Ripping people off makes them angry

When will companies learn that ripping customers off is not a viable long-term business strategy?

For instance, a bunch of cell phone companies have a little-known "must give 30-days notice" policy written into their terms. So if you call and cancel your service today, you have to pay them another 30 days for absolutely nothing. Seriously. Check the fine print.

Meanwhile, banks keep adding random service fees that you never hear about until after they show up on your statement.

Instead of retaining customers with reliable service, they lock people in with long-term contracts and insane cancellation fees.

These companies dream up 15-page "terms of service" agreements specifically designed to trap folks into craftily-worded contracts, pay hidden fees, and provide no recourse when they fail to provide the product or service they're supposed to.

Executives plot ripoff schemes and scams, then let their accountants loose to cook the books, spreading the money across a thousand shell corporations so they don't have to pay any tax. They need that money to bribe government officials and regulators instead.

Lately though, I think people are starting to wise up to this abuse, and there's going to be a backlash.

Scammers beware: Angry mobs (even "virtual" ones) can be pretty destructive to the bottom line.

If you're in one of these businesses, you may want to get back to the whole "providing a reliable service for a fair price" bit instead of trying pick every last cent out of your customers' back pockets.

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