Package Dealing At It’s Best
The outlaws of The Old West were criminals. They imposed their will upon people by force; without consent. Modern cell phone companies do no such thing. They offer a service, state their terms for the service, and the customer either consents to them or he doesn’t. Often, one of the terms is that should the customer agree to do business with the company, he cannot change his mind for a period of time (a contract). Again, this is not without his consent. It is simply a term he decides to agree to. Simply because the customer may come to regret his decision does not mean that the company holding him to it represents force being used. If anything, the only force that’s involved in such a situation is the customer forcing the company to do what it shouldn’t have to do: go out of it’s way to remind him that he promised to abide by the terms of the contract.
T-Mobile is a private, for-profit business. The fact that they would equate the actions of Old West criminals with the behavior of their competitors – simply because they know that most of the public is oblivious to the distinction mentioned above, and therefore will find the attack upon “big business” as emotionally satisfying – is reprehensible. It’s pandering to stupidity for the sake of short-term gain – and ironically it is exactly this type of pandering that has made (or at least prolonged) the public’s conceptual impotence; and – because that same impotence allows anti-business political leaders to have power – the economy is in such a precarious state that companies have become so desperate that this sort of pandering seems worthwhile (since the short-term is the only thing they can count on).
If T-Mobile wanted to use it’s public voice for the purpose of distinguishing itself from it’s competitors by pointing out, as a selling point, that it’s able to offer greater or complete contractual flexibility, that would be one thing, but that is not what they are doing. Instead, what they are doing is trying to make something which isn’t all that much better (all things about their service considered) appear much better by making themselves out to be on a political/moral crusade – and inviting the customer to join – so that he will feel better about using T-Mobile than he actually should.
This commercial is a classic package deal.