My sister and I were having a lively discussion last evening over dinner about companies and industries that treat their customers poorly, and yet people still buy their products and services. In economic terms we colourfully refer to such markets and products as "inelastic", which in a nutshell means a change in price or quality doesn’t affect demand to the extent one would normally expect.
We were talking about commercial software companies (who will remain nameless!) who abuse their monopolies in certain areas by releasing sub-par, low quality and/or overpriced products who’s features such as licencing/key servers, back door monitoring software installations and thousand-digit long serial numbers serve only the interests of their producers and not the people who have little choice but to use their software.
We were trying to think of other private industries that can so brazenly abuse their customers and still get away with it. All we could come up with were oil companies, financial institutions, telephone companies, old media companies and airlines.
The funny thing is, my sister Elke isn’t doing economics like me at university, but she clearly has the intelligence and knowledge already to do it!