PR for People Monthly MAY 2017 - Page 31

Hey, it’s Media Bitch here—that’s my name. Check out my pic, warts and all. I’m the real deal. I’m here to tell your miserable story to the world. There’s a lot of talking going on about consumers losing their rights, or having no rights. What happened with Dr. David Dao on United Airlines is a classic case of consumer rights gone wrong in extremis. And there is no doubt that Dr. Dao’s egregious mistreatment at the hands of airline officials will result in his receiving a HUGE financial settlement. But most consumer violations aren’t like that! Every day consumers suffer from slights, indignities, and injustices, but these stories rarely make the news because they aren’t sensational enough.

The rights that consumers have are slowly eroding. Most of us don’t realize the curtailment of our rights because we think we can speak out and air our grievances on social media. But try complaining to a company on Twitter. You will get a mild mannered response that goes nowhere, offering little restitution, and no redress. Believing that we can make wrongs right by using social media as a way to give a company feedback has lulled us into a false sense of security. The openness of social media makes us believe we have consumer rights, but, the reality is, we don’t. The rights that consumers thought they had are quickly vanishing. Corporations, organizations, governmental entities or any large entity that tramples on your rights has an important ally on its side— it’s called time.

Large entities are fond of deploying the Fabian Strategy, which is a favorite means of defense. Fabius was a Roman General who was up against Hannibal during the Punic Wars. Outflanked by Hannibal’s forces, Fabius knew he would be destroyed if he engaged in outright battle. Instead he deployed the “let’s wait and see” strategy: delay, delay, delay and retreat. And again, delay, delay, delay and retreat. The object was to wear down the opponent over time.

There is no greater hell than rushing to get somewhere and being told to wait. It’s sort of like rushing to get to the airport on time, racing through security, boarding


Losing Your



by Patricia Vaccarino