The term “catfish” has been co-opted. No longer reserved for a delicious low-mercury dining option, it has become an epidemic of online socialization, with consequences that range from irritating to downright horrifying. And now, the phenomenon is spreading out from faux-Tinder hotties to businesses. Some unscrupulous companies are capitalizing on a fast-paced Internet outrage cycle to shirk accountability and renege on promises to their customers.
There are several ways a company can catfish you, whether it’s:
● Taking, um, certain “creative liberties” with product images:
● Disguising “pulling a fast one on you” with “customer service”:
● “Negotiating”with you on services you didn’t receive
● Making promises they can’t keep, a fatal mistake when a promise is the bedrock of trust with customers and one of the most significant distinctions a brand can make
● The big Kahuna of catfishing: not having a viable product at all (most recently and spectacularly demonstrated by the trainwreck of Theranos, a consumer health company positioned to be Silicon Valley’s next unicorn — until it came to light that their “revolutionary” technology was pretty much nonexistent )
Unfortunately, we’re living in an era that has adopted a certain flexibility when it comes to the notion of “truth.” That doesn’t mean we have to stand for it — especially not from companies we’re doling out our hard-earned money to. Why would we pay to be abused? It is time for us to reclaim our power as consumers, put companies on blast for unethical behavior, and take our business elsewhere as retaliation against those that can’t live up to the simplest expectations of integrity.
CATFISH CALLOUT OF THE WEEK:
We can think of no (un)worthier contender to kick off Catfish month than Comcast, a company where good customer service not only goes to die, but that, more often than not, holds the still-bloody murder weapon in its hands. We don’t even have one specific incident to call out — just Google “Comcast horror stories” and you’ll get 1.64M+ results, allowing you to taste the full cornucopia of Comcast’s crooked catfishing ways. Whether it’s gaslighting, charging exorbitant fees, or refusing to honor contract terms, Comcast certainly provides unparalleled excellence when it comes to one thing — screwing their customers over.