Taking complaints seriously

Too late, Jeremy Corbyn is discovering the effects of not taking seriously the complaints about antisemitism in the Labour Party.  He is now on the back foot and trying to salvage the situation with as much damage limitation as he can muster.

Russia and Vladimir Putin are discovering the same.  After thinking they could ignore the complaints about the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury this month, now they have to handle the international response to their supercilious disdain.

Mark Zuckerberg may yet discover the same as he ignores the British House of Commons’ invitation to address it about the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica debacle.

Even Rupert Murdoch appeared before a House of Commons Select Committee and George Galloway famously addressed a US Senate subcommittee.

It is part of my ongoing campaign on behalf of consumers to draw attention to the supercilious disdain with which people are treated in this ungodly society.  If the high and mighty behave like this, don’t think ordinary people will not learn it also.  The Australian Prime Minister made this point about young people learning from their heroes’ behaviour in the context of the recent Australian cricket-ball-tampering scandal.  Celebrities being role models is well known, but my point is that if cricketers in the full view of television think that they can get away with such behaviour, just like footballers engaging with approval in ‘professional fouls’, little wonder that this ungodly society behaves as it does.

This disdain manifests itself in this internet age in different ways.  Twitter abuse is rampant.  Internet shopping is heavily weighted against consumers as far as terms and conditions are concerned.  Automation and bureaucratic call centres have distanced consumers from their aftercare service rights.  One former councillor I know boasts or complains that he is acquainted with all the call centre operators in the Indian sub-continent!  How many messages have you left on telephone answer machines that have never been returned?

This happens even with reputable organisations.  I have experienced it many times, even by:
The BMA British Medical Association (BMA)
The Law Society of Scotland
and many others who have not returned messages left on answer machines. Some simply promise to return a call and then ignore it:
TD Waterhouse
my local newspaper.

This is so common that I have concluded that some people operate on the principle ‘if it is important, they will phone back’. This is a symptom of this ‘I can afford to ignore you’ attitude.  This leads on to ‘not taking complaints seriously’ and then it escalates into real trouble.

As for emails: you probably have your own experiences to tell.  In recent months my legitimate British Telecom email is being questioned by computer-generated programs as to its authenticity.  Long experience tells me that it is not worth my time contacting BT about it.  This ‘one solution catches all’ is a result of ‘the few spoiling it for the majority’ – in other words, the ‘solutions’ hit the many, not the few who actually abuse the system, who will find another way around the ‘solution’.  An old adage is ‘don’t use a sledgehammer to crack a nut’.  On the one hand, psychological profiling can identify the minutest detail of internet users, but on the other hand there are many sledgehammer internet solutions nowadays.

Christianity teaches better principles.  Each person is to be respected.  My campaign for the customer continues.  We are not all tax-payers but are all consumers.


29 Mar 2018 BBC Newsnight: Lord Levy of the Labour Party accused Jeremy Corbyn of not taking antisemitism seriously.

29 Mar 2018 BBC This Week: Labour peer Robert Winston said: “Antisemitism is a cause of shame and it could hit the Labour Party for six.”  “Now antisemitism has infected the Labour Party so that it has become endemic.  I am deeply ashamed of my Party.   And whether he likes it or not, Jeremy Corbyn has a lot to answer for.  He has encouraged antisemites and he has endorsed them.”  “I wrote to Jeremy Corbyn about antisemitism but he didn’t reply.”  “He could make our great Party unelectable.”

‘If a trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for the battle?’

The apostle Paul, 1Cor 14:8

5 April 2018: The BBC News at Ten reported the Russian response at the UN Security Council today to be “mockery, ridicule and sarcasm” and that Russia painted itself as the victim.  The Russian response to the Salisbury poisoning began with dismissal and now it is trying to catch up on credibility.  The Russian lackadaisical attitude is not helped by Russian television airing a purported conversation between Yulia and her cousin, following which police in the UK issued a statement on her behalf asking for privacy for her family.

16 April 2018: my IT-wizard nephew told me what BT servers were up to and fixed my email for me – thanks. He confirmed that BT call centres would not know how to fix it and so he saved me a lot of time and frustration. So much for BT call centres who are paid to do a job that they cannot do.

26 April 2018: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg still declines to appear before the House of Commons Select Committee.  Instead, Facebook’s chief technology officer acts dumb in front of them, repeatedly saying he does not know the answer to questions put to him.  MPs considered Facebook’s chief technology officer’s evidence to be unsatisfactory and still want Zuckerberg to address them.  It is unlikely that the young man has the experience to know what to do and will need to be advised in detail before he could accede to such a proposal.

6 Jul 2018: a BBC study has shown that the terms and conditions of 15 popular websites and apps, used even by children, require a university degree to understand them and most of them take at least half an hour to read.  Reading the terms of 15 popular sites would take almost nine hours in total.  This could be in breach of European data rules.

Child safety campaigners pointed out the dangers to children, but children cannot be expected to determine the legality of such terms and conditions, which children did not even attempt.  Damien Collins MP accused tech companies of using terms and conditions to “exploit” users’ data.

Informed consent is a bit unreal and its insistence will not solve the issue. Rather, we could begin with truth.  Many websites expect and invite their users to tell lies, with checkboxes saying that “I have read the terms and conditions”, whereas “I agree to the terms and conditions” is more appropriate.

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