Thursday, 3 December 2020

No, You're Not Their Customer


We can get new email accounts for free nowadays. 

Old fogeys may remember there was a time during the dial-up internet days that we have to be paying customers of a internet service provider before we can get access to our own email accounts.

Now why do Google or Microsoft give us web email accounts for free?

How about Facebook or YouTube?

You don't pay a single cent right?

OK, there are premium accounts where we do pay to avoid those annoying ads.

Got ads free; no ads must pay....

Hold that thought.

Using Google is free. Hosting my blog at Blogger is free. A lot of mobile games are free to play too.


We're not their customers.

How can we be their "customers" when we are not paying them anything?

We are in fact on the menu that they offer to their paying customers. (New readers may want to watch the video in my previous blog post)

Want to reach out to youths from age 18 to 25?

Females only.

And located just in Singapore, JB, and Batam?

No problem! 

Ahem, this is my fee.

Anyone still wondering why traditional media like print and TV are suffering... While social media is booming?

Targeted ads.  

(Targeted sounds innocent; but can be quite scary when you think about it. Big brother watching you...)


For most people. We don't care. Just as long anything that's free, its win-win! 

Look, we are nobody. Who cares if someone knows what websites we've visited for the past month? 

Or our email or WhatsApp conversations can be recorded and pried by interested parties?  


Fair enough.

But what if we are paying customers yet we are still on the menu?

The 1MBD scandal is quite telling.

Imagine paying for independent research yet the so called analyst report turned out to be just an advertorial for their real paying customer who just want to unload their stuffs onto you...

How about your friendly and ever so helpful independent broker (can be equities, property, or insurance)? 

Is his real customer you or the principals he representing? 

This example even more sad. 

You happy, happy pay for an overseas property investing course, without realising you are the captive audience for that overseas developer that's paying your guru above industry average commissions to offload their unsold developments... 

And you paid to get caught some more!


  1. The world is getting very complicated.

    Wait, what if we also hold shares of the overseas developer or shares of Google AND of the real customers of Google etc?

    Its like one incestuous complex web where we are both the hapless pawns (prey) as well as the "perpetrator".

    1. mysecretinvestment,

      Well, that's for everyone of us to examine our very own "Code of Conduct" - our Values.

      Its a reflection of our upbringing and education.

      Just ask shareholders of SMRT and Keppel when they discovered their juicy dividends came from skimping maintenance and under table money...

      Or those who buy into Casino stocks or MLM companies.

      Don't say be shareholders. How about working for such companies?

      Talk is cheap.

      We see foreign worker dormitories and we bleeding heart say cannot like that...

      But when asked to pay more so we can house foreign workers in better environment, we shy away like cowering rats...

      So most of us adopt this policy:

      Eat at restaurants; don't peek at the kitchens.

      Somethings are better not to know....

  2. Smol

    How we treat people, will be how people treat us.

    Customers who treat service/sales staff badly and yet the staff smile smile and talk to you nicely Should beware.

    The more nice the staff treats you infront, the more vulgar words used behind the scene.

    1. Small Time Investor,

      You understand human nature ;)

      Arts stream?

      That's perhaps why so many are seeking FIRE to escape...

      It's very soul sapping to be that ever smiling, subservient, obsequious, compliant, sycophant underling.

      Who wouldn't like to speak our minds? How we really feel?

      Customer is always right?

      Most misunderstood that statement.

      Nope. You're not their customer ;)

    2. Hi Smol

      No, not arts stream.

      But if you're in the front facing servicing line for some years , more or less can gauge the customer in a few moments. (Many thought Backend serciving is also servicing as well. Well different level.:x )

      I'm one of the three trades you mentioned, but a bleeding heart :(

      If customer is always right, then there won't be terms and conditions stating company reserves the right... ;)

    3. Our bosses are our customers? They are always right and we can't offend them unless our FI is progressing very well!

    4. Small Time Investor,

      Got it!

      Then we same, same ;)

      There's a reason why most youths of today stay away from frontline service jobs. Dealing with customers who think "customer is always right" can be a pain in the you know where!

      As a snake oil, to feel good about myself, I'll do the "Robinhood" thing:

      Fleece those in warmth to offer wool to those in the cold.


    5. CW,

      Ginger is truly the older the better ;)

      There's no shortcut to wisdom; it has to be cultivated.

    6. Uncle 8888 and Smol

      Yes, its always take a lot of courage and pride to smile when facing difficult situations.

  3. Hi Smol,

    Well, I always have this crazy thought. Maybe that is the "perk" of being a nobody.

    Sorry, ah Q. Take... Give me more free stuff.

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      Nobody like farm animals?

      The reason the farmer is most willing to feed and take care of them for "free" is because the farmer can:



      take their eggs;

      or send them to the meat factory.

      Why do you think the majority of the populace prefer and expect their companies or big daddy to take care of them?

  4. Sometimes I also habour the thought of creating a different identity. U know, Facebook name call this, Gmail visit sites listen wrong songs etc... But then think I not so free

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      I've come to the conclusion that its "safest" to use my real name and not hide under a brown paper bag over my head in cyberspace.

      Its when people thought they are "safe" and can't be caught under the guise of "anonymous" that they often get into trouble...

      That's why I dare to poke topics like sex, religion, and politics.

      I am responsible for what I write here ;)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...