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Joel on Software

Typical Econ 101 management

by Joel Spolsky
Thursday, May 10, 2007

Consumerist: “A Best Buy employee emailed us on April 4, 2007 to confess to the type of behavior mentioned in the lawsuit. He claims that techniques for tricking customer into signing up for subscriptions (such as MSN) were taught to him by a manager and encouraged by Best Buy.”

Virtually all American consumer electronics chains, national ISPs, telephone companies, credit card companies, and cable companies use Econ 101 management. Instead of having smart people figure out how to train their frontline customer service workers to serve customers well and profitably, they make up metrics that sound good and let the low wage, high-turnover customer service people come up with their own systems, which, inevitably, involve scamming customers and ripping them off.


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About the author.

I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, which lets you organize anything, together, FogBugz, enlightened issue tracking software for bug tracking, and Kiln, which provides distributed version control and code reviews. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.

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