It’s disturbing to think that the actions of one company could wipe out another even if they were in different sectors and not direct competitors. But in the modern world where so many businesses depend on the services of tech providers, removal of those services could be an absolute catastrophe. When companies get big enough, they can arbitrarily withdraw services that businesses around the world need to survive.
The problem with monopolies
A monopoly of power is a bad thing for many reasons, which is why governments have rules that limited monopolies. One of the main problems is that when certain companies become too powerful and customers rely on them too much, they have the ability to control prices beyond what is fair. These companies can even control legislation, such as health and safety law.
Another major issue with monopolies is the power that big companies have over businesses around the world. This is particularly true for technology companies. Not only because the sector has spawned some of the world’s biggest companies, but also because so many people rely on the technology they provide.
If Uber was wiped from the earth
Take the example of Uber. Uber is a company whose entire operation depends on the use of an app. Imagine if Apple decided to remove Uber from their app store? (For some reason that they wouldn’t even be obliged to disclose). Uber would collapse overnight, and competitors such as Lyft would move in, making it very difficult for Uber to come back even if things changed with Apple.
Of course, if Apple or any other app store provider found that a company using their app store had some nefarious operations that came to light, they would be perfectly entitled to remove the app from their listings. But the most concerning thing is that apps can be removed and accounts terminated without any warning, justification, or possible recourse.
The action would simply be covered under the service provider’s Terms of Service, which is full of “get-out clauses.” Alongside all of the rules that are perfectly reasonable and understandable, there are catch-all clauses that allow providers to remove users at will.
This situation is not hypothetical. Multiple apps have been removed from Google Play for not having privacy policies related to advertising, even though the policy didn’t appear necessary in the opinion of the users. Google says that:
Once your app is removed, the published version of your app won’t be available on Google Play until a compliant update is submitted.
In other words, your app could be removed without warning, and during the time which you complain (either successfully or not), your business is losing money hour after hour, day after day.
Here at Sanvada, we had a similar problem with Binance. When we found that our account had been disabled, we contacted Binance to ask why.
Their reply was simply:
Following a recent review of your Binance US account, we regret to inform you that we will no longer be able to service your account with our firm. Sorry for any inconvenience brought up.
In other words “We have decided to disable your account and we are not even going to tell you why.”
But when your account is disabled with certain other organizations, seemingly arbitrarily and without good reason, it seems there is no possibility of getting back on track. If a business got such a vague response from a service provider whose product it depended upon for the survival of the business, it would be truly chilling to be banned out of the blue and then ghosted.
Taking business elsewhere
So how can this be avoided?
It would be nice if successful companies could break out of the habit of becoming less ethical, less accountable, and less communicative as they get bigger. But as that almost always seems to happen, it’s a little ambitious to hope the habit can be broken.
Another option is for businesses to diversify as much as possible and to ensure that they are not directing all of their demands towards a single provider. But the possibility of doing this is reduced when not many providers are around in certain specialized areas.
The other choice is to put faith in smaller companies and startups, who are at least more likely to communicate to you what you did wrong so that you have the opportunity to fix it. One of the big reasons why people are going back to small local companies for a lot of services is because of the better communication they provide (going local isn’t usually possible when it comes to tech services, but using smaller organizations is).
Being banned is bad. Being banned then ignored is worse.
SANVADA™ LLC is a BBB and VOSB Certified high-tech cloud consulting business that delivers products and services to consumers and businesses alike. Our products and services include: proprietary software solutions such as VPN and VPS capabilities, cyber security, and AWS Workspaces for developers. We offer data migration and automation as well as proof-of-concepts (PoC), and prototyping software development. We are the first and last when it comes to monitoring your data for any vulnerabilities or viruses. To learn more, visit us here!