The Least Conclusive Survey in America

Worrying developments at The Consumerist.

I’ve been watching with interest as EA beat out competition in the voter-driven “Worst Company in America” competition, edging closer and closer to that illustrious title. Now that EA have been crowned un-victorious (with a “Golden poo” achievement no less), it’s up to any right-thinking commentators to throw the flag.

The survey exhibits voter bias. It’s that simple.

Clearly, games consumers have expressed real frustration at some of EA’s business practices. The Mass Effect 3 ending-scandal, the dire state of Origin’s customer service after a poor release and the trend towards DLC (with consumers feeling “nickled and dimed” for content) are very recent examples of a company poorly adjusting to a changing industry. Digital distribution models are the future of the industry, but price elasticity of consumers has not been properly understood. Netflix were guilty of a similar mistake with North American price hikes (and similar levels of consumer frustration). Put simply, digital distributors of media (games, films, television) do not understand how changing forms of distribution can affect price. Of this charge, EA (like Netflix) are clearly guilty. And consumers are telling them online.

But the hundreds of thousands of Americans with negative experiences of Bank of America aren’t online voting in polls on The Consumerist. The survey hasn’t really shown the world anything, other than that EA’s consumers (many of whom have had negative experiences) are also more avid consumers of web-content.

Which makes sense – because if someone illegally forecloses on your mortgage, you probably have more pressing concerns than voting on blogs.


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