Big Companies Make Big Mistakes and then Act Like Babies
Fortune Magazine had an Opinion article by journalist, Becky Quick, entitled:
“Toyota. Boston Scientific. Big Banks. Why So Many Companies Can’t Say ‘We’re Sorry,’ And Why That’s Bad for Business.”
Ms. Quick retells the account of an 84-year-old patient that had a Boston Scientific defibrillator and received an accidental shock to his heart. Instead of apologizing the company sent letters to the medical journal that printed the account questioning the doctor that observed the incident.
We all know the plight of our tax money going to the Big Banks that were “Too Big to Fail”.
Toyota’s rise to global infamy may have come as a surprise to many consumers but not to Toyota as the Wall Street Journal reported knowledge of the problem with the gas pedals for nearly a year before the company was actually forced to admit to it. (Secretive Culture Led Toyota Astray by WSJ).
Interestingly, Ms. Quick poses this question and then answers it herself:
So why do corporate execs seem to have such a hard time making apologies? Maybe because admitting a mistake can be expensive when you head a major corporation. Plaintiffs’ lawyers would have a field day with an apology, and recalling a product is expensive. Levick, a crisis-communications firm that has helped companies recall more than 100 products, estimates that it costs twice as much to recall a product as it does to litigate claims related to faulty goods.
I have gone over Costs Benefits Analysis in other blog posts. As a consumer you need to become a little more conscientious about what you are buying and from whom. Otherwise, your ignorance will work hand and hand with the profit analysis of big corporations. Those corporations count on your fear in making that call to get help from Plaintiffs’ lawyers when the company’s products do harm to you or your loved ones.
None of you will care until it happens to you, your son, your daughter, husband, wife, or loved one. I remember my early days with the American Red Cross. I worked with the blood services side because I had been a cancer survivor that received blood and platelets. Who better to recruit donors? My spill to potential donors was always this:
If you or your loved one had a horrible wreck, got stricken with cancer, or needed blood or platelets immediately, wouldn’t you go to the hospital and expect it to be there? Why? You aren’t willing to give it yourself. Why should you or your loved one get it?
People usually got the point but the Red Cross thought my approach was a little too intense. I went to law school where my intensity could be better focused on companies that do wrong. Never a shortage in work there.