atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#5549: There are a lot of reasons why.

Verizon reports first ever net loss of subscribers. One of the biggest problems with Verizon is how they handled moving away from unlimited data packages. They stopped offering them in 2014 (before bringing them back on 2/13 of this year) and then started trying to move people off the unlimited plans, wherever possible.

Every month I would handle 1-2 calls from unlimited data babies, people who were losing their shit over price increases for unlimited data packages. Every time I had that call, I would trot out the positioning statements and the rest of the horseshit. None of it ever helped at all.

I could handle that if--on what turned out to be my very last day--they had not re-instituded unlimited data plans. (Surprise!) Granted, the new unlimited data plan was more expensive, but if you had three lines with unlimited data (even at the old price of $30 per month) it was cheaper to move to the new plan than to retain your old one.

They utterly bungled the "unlimited data" issue, and in a world where just about everyone offers it, they were the most expensive carrier and didn't. Even now it's a premium feature, something you pay a lot of money for.

The other big issue for Verizon is their sales force. I don't know how other carriers do it, but Verizon's salespeople are commissioned, and they do all kinds of things to make their numbers. My favorite friggin' calls in the world (I AM BEING SARCASTIC) were from the folks who wanted to bring back their two-month-old tablet and disconnect the line because "no one told me I'd have to pay $10 a month for it."

Salesmen would tell customers, "Hey, as a bonus, if you upgrade today you can have this tablet for free!" ...without telling them "free" means they sign a 2-year contract, add a line to their account, and pay $10 a month for it plus a $40 activation fee. If the saleslizard was really on his game he'd add Total Mobile Protection at $11 per month.

Then, a month or two later, customer is wondering why his bill went up $30 a month. (Taxes, you know.)

And there is quite literally nothing a customer service rep can do for them. You can disco the line, but the ETF for a tablet is $175 and there's no way to waive it. You ask a supervisor to approve a disco like that and he'll laugh: customer signed a contract and it's not VZW's fault he didn't read it first. Okay, call center rep, now go back to that phone and make that sound nice.

Is the customer really at fault for not reading the contract? Absolutely he is. Verizon didn't get to be a major telecommunications company by giving away $250 tablets to every Tom, Dick, and Harry. If you don't read what you're signing, but trust the salesman, well.

But the salesborg makes it sound as if the tablet is absolutely no cost when, in fact, the tablet is going to cost the customer a minimum of $280 over two years. If the customer knew he was paying for a new line of service, he'd say "no thanks", after all, and the salescritter has to make his numbers.

The absolute best variant of this call (sarcasm again) was when the customer would say, "I didn't even want it." I always had to quash the impulse to say, "Well, then, why the fuck did you even accept it in the first place?"

...and so I have to wonder how much of this "first-ever loss" is due to people disconnecting unwanted and unneeded and unused tablet lines. It wouldn't surprise me to learn it was a significant percentage of the loss.

I've talked before about line disconnects; a disco is almost always an economic decision, and the incentives available to a rep to retain them (such as they were) were never really much help. "Hey, I know you want to disco that line because you don't like paying $10 a month for a tablet you don't use, but I can get you a new tablet for free if you keep it!"

...just pay $20 activation fee and $10 per month for another two years.


* * *

I can't say I'm surprised. The socialist government of Venezuela seized the General Motors car plant there.
"Yesterday, GMV's (General Motors Venezolana) plant was unexpectedly taken by the public authorities, preventing normal operations. In addition, other assets of the company, such as vehicles, have been illegally taken from its facilities," the company said in a statement.

The automaker said the seizure showed a "total disregard" of its legal rights. "[GM] strongly rejects the arbitrary measures taken by the authorities and will vigorously take all legal actions, within and outside of Venezuela, to defend its rights."

GM's subsidiary in the country - General Motors Venezolana - has operated in Venezuela for nearly 70 years. It employs nearly 2,700 workers and has 79 dealers in the country. GM said it would make "separation payments" to its workers.

While the US carmaker vowed to defend its rights, it has no chance of success of recouping its property under the current regime, which no longer recognize either local or international law. The seizure comes amid a deepening economic crisis in leftist-led Venezuela that has already roiled many U.S. companies.
That's the price you pay for continuing to operate under a socialist regime. Myself, if I were in charge of a multinational corporation which had a subsidiary in a nation that fell to socialism, I'd immediately begin taking steps to move that subsidiary the hell out of there--or else take steps to be ready to write off the whole thing when the socialists seized it.

Maybe that's what GM did. See above, "separation payments".

* * *

The fatuousness of the warmistas knows no bounds. Trump bombed Syira because of Sarin? Sarin's got nothing on carbon dioxide! If Trump really cared about children he'd--

And then, this:
In 2016, as with the previous two years, the world put 32 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. CO2 is a deadly greenhouse gas that turned Venus into a torrid hellhole hot enough to melt lead.
This is one of those times where I'm left speechless by the breathtaking stupidity and ignorance on display. It's like, where do I start?

Let's start here: the annual carbon budget for Earth's atmosphere is 306 billion tons. That means that 306 billion tons move from one place to another, into the atmosphere, out of the atmosphere. "The world" did not add 32 billion tons of CO2 to the mass of the atmosphere in 2016. If we were actually adding to the mass of our atmosphere, air pressure would be rising. It isn't.

But that one's minor compared to the next bit. The next bit is meant to scare us into thinking we could turn Earth into another Venus, that if we emit too much CO2, Earth will enter runaway global warming and end up with a hyper-dense carbon dioxide atmosphere with sulfuric acid clouds, and a surface temperature "hot enough to melt lead".

And, no. Not gonna happen. There are a bunch of reasons why it's not gonna happen, too many to list here, but I'm going to bust out a few of them just to demonstrate how idiotic this comparison is.

First off: CO2 concentrations have been much higher than they are now, in geological history. Look up "Carboniferous Era", for example; the whole reason we have vast seams of coal now is because of the explosion of plant life that happened then. Earth did not become Venus then. Nor did it become Venus in subsequent times when CO2 concentrations were much higher than they are right now.

Second: Venus receives a lot more sunlight than Earth does. I do not expect that I need to explain the inverse square law to Fungus readers, but when you double the distance to a source you cut your received energy to 25% of its former level. Venus is 75% of an astronomical unit from the Sun; Earth is (by definition) 1 AU from the Sun. Venus therefore gets more solar energy. I've long contended that if you were to cut Venus off from sunlight for a few decades, that huge atmosphere would rain out and leave you with a relatively thin atmosphere that couldn't retain heat the way the present one does. ("Decades--probably a few dozen of them, though I have no idea how long it would take the surface to cool enough to allow liquid to remain on it.)

But all of that pales next to

Third: we don't know why Venus has the atmosphere it does, nor do we really know why it's so dense and hot.

If you took the totality of what we know about Venus and compared it to what we know about the Moon and Mars, you would find that we don't know dick about Venus. We know more about Jupiter and Saturn than we know about Venus. We don't know dick about Venus because of that atmosphere; it's impossible to do any long-term studies on its surface because it's very difficult to build a probe that can survive an atmosphere which is laden with sufuric acid, heated to 872°F, at a pressure of 1400 PSI.

So, having looked over all that, like an idiot I click on the link to the article, and what do I find at the beginning of the fifth paragraph?
A new paper by Professor Michael Mann of Penn State....
Michael "hockey stick" Mann, the guy who "proved" global warming by writing a program that would find a huge spike at the end of any data series no matter what the numbers said. (Then, in the sixth paragraph, the blockquoted text about Venus etc.) I don't know how anyone can take that man seriously when he doesn't even science.

Reading the entire article reveals that it's nothing more than the same tired horseshit, regurgitated faithfully by an ascientific dupe who thinks he's smarter than everyone else.

* * *

Well, another rainy day, warmer this time. Welcome to April.

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