Check their customer list and they have HP and MSFT but not IBM, SAP, SUNW…

  3. actually i didnt check the customer list for a correlation – but note that MS didnt get a good rating.

    nice call.

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