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11 Ways Knowing “Dumb Rules” Could Leave You Needing a Lawyer


11 Ways Knowing “Dumb Rules” Could Leave You Needing a Lawyer

“Dumb Rules” describes the rules, policies and procedures an organization has that make no sense to customers.

Dumb Rules make it difficult for people to do business with an organization; customers are forced to engage with the organization in a way that royally pisses them off.

The culprits of this phenomenon are the internal “rule mongers” who essentially are in the game of controlling customer engagement and subordinate “making it easy” for customers to applying tight control over how they engage. 

Internal auditors, systems analysts, cost control folks, work study specialists and risk managers are among the group whose sole purpose it seems is to overwhelm the customer with constraints they don’t understand.

I am sure my reader has had an experience where they have been on the receiving end of — and perhaps been beaten up by — a Dumb Rule.

In fact it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that there are many Dumb Rule casualties out there who are constantly victims — it’s almost like Dumb Rules find them just to make their day suck.

I am one of those consumers who is a magnet for a Dumb Rule. I have been told in a restaurant that my wife and I couldn’t have a booth because they were reserved for parties of 4 or more (when the place was virtually empty). 

I have been refused a sweater that was on a mannequin (the only one left in my size) because it was for “display purposes only” and could not be sold.
And I have been asked to put my credit card on deposit in an outside lounge before I could be served a drink because I might “drink and run”.

And the litany of horror stories goes on and on.

It’s like road rage

My experience has been that a Dumb Rule has an incredible impact on a person similar to road rage. It’s like this intense anger over the incredulity of the situation swells up inside you and must be released in some way. I personally have shot back at an innocent frontline person in these circumstances and I have seen others do so as well.

Sucking it up and turning the other cheek just doesn’t seem to be an option.

Because of the powerful emotions lying dormant in every individual that are waiting to be unleashed with the right motivation, the consequences from “Dumb Rule Rage” could be catastrophic.

Need a lawyer?

In fact just knowing about Dumb Rules could leave you needing a lawyer in these ways.

  • if you’re face to face with a frontline person who is doing their best to enforce a rule that you know is stupid, your intense response could be construed as a personal assault.
  • when a Dumb Rule plummets you and you want to tell 10 friends, referring to the guilty organization as “a bunch of assholes” could attract slander claims that you are harming their reputation.
  • bemoaning the Dumb Rule organization to others could attract claims that you’re turning customers away and as a result hurting their business.

Bloggers beware

  • blogging about your experience and mentioning the organization by namecould not only invite a response from them, it would also leave a paper trail to prove their allegations that their business has been damaged.
  • plotting with your friends and family to report the organization to the consumer advocate groups will probably require you to seek legal advice and prove your case.
  • asking to discuss a Dumb Rule with a supervisor has the potential of escalating your anger in two ways, first, there will be a reluctance to “allow” you to talk to someone higher up (the frontline person loses face if this were to happen); second, if you do get to speak to the supreme being, they will probably look at you in a condescending way and tell you that “you don’t understand” that their rules are there to protect the interests of the company.
  • questioning management at an annual shareholders meeting about their Dumb Rules will put you in the spotlight and on the record for challenging their methods and intentions and would add more evidence of your dissatisfaction should there ever be a confrontation.

Related: 7 Proven Ways to Pick the Right People

Stay off social media

  • berating the company on social media will do a great job of spreading your discontent far and wide and creating awareness of their customer service motives. But it will also magnify your intentions to “punish” them for their sins and provide more food for lawyer fodder.
  • plotting about how you will “make them pay” for a Dumb Rule event establishes motive. Be careful what you are thinking; there may be a telekinetic lawyer listening.

#MeToo list could be waiting

  • accusing an organization of an alleged Dumb Rule offence without proof could get you on the #MeToo list so be careful.
  • turning your Dumb Rules knowledge into a cause, mission or vendetta could create marriage problems and require counselling assistance or legal representation if your partner wants to terminate your relationship .

An intimate understanding of the unfair things organizations do to customers can be harmful to your health and well being.

Be careful how you use your Dumb Rule expertise, as misusing it could land you in the lap of a lawyer.

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