Times Op-Ed Shows How Markets Sometimes Fail to Curb Companies That Cheat Consumers

by Jeff Sovern

The piece is by Richard Coniff and is titled Why We Don’t Vote With Our Wallets. Excerpt:

[W]e get bored and look away from the dull crimes companies commit every day, like Wells Fargo foisting phony accounts and unwanted auto insurance on its customers. * * * Like Volkswagen selling “clean diesel” cars that ran clean only long enough to fool emissions testing equipment. * * *

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* * * Heavy discounting helped make scandal-ridden Volkswagen the world’s largest automaker in 2016. * * *

It is often striking to me how free marketers continue to believe that consumers always punish companies that cheat their customers when there is so much evidence to the contrary. As for Wells Fargo, the number of consumers who chose to maintain checking accounts there actually rose after the phony account scandal became public.

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