Global 'Occupy' marches show reach of most unlikely consumer revolution ever

Corporate America: Customers have conquered your social nets, demanding more than disdain and dismissal


Bank of America gets hacked because its new fees are perceived as worse than those of other banks because of BofA's long successful history of nickel-and-diming customers into poverty and madness;

Verizon's decision to track and sell every thought, move and click of its wireless customers, make it difficult to opt out and refuse to promise that when it promises to honor a "do not track me" request that any of those words will apply to whatever it ultimately decides to do with the customer's information;

Facebook's decision that not only should customers provide private information it can make public, they can't have it back because once Facebook has it, all that personal data is certified as proprietary and belonging to Facebook.

"The financial industry" isn't the only target that shows up when you view the world through the kind of spotting scope OWS is making not only popular, but respectable.

If OWS continues to exist – to both represent and agitate for the rights of consumers and give consumers collective representation powerful enough to make their voices head – the result will be more work for IT, but it will be a tremendous benefit for American consumers, including those who work at even the most abusive organizations.

The specifics may be a little fuzzy if you're looking for a checklist of goals marked OccupyWallStreet until...

You won't find many firm goals after the elipses. Or, rather, too many goals to know which are likely.

The intent and methods, however, have been far more successful – and far more law-abiding – than anyone expected.

"Unclear goals:" How do you say what constitutes "fair play in financial markets" to predators who have to look up the definition of "fair."

You can't fix a sick organism with one quick shot of medicine. You can get its immune system working so cells throughout the body are driven to act to attack or drive back the infection in their own small area.

Collectively the effect grows logarithmically. I can't say I was optimistic about either the goals or success of OWS when it started. Now, I'm hoping it fires up the natural defenses of indignation and resistance in both individuals and small groups, online and off.

If I were running a major corporation I'd hate the whole idea, at least while I was at work and not reading my own KGB-like notice from Verizon's anti-privacy squad.

As an individual, I can't see it as anything but a good thing, at work or away from it, that someone is trying to pull together what companies often refer to as the all-powerful customer, but often treat as the powerless, abusable step-sister made to clean the fireplace while the arrogant, selfish sisters go to the ball.

Photo Credit: 

Reuters: Heino Kalis

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