ST. PAUL, Minn. -- After an outpour of rage from customers Bank of America finally backed off their plan to charge a $5 monthly debit card fee. They aren't the only ones who have caved under pressure from customers.
Netflix recently scratched its plans to split into two companies after people took their anger to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. They lost roughly 800,000 subscribers. Target also faced some backlash after their website crashed not just once but twice during the Missoni launch.
David Vang, a professor of finance at the University of St. Thomas, said social media gave customers a big boost in fighting a giant corporation.
"A lot people can join together in groups and talk about a lot of the same things that bother them," Vang said.
When costumers talk companies are listening.
Some, like Comcast, have an entire team devoted to scouring the online world for customer comments. A spokesperson told us Comcast has a digital team of ten people who spend their entire day on social media sites. More companies are expected to follow suit.
"That's probably going to be the next venue for the next couple of years how consumer sentiment is going to be expressed," according to Vang.
While new technology seems to be putting power in the consumers hands Vang warns it may have worked this time but next time is questionable.
"The downside if you go to the well too many times you sort of lose your effectiveness," he said.
After the Bank of America backlash Chase and Wells Fargo decided they will not charge customers for using debit cards either. The caveat though is banks could start charging fees elsewhere to make up for that money.
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