You Asked, They Fixed

Fist Bump

Even if most of us will never occupy Wall Street, ordinary folks can still have a powerful impact on corporate policies. Some recent victories worth noting:

  • Bank of America. Congress recently passed a law capping the fees that banks could charge merchants who accepted debit cards. To make up the lost revenue, Bank of America announced it would charge customers $5 per month to use their cards (several other banks proposed their own fees).

    People were outraged, and more than 300,000 signed a petition at Result: last week Bank of America decided to drop the fee. A statement from co-chief operating officer David Darnell said, “We have listened to our customers very closely.”

  • Netflix. Remember when Netflix decided to separate its old DVD-by-mail service from its video-streaming service? Customers who wanted both services faced a 60% rate hike, and the hassle of managing two separate accounts. People howled.

    Netflix lost 800,000 subscribers in the third quarter. Its stock price tanked. Result: CEO Reed Hastings has kept the price increase (alas), but pulled the plug on two separate services, giving people back the convenience of a unified Netflix service.

Who’s next? What issue could people change if we all joined forces?

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