Friday, September 20, 2013

Did you get a "Placebo Solution" that doesn't solve anything

After studying the aftermath of various scams and alleged scams, it is very often they seem to follow the same script.

As customer complaints start to pile up, they announce some sort of customer support revamp.

After a few months it's server outage.

After a few months it's "we got hacked"

After a few months it's "we got defrauded by international credit card scam that slammed us with hundreds of fake numbers"

The order may vary a bit, but the truth is the *same issues* seem to pop up at all these schemes and suspect schemes.

One wonders if they are offering "placebo solutions" just to keep the sheeple from complaining too much?

What's a placebo solution? It's easier to explain with an anecdote.

Houston, TX International Airport got a ton of complaints about the baggage carousels being slow. So they went out a hired more baggage handlers, improved the equipment, and so on. The average wait is down to eight minutes, average in the industry. The complaints kept coming, albeit only decreased slightly.

The airport commission was puzzled. Why don't other airports get the same number of complaints when their wait is as bad as ours? So they hired some interns and followed some flights around. Turns out. Houston is a small airport. The passengers can walk to the carousel in about a minute, maybe two. If the baggage doesn't arrive until 8 minutes later, that means 6-7 minutes standing around doing nothing.

So the airport did the unthinkable: it relocated the deplaning terminals to the furthest out from the baggage carousels, and even made the baggage carousels as far away as possible. Basically, instead of getting from the plane to carousel in one minute, it now takes six minutes (or longer). The baggage still gets there in about 8 minutes.

The complaints stopped coming. Why? Passengers now feel the baggage arrive in 2 minutes, instead of 7 minutes. Even though they had to walk a lot further to get them.

Suspect schemes seem to work in similar ways: they redefine the parameters to make their victims feel better, without actually offering them any real relief. It's all about the "perception" of doing something.

Next time you're being offering a solution or an excuse, consider it carefully... It is a real solution, or is it a mere placebo solution to make you FEEL they're solving the problem, but in reality, it isn't? 

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