Are companies getting meaner?


Are companies getting meaner? In a word, yes.

While I don't have any scientific proof (just a growing pile of anecdotal evidence), it does appear as though an increasing number of companies are taking classes at the Ebenezer Scrooge school of business and becoming more cheap when it comes to dealing with customers. And in this day and age of thinning wallets, cheap often translates into simply being mean. As my WalletPop colleague Vera Gibbons correctly observes, "The days of 'the customer is always right' are long gone."

I recognize, of course, that many companies have had to cut back in order to stay in business. And they may feel they have much less flexibility than they did in the past when dealing with, say, their financially-strapped customers. But some industries and businesses out there are becoming downright stingy. What do I mean, exactly? Here are a few examples: