Have you looked at a contract lately—whether it’s from a bank or an insurer or a car-rental company? Easy to understand? Not!
But we can do something about that.
“Today’s consumers have more power to influence corporate policies than they realize because of the Internet,” says Alan Siegel, coauthor of the book Simple, which argues that most businesses could increase profitability by decreasing complexity. When many consumers complain about a corporate policy on Twitter or Facebook, the corporation tends to take notice. Online consumer discontent recently caused Capital One to back off contract terms that would permit its employees to visit customers’ homes and workplaces in pursuit of late payments.
You don’t need to start a social-media campaign to spur corporate change. Two Web sites that can help you quickly bring unnecessary complexity and other issues to companies’ attention…
PlanetFeedback.com provides a forum for consumers to offer constructive criticism to companies. (Other consumer-complaint sites feature mainly unproductive venting.) Companies monitor this site and typically respond to valid complaints.
ExecutiveBomb.com provides e-mail addresses and even direct phone numbers for highly placed executives at thousands of companies. It could help you bypass low-level customer service employees and reach someone who has the power to enact real change.