With the escalating mass shootings in America, some companies are cutting ties with the NRA after its response. Or, lack of response.
As left-wing advocacy groups and its mainstream media allies continue their daily bombardment of the National Rifle Association (NRA), desperately seeking to make gun enthusiast groups a scapegoat for the Parkland high school massacre, it now appears their efforts have embarrassingly backfired, having only succeeded in dramatically boosting memberships in the NRA and pro-gun groups, according to Time (magazine). Over the past two weeks, leftist organizations mounted an all-out assault on the NRA, terrorizing their corporate partners on social media who offer discounts for NRA members. We have seen this before; the tactic is part of a Democrat-led agenda, and for the most part, it worked, as major corporations across the entire United States were forced through public and internal pressures to sever their NRA relationship. According to CNN, here are some of the companies that have distanced themselves from the NRA over the past few weeks: Delta Air Lines: Delta said it’s ending discounted flights for NRA members. The airline said the decision reflected “the airline’s neutral status in the current debate over gun control.” Since then, Delta has faced a backlash from Georgia Republicans, who have responded by saying blocking a state tax break that would benefit the carrier. Avis Budget Group: Avis and Budget Rent a Car, which are owned by Avis Budget Group (CAR), said that both brands will stop offering discounts on car rentals to NRA members beginning March 26. First National Bank of Omaha: The bank said it will stop issuing an NRA-branded Visa card. A bank spokesperson said “customer feedback” prompted a review of its partnership with the NRA, and it chose not to renew its current contract. MetLife: The insurance giant said it’s ending discounts on home and auto insurance for NRA members. TrueCar: The car buying service said its partnership with the NRA would end February 28. United Airlines: United will no longer offer discounts on flights to the NRA’s annual meeting. Left-wing organizations claimed immediate success and indeed won the battle over the past few weeks. Time (magazine) indicates the war is far from over, as the NRA and gun rights groups across the country have seen a surge in new members. Well, that was not supposed to happen... This is not surprising said Time (magazine), who indicate “such increases happen whenever people feel their Second Amendment rights are under threat, and many groups reported similar surges after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.” Here is an example: “Wake up people and see what’s happening!!!!,” Charles Cotton, a member of the NRA Board of Directors, wrote on a message board, TexasCHLforum.com, a site described as “the focal point for Texas firearms information and discussions, earlier this week. “[Former New York Mayor Michael] Bloomberg and Hollywood are pouring money into this effort and the media is helping to the fullest extent. We’ve never had this level of opposition before, not ever. It’s a campaign of lies and distortion, but it’s very well funded and they are playing on the sympathy factor of kids getting killed. If you really want to make a difference, then start recruiting NRA members every single day.” “The NRA better be 15 million strong soon, or this is only going to get worse,” Cotton, who did not respond to a request for comment from Time (magazine), added on the message board. Over a dozen plus leaders from gun rights organizations and shooting associations in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia told Time (magazine) their membership base has seen a dramatic increase since the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 killed and 16 wounded or injured. According to Time (magazine), two sources familiar with the internals of the NRA, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said since the horrific shooting in Florida, memberships and donations have increased “more than usual.” And two people familiar with the workings of the NRA, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss membership numbers, said that since the shooting the NRA has also seen more people than usual join, renew memberships or donate money as President Donald Trump and other Republican Party leaders have signaled an openness to gun control policies that are anathema to the powerful group. A spokesperson for the NRA, which says on its website that it has more than five million members, didn’t respond to requests for comment. “As soon as anti-gun attacks started coming in on Twitter, Facebook, and in the media, we began to hear from people who didn’t even own guns who wanted to join up or contribute out of solidarity in defense of the Second Amendment to the Constitution,” said Patrick Parsons, who heads the Georgia Gun Owners, an independent gun rights organization in Georgia. Parsons added the group’s membership, which he estimated at 13,000, had increased by 1,000 after the Florida shooting, and that he had been “working around the clock taking calls, answering emails from interested people, sending out new member packets.” Time (magazine) also documented Dudley Brown, the president of the National Association for Gun Rights, which he estimates his entire organization could have “grown by 30%” since the February mass shooting in Florida. Dudley Brown, the president of the National Association for Gun Rights, estimated his organization — which claims more than 4.5 million “members and supporters” on its website — estimated online membership applications at his organization could have grown by 30% over the last week, a number he expected to rise after Trump this week called for comprehensive gun reform legislation, including raising the age limit for buying certain weapons to 21. The Connecticut Citizens Defense League, which has a membership of almost 29,000 people, said it typically gets 15 or 20 applications a week, but received almost 200 in the last week. Gun Owners of America, which says it has 1.5 million members, amassed “hundreds” of new members in the last week, according to an official at the organization familiar with membership numbers who spoke on condition of anonymity. The organization said it has seen it’s membership grow by thousands since the Las Vegas shooting last October. Don Turner, the President of the Nevada Firearms Coalition and NRA member, estimated membership renewals and requests had increased by 20 percent at his organization since Parkland, although this is an increase he said he did not witness after the shooting in Las Vegas. Perhaps, the statement below is crucial in understanding why the NRA and gun rights groups are experiencing an influx of new members and support: “Gun owners themselves weren’t being demonized [after Las Vegas]” Turner explained. “But after the Florida shooting, there was a definite push to demonize honest gun owners and to demonize the NRA. And I think that’s what’s provoked their response.” Time (magazine) provides historical data and specifies that after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, the NRA added nearly 100,000 new members in 18 days. After the deadly 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, when the gun control debate also reached a fever pitch, the NRA said it had gained 100,000 members in 18 days; NRA executive Wayne LaPierre announced that May that the organization’s membership had reached 5 million, although that claim is impossible to independently verify since membership rolls and figures are not publicly released. NRA tax filings from 2013, published by ProPublica, show that in 2013, overall revenue increased by more than 35% from the previous year, with a nearly $10 million increase in contributions. Revenue from membership growth from 2012 to 2013 increased by nearly $70 million, and the percentage of membership dues contributing to total revenue growth increased from 42 percent to 50 percent, the tax filings show. So far, experts who closely monitor gun rights groups said the NRA has remained quiet about its internal membership numbers after the Florida shooting, nevertheless, the unconfirmed surge in members demonstrates the grassroots mobilizing power that is still key to the NRA’s influence. “It’s not just a gun lobby, it’s much bigger than that,” said Scott Melzer, a sociology professor at Albion Colege who has spent almost a decade researching the NRA and is the author of Gun Crusaders: The NRA’s Culture War. “It relies on the support of a very large and activist membership base, and that base and that movement is connected to the broader conservative movement,” he added. A gun rights activist, Cleta Mitchell, an NRA member and former Oklahoma state lawmaker who sat on the NRA’s board from 2002 to 2013, stated in an email to Time (magazine): “You can rest assured that the NRA will not lose a single member as a result of this. “If anything, it should spur people to join the NRA as a means of demonstrating that we who believe in the Second Amendment will not be bullied by these left wing multi-billion dollar corporations.” What left-wing advocacy groups and their mainstream media counterparts neglect to understand is that by thrusting the NRA to the center stage of the gun control debate, the leftist have given the second amendment supporters a way to fight back by providing further support to the gun rights group. Once again, the mainstream media has vastly underestimated the silent majority of Americans by humiliating millions of law-abiding gun owners. Google Trends reveals the true state of how American’s feel about pro-gun groups: Americans search term for “how to join the NRA” has exploded since the Parkland shooting and breached above its Sandy Hook highs in 2012: Americans are frantically searching for ways on how to “donate to NRA.” The search term “NRA membership” has reached new highs as well… Contrary to the mainstream media’s narrative, the search term “support the NRA” has seen a parabolic since the Parkland shooting.
While Republicans have successfully blocked legislative changes, Americans’ attitudes are changing.
SHOCKER: NRA Boycotters Get Spanked In Public Opinion Polls: Morning Consult found that succumbing to gun control activists’ pressure took a toll on businesses amid heated national debate. See, here’s the thing. There’s a fair amount of soft support for gun control, but only a small number of gun control supporters do so with any […]
While dozens of companies bowed to media pressure over the weekend, many severing ties in part or in whole with the NRA, or simply eliminating long-standing price discounts with the association's members, among them Avis, Hertz, Delta, United, MetLife and others, FedEx refused to bend to demands to discriminate against NRA members. In a press release issued on Monday afternoon, the logistics giant "responded to questions on the National Rifle Association, Gun Safety and Policy." In it, FedEx said that while it "opposes assault rifles being in the hands of civilians" and that it "views assault rifles and large capacity magazines as an inherent potential danger to schools, workplaces, and communities when such weapons are misused" therefore supporting "restricting them to the military", it added that since it is a common carrier and "does not and will not deny service or discriminate against any legal entity regardless of their policy positions or political views" it will not end its discounted rate with the NRA which "is one of hundreds of organizations in our alliances/association Marketing program" as "FedEx has never set or changed rates for any of our millions of customers around the world in response to their politics, beliefs or positions on issues." The Fedex statement was met with anger by anti-gun advocates, taking a lead from David Hogg, who earlier in the day urged his followed to "Sell FedEx stock! If they wanna stick with NRA we'll stick with @usps or @UPS" Sell FedEx stock! If they wanna stick with NRA we'll stick with @usps or @UPS — David Hogg (@davidhogg111) February 26, 2018 The NYT's David Leonhardt also slammed the FedEx decision: FedEx offers N.R.A. members up to a 26 percent discount — the sort that the other companies have chosen to end. Ending a discount program won’t, in and of itself, save any lives or cause great political damage to the N.R.A. But the FedEx situation has now become something of a test case of the new anti-gun movement. It’s also a test case for whether a major company feels comfortable allying itself with a group that effectively promotes violence. I’m with the students on this one: I encourage you not to use FedEx so long as it’s comfortable siding with the N.R.A. End result: FedEx stock closed near session highs, up 1% on the day. ... as conveniently pointed out by some Twitter members: Narrator; Fedex stock is up nearly 1% on the day https://t.co/Y5BgHJJsfD — Wu-Tang Financial (@Wu_Tang_Finance) February 26, 2018 Full FedEx statement below FedEx Corporation’s positions on the issues of gun policy and safety differ from those of the National Rifle Association (NRA). FedEx opposes assault rifles being in the hands of civilians. While we strongly support the constitutional right of U.S. citizens to own firearms subject to appropriate background checks, FedEx views assault rifles and large capacity magazines as an inherent potential danger to schools, workplaces, and communities when such weapons are misused. We therefore support restricting them to the military. Most important, FedEx believes urgent action is required at the local, state, and Federal level to protect schools and students from incidents such as the horrific tragedy in Florida on February 14th. FedEx is a common carrier under Federal law and therefore does not and will not deny service or discriminate against any legal entity regardless of their policy positions or political views. The NRA is one of hundreds of organizations in our alliances/association Marketing program whose members receive discounted rates for FedEx shipping. FedEx has never set or changed rates for any of our millions of customers around the world in response to their politics, beliefs or positions on issues.
The politicization of the public sphere is compelling nonpartisan companies to take one partisan stand after another.
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A record number of firearms enthusiasts made their way to the Florida State Fairgrounds this weekend to attend the Florida Gun Show, amid a fierce national debate over gun rights following the Valentine's Day massacre at Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida. Organizers say almost 7,000 people attended on Saturday, with Sunday's tally expected to be higher. Organizer Steve Fernandez said they've never seen such a large crowd - however it's possible that the cancellation of next month's show in Fort Lauderdale may have attracted concerned citizens. The line outside the Florida Gun Show is growing by the minute. Yesterday, an estimated 7K people attended, which organizers say was a huge turnout for Tampa @BN9 pic.twitter.com/WTW75lWZmJ — Angie Angers (@angie_angers) February 25, 2018 Inside a Florida gun show, days after the Parkland shooting https://t.co/53tqAnQNTp pic.twitter.com/fIgw9OhDU4 — Bloomberg (@business) February 21, 2018 Hundreds have signed up for firearms safety training classes at the Florida Gun Show & organizers say it’s a big spike from years past @BN9 pic.twitter.com/sDA7mcsEXG — Angie Angers (@angie_angers) February 25, 2018 Just 3 days after Florida's worst ever school shooting....Floridians flood to a gun show to further arm themselves with high powered assault weapons. pic.twitter.com/igy2mUu8mo — Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 18, 2018 Somewhat ironically, this was to be expected considering the massive effort by gun control advocates to erode as much of the Second Amendment as they can in the wake of the Parkland shooting - never letting a crisis go to waste and all that. President Trump's recent advocacy for more stringent background checks, a 10-day waiting period and raising the age limit on the purchase of guns following the Parkland shooting likely fueled concerns over a "slippery slope" of firearms legislation. Florida lawmakers such as Senator Bill Nelson (D) have called for stricter laws to fix the so-called "gun show loophole" which allows people to purchase firearms without a background check. While federally licensed vendors at a gun show are still required to run background checks (FFL), private sellers without a federal license do not have the same requirement in 40 states. (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington D.C., New York, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington all require private sellers to conduct background checks). “Some of the people attending are afraid that future legislation will impact their gun ownership rights,” said Fernandez. That said, 95% of the vendors at this weekend's Florida Gun Show are required to run background checks since they are licensed dealers. Also of note, suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz passed a background check before legally purchasing a semiautomatic AR-15 style rifle. “This was a mental health issue. This is someone who should have been identified from the beginning by law enforcement,” says Fernandez. In any event, google searches for both "buy a gun", "buy AR15", as well as "second amendment" just hit all time highs. Interest in firearms ownership also spiked following President Obama's 2008 election - as a flurry of "gun control" headlines resulted in a flood of purchases - as evidenced by number of FBI background checks conducted following the 2008 election - a phenomenon which spiked after every mass shooting or act of domestic terrorism: Indeed, Obama was jokingly referred to as the "best gun salesman in America," with 52,600 weapons sold daily under his administration as of June 2016. Wall St. pushes back Following the Parkland massacre, over a dozen major companies cut ties with the NRA, including Delta, Hertz and MetLife. Wall St. is no exception. In addition to Bank of America "reexamining relationships with clients who make AR-15s," Blackrock - the world's largest money manager - and the largest shareholder in gunmakers in Sturm Ruger & Company and American Outdoor Brands (Smith & Wesson) said it will speak with both manufacturers about their response to the Florida shooting. Gunmakers may also come under pressure from pensions - such as Florida's state pension, which holds shares of American Outdoor Brands. As Bloomberg put it, "as Florida teachers grieve over the mass shooting that left 17 students and colleagues dead last week, some of them may be surprised to learn they’ve been helping fund the firearms industry—including the company that made the gun used that bloody Wednesday." Investment giant Blackstone Group, LP asked outside fund managers at a dozen hedge funds to detail their ownership in companies that make or sell guns, requesting answers by Sunday night - a one day turnaround. Perhaps this explains why both shares in Ruger (RGR) and American Outdoor Brands (ABOC) have remained depressed in light of the predictable bump in sales which correspond with the renewed debate over gun control. For reference, American Outdoor Brands and Ruger are down roughly -7% and -5% YTD respectively, while the S&P 500 is up 5.64%. Meanwhile, guns are flying off the shelves... FLORIDA GUN SHOW I Organizers say they saw record numbers yesterday with close to 7k people showing up and they expect more today! They also tell me they do not support a ban on assault rifles but more laws for mental health. @10NewsWTSP pic.twitter.com/95YGMKGl3E — Shannon Valladolid (@ShannonMarieTV) February 25, 2018
Metlife, Hertz, Delta, United and a host of other companies are severing their ties with the NRA its refusal to support another assault weapons ban following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. But in an unprecedented step first reported by Axios, Bank of America said in a statement that it's reexamining relationships with clients who make AR-15s - the weapon that was used by shooter Nikolas Cruz to murder 16 of his teenage classmates and one adult. Companies have been bowing to social-media pressure and pulling out of their business partnerships - a trend that started when the First National Bank of Omaha tweeted that it would not be renewing its contract to produce NRA-branded Visa cards. Social media users like Joe Scarborough have been researching which companies have partnerships with the NRA, then tweeting their disapproval, forcing the companies to remove details of their relationship from their websites. Hey @FedEx, I’ve been a fan of your company from the start. Please do the right thing and stop supporting an organization that attacks America’s heroes who protect us from terror attacks. Please support our law enforcement officers so we can keep supporting you. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 — Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) February 24, 2018 As the Wall Street Journal reports, insurance giants Chubb Ltd. and Metlife, cybersecurity company Symantec Corp. and Enterprise Holdings - owner of the Alamo and National car-rental chains - have said publicly that they will end their partnerships with the NRA. Companies are reacting partly in response to a social-media movement to pressure or boycott entities with NRA ties, energized by the emotional calls for gun-control action from survivors of the shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and students around the country. On Friday, the hashtag “#BoycottNRA” was among the top trends on Twitter nationally. Many of the companies named above tweeted that they would be ending their business relationships with the NRA... We have notified the NRA that we are ending the NRA’s rental car discount program with Hertz. — Hertz (@Hertz) February 23, 2018 United is notifying the NRA that we will no longer offer a discounted rate to their annual meeting and we are asking that the NRA remove our information from their website. — United Airlines (@united) February 24, 2018 Delta is reaching out to the NRA to let them know we will be ending their contract for discounted rates through our group travel program. We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from their website. — Delta (@Delta) February 24, 2018 We value all our customers but have decided to end our discount program with the NRA. — MetLife (@MetLife) February 23, 2018 In the aftermath of the shooting, some gun-control advocates have pushed for financial institutions and credit card companies to take action independent of the Republican-controlled Congress, which has repeatedly balked on passing gun control in the wake of mass shootings. Advocates have called on credit card companies to stop processing purchases from gun shops, and for banks to put pressure on clients who manufacture powerful semiautomatic rifles with military features. Now, Bank of America appears to be slowly moving in that direction, releasing a statement saying it's in the process of engaging its gun manufacturer clients to "understand what they can contribute" to stop these mass shootings... "We are joining other companies in our industry to examine what we can do to help end the tragedy of mass shootings, and an immediate step we’re taking is to engage the limited number of clients we have that manufacture assault weapons for non-military use to understand what they can contribute to this shared responsibility." The statement implies that BofA isn't the only major US bank considering whether it should cut off its relationship with gun manufacturers. According to Axios' interpretation of the statement, BofA is evaluating whether these gun manufacturers fit with its responsible growth strategy. Reading between the lines: This sounds like Bank of America thinks that servicing these manufacturers may not be consistent with its Responsible Growth strategy, which calls for "addressing the challenges of our time." Back in 2015, Bank of America and other banks backed away from coal miners because of the damage coal does to the environment. * * * Of course, not everybody believes banks should flex their muscles in such a restrictive way. As Mike Krieger pointed out earlier this week, preventing customers from buying guns with their credit cards would be a "deeply misguided" decision... If we’re looking for some kind of national consensus, it appears to be centered around the view that mental health issues lie at the core of mass shooting events. Any bank CEO foolish enough to start a fight and ban customers from buying what they want to legally purchase could very quickly regret it. Moreover, irrespective of your stance on the issue, it’s dangerous and irresponsible to call for shadow public policy by crooked mega banks. What do you think? Are these companies overreacting? Or are they doing the responsible thing by listening to their customers and shareholders?
Two of the nation's biggest airlines on Saturday joined a growing list of companies that have publicly distanced themselves from the National Rifle Association amid a social media backlash in the wake of a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla."United is notifying the NRA that we will no longer offer a discounted rate to their annual meeting and we are asking that the NRA remove our information from their website," the airline tweeted Saturday morning.Delta Air Lines added: "Delta is reaching out to the NRA to let them know we will be ending their contract for discounted rates through our group travel program. We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from their website."Social-media activists have sought to isolate the pro-gun group from a bevy of organizations that previously offered discounts and special incentives for its members. In turn, NRA backers including author and Fox News commentator Todd Starnes and conservative talk-radio hosts erupted in a counter social-media protest at the airlines' moves on Saturday.Politicians including Rep. Keith Ellison, the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) welcomed the airlines' actions.The NRA has also faced increasing political backlash as some lawmakers in states like Florida eye raising the age required to purchase an AR-15-style assault rifle. The accused gunman, Nikolas Cruz, 19, who murdered 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, allegedly used an AR-15-style rifle during the shooting on Feb. 14.Three major car rental companies, National, Enterprise and Alamo, announced on Thursday that they are ending their discounts for the gun group's members effective March 26.Other companies that ceased ties with the NRA include: insurance giant MetLife; Symantec, creator of the Norton anti-virus software and owner of the identity theft protection company LifeLock and First National Bank of Omaha, which previously offered the "official credit card of the NRA."Bank of America says it is "re-examining" its relationships with businesses that manufacture AR-15 rifles, according to a statement reported by Axios on Saturday. After other mass shootings, including the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that left 26 people dead, companies have responded with similar actions.Dick’s Sporting Goods ceased carrying assault rifles after Sandy Hook, but according to a NBC News report later resumed selling the guns through a specialty chain.Facing a public backlash to the sale of bump stocks, Walmart and outdoor retailer Cabela’s, according to media reports, stopped online sales of the accessory used by a gunman during a mass shooting in Las Vegas last fall who killed 58 people and injured hundreds more.During a CNN town hall with survivors and families of the massacre, NRA national spokeswoman Dana Loesch blamed failures in federal laws, including in the national background check system, for the shooting."How was he able to pass a background check? He was able to pass a background check because we have a system that's flawed," Loesch said.
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More than half a dozen companies, including three rental car companies and two hotels, are altering their relationships or severing ties with the National Rifle Association in the wake of the deadly Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead. The moves appear to be at least partly influenced by a campaign on social media, #BoycottNRA, which began Thursday. “We value all our customers but we have decided to end our discount program with the NRA,” MetLife, an insurance giant, tweeted Friday. MetLife previously offered its NRA members discounts on transportation insurance. A spokesperson for Symantec, creator of the Norton anti-virus software and owner of the identity theft protection company LifeLock, said Friday that it has "stopped its discount program" for NRA members, according to a CNN report. Enterprise Holdings, which owns three car rental brands—Enterprise, Alamo and National—announced the end of its discounted deals with NRA on Thursday. It will go in effect March 26. The First National Bank of Omaha also said Thursday it would stop issuing an NRA Visa card due to customer feedback, according to CNBC. Many called for Wyndham Hotels to sever ties with NRA, but according to Business Insider, the hotel chain already did in 2017. The organization has been distancing itself from the guns rights group on Twitter since Thursday. Best Western tweeted Thursday it “does not have an affiliation with and is not a corporate partner of the National Rifle Association.” #BoycottNRA supporters also pressured Amazon and CEO Jeff Bezos to stop streaming NRATV, which is NRA’s free online video channel.
Insurance companies Chubb and Metlife joined car rental company Enterprise and the First National Bank of Omaha in ending partnerships with the NRA.
pop jop/Getty Images In Pixar’s WALL-E, oversized humans recline on levitating barcaloungers and are dressed, primped, polished, and served, entirely by robots. Fiction? Maybe not, at least according to a wave of media coverage pointing to a dizzying array of service innovations on the horizon. Look no further than the public debut of Amazon Go, the company’s first cashierless store. Digital imaging technology monitors which items shoppers select from shelves, and when a customer leaves the store, the person’s online account is automatically charged. Down the road in Santa Clara, California, room service robots are being designed that can navigate a hotel’s floor plan and interact digitally with its elevator and phone systems to deliver towels and beverages to guests. Various Silicon Valley startups have deployed robots that make pizzas, craft salads, and assemble artistic bistro sandwiches. In Boston, a robot works with labor nurses to schedule baby deliveries. Waiterless restaurants in China permit customers to order and pay through the WeChat app and feature robot servers that dispatch trays of food to the appropriate tables. In Japan, a robot named “Pepper,” that was conceived in part as a companion for the elderly, has honed its skills in a variety of service roles, ranging from retail assistant, to waiter, to Buddhist priest. Managers using these forms of automation and others cite customer satisfaction benefits from increased convenience and customization, and from giving customers more control over their own experiences. They also tout cost savings—a tempting proposition against a backdrop of rising labor costs. So is the levitating Barcalounger inevitable? Hardly. For starters, the economics of service automation aren’t universally rosy. When a nationwide retail bank introduced online banking, customers who adopted it increased their total transaction volume and began visiting and calling the bank more, increasing costs and decreasing overall profitability. Similar dynamics can be observed in health care. Patients who adopted e-visits, for example, actually began showing up at the doctor’s office twice as often. One explanation for this pattern is that current technology is functionally limited, requiring people to seek out in-person help in addition to using automated services. But as innovation progresses, functional limitations are bound to fall by the wayside. Another explanation is that humans are inherently social creatures who get emotional value from seeing and interacting with one another. Research shows that taking away the opportunity for this kind of connection can undermine service performance. In one study, my colleagues and I found that when banking customers used the ATM more and the teller less, their overall level of satisfaction with the bank went down. We think this is because the deck is stacked against automation in several important ways: 1. Service can be emotional; technology cannot. When we’re anxious about whether a check will clear or why our migraine won’t go away, we become advice-seeking. Even if it has the answers and can read the tone of our voice, or the expression on our face, people find the idea that technology “feels” and “senses” to be unnerving, and when a technology is deployed for such a purpose, the results can be unsettling. For example, customers who call MetLife to settle a death-related insurance claim are treated to digital condolences, delivered through an IVR system: ROBOT VOICE: “We at Met Life want to express our sincere condolences for your loss.” Automating sympathy is certainly cheaper than having a human employee comfort the bereaved, but the tradeoff can come across as disingenuous and is unlikely to be sustainable. Perhaps it’s not surprising that the public reception to Pepper’s funeral offerings — which cost $350, relative to $2,200 for a human priest — has been tepid to date. 2. We still prefer having people help solve our problems. In many ways, the capacity and computational power of technology far outstrips our own. Google has become our go-to for answers to a broad range of queries; machine learning determines which ads are shown to us online, which fulfillment centers our Amazon orders are shipped from, and which movies are recommended to us by Netflix. And research shows that we’re perfectly happy engaging through digital channels to look up information. Nevertheless, when we’re looking for creative solutions to service problems, we still seek out other humans. If we get stuck, if there’s ambiguity in the information, or if we need help making a purchase decision, we still opt for a person. 3. Less work for employees often means more work for customers. Scanning and bagging our own groceries, while circumventing cumbersome (though not wholly unwarranted) fraud-prevention measures, is actually harder for us than having an employee help us who is trained to do the work. Advances in technology like Amazon Go make the customer’s role objectively easier, but automated solutions may also give us the impression that the company is expending less effort on our behalf, which can make us wonder what, exactly, we’re paying for. But if you think smart companies will use less service automation in the future, you’re wrong. Businesses will continue to seek new ways to use technology to improve the quality and efficiency of service. Some will do better than others. Based on what we know so far, successful innovations are likely to: 1. Automate transactional interactions, while facilitating human connections. Grab-and-go shopping, or giving customers the option of hailing an Uber or Lyft, reporting a pothole, or ordering a pizza from a mobile device, improves service quality by making transactions easier and faster to accomplish. However, companies shouldn’t strand customers in a digital transaction. When they need help, an instantaneous connection to a gracious and well-informed human should be a short stroll, click, or tap away. Although the Amazon Go store does not have cashiers, it has plenty of helpful humans ready to lend support or expertise. Making the pivot to a person simple allows customers and companies alike to achieve the convenience and efficiency benefits of automated service, while ensuring the customer feels supported. If designed correctly, automated interactions should improve satisfaction and loyalty, not erode them. 2. Support employees without getting in their way. There are many opportunities to create technologies that support employees’ efforts to create value for customers. The trick is how to design these solutions so that they don’t undermine the human connection that people are uniquely equipped to make. Existing solutions don’t yet meet the mark, prompting leaders of one rapidly growing coffee chain to delay the introduction of an automated point of sale system, finding it undermined the connection they wanted to make with their customers. Breaking eye contact with a customer to review an order on a screen, or to hunt frantically for the right combination of order-entry keys, can be as distracting to an interaction as pulling out your iPhone at the dinner table. If properly designed, technology should help craft an environment that enables employees to excel comfortably, without stress or angst, while not hindering the interaction. 3. Enhance customer and employee engagement. Service can be more efficient and satisfying when customers and employees are visible to one another. Rather than increasing the gap between customers and employees, technology can be used to enhance the connection. For example, customers who order pizza from Domino’s can use Domino’s Pizza Tracker to “see” the work employees are doing for them as they’re doing it. Customers can also send pre-specified messages back to the employees who are doing the work to express their appreciation. It’s a win for both sides. 4. Engage customers in ways that won’t make human service providers cringe. If an action would be seen as annoying when performed by a person, chances are it will be annoying when performed by technology. Applying this simple heuristic will help managers avoid a broad array of common-sense technological transgressions. A customer’s time is valuable, so don’t crush them with unsolicited texts and emails. Don’t unleash auto-dialers to solicit responses for unappealing offers and digital surveys. Don’t lead customers on with an endless phone tree if there’s a very low probability they’ll actually reach a person. Remember: the devil’s in the details of service design, but the best uses of technology are likely to make customers and employees feel more, rather than less, valuable to your organization. They’re also likely to make the service feel more, rather than less human.
US insurer sets aside $510m for missing payments for almost 13,500 people
Ипотечные банки могут оказаться под защитой регуляторов, что позволит им обходить некоторые законодательные акты.Ипотечные кредиторы в США получат больше власти над своими клиентами. По данным источников издания The Wall Street Journal, федеральные регуляторы рассматривают возможность предоставления банкам, занимающимся ипотечным кредитованием, защиты от некоторых законов. Изменения коснутся базового национального ипотечного стандарта, то есть займов клиентов с хорошей кредитной историей. В судах решения по делам о просрочке или невозможности погашения таких кредитов будут рассматриваться в пользу кредиторов. В то же время в случае категории, которая по кредитной истории все еще подходит под определение общих стандартов, но близка к сабпрайм-кредитам, банки получат меньше защиты. Ссылки по теме Власти США нашли "ипотечные грехи" Wells Fargo Рассерженные домовладельцы засудят банки США США ожидает новая волна ипотечных конфискаций Решение об изменении правоприменительной практики на руку ипотечным кредиторам. Ведь с 2008 г. семь крупных американских банков потратили более $76 млрд на судебные разбирательства и затраты, связанные с просрочкой по ипотечным кредитам. Накануне американские банки были обвинены в незаконном обогащении за счет преднамеренного манипулирования LIBOR. Согласно версии истцов банки были заинтересованы в росте ставки LIBOR в определенные периоды, когда проводился перерасчет плавающих ставок по ипотечным кредитам.Причем у истцов имеется весомое доказательство такой деятельности банков: согласно статистическому анализу ставка LIBOR постоянно повышалась именно в первый день каждого месяца в период с 2000 по 2009 гг. Однако более яркая динамика прослеживается в 2007-2009 гг., когда ставка в дни перерасчета подскакивала на 7,5 б. п.Согласно информации издания Financial Times число истцов потенциально может увеличиться до 100 тыс. Среди банков, которым предъявлен иск, UBS AG, Bank of America Corp. и Royal Bank of Scotland Plc.Ранее около 200 тыс. заемщиков обратились с требованием о пересмотре результатов отчуждения недвижимости. Это необходимо для получения компенсации в случае выявления нарушений или халатности в обслуживании ипотечных долгов, а также в процессе обращения взысканий по ним. Фактически банки могут поплатиться за излишне агрессивные действия, которые имели место быть в период между 1 января 2009 и 31 декабря 2010 гг. Среди банков, которые будут вынуждены выплатить компенсации, могут оказаться такие финансовые гиганты, как Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, HSBC, MetLife Bank, PNC Mortgage и Wells Fargo.
Американские домовладельцы подали иск против 12 крупнейших банков мира.Процент ипотеки, привязанной к ставке LIBOR Согласно информации издания Financial Times домовладельцы утверждают, что манипуляции со ставкой LIBOR способствовали росту выплат по их ипотечному кредиту, в результате чего они лишились своей собственности, так как не были в состоянии оплачивать растущие счета. Банки были обвинены в незаконном обогащении за счет преднамеренного манипулирования LIBOR. Согласно версии истцов банки были заинтересованы в росте ставки LIBOR в определенные периоды, когда проводился перерасчет плавающих ставок по ипотечным кредитам.Причем у истцов имеется весомое доказательство такой деятельности банков: согласно статистическому анализу ставка LIBOR постоянно повышалась именно в первый день каждого месяца в период с 2000 по 2009 гг. Однако более яркая динамика прослеживается в 2007-2009 гг., когда ставка в дни перерасчета подскакивала на 7,5 базисных пунктов."Каждый из моих клиентов понес ущерб в тысячи долларов", - заявил адвокат истцов. Ссылки по теме Власти США нашли "ипотечные грехи" Wells Fargo JP Morgan может потерять $22,5 млрд США ожидает новая волна ипотечных конфискаций Согласно информации издания Financial Times число истцов потенциально может увеличиться до 100 тыс. Среди банков, которым предъявлен иск, UBS AG, Bank of America Corp. и Royal Bank of Scotland Plc.Ранее около 200 тыс. заемщиков обратились с требованием о пересмотре результатов отчуждения недвижимости. Это необходимо для получения компенсации в случае выявления нарушений или халатности в обслуживании ипотечных долгов, а также в процессе обращения взысканий по ним. Фактически банки могут поплатиться за излишне агрессивные действия, которые имели место быть в период между 1 января 2009 и 31 декабря 2010 гг. Среди банков, которые будут вынуждены выплатить компенсации, могут оказаться такие финансовые гиганты, как Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, HSBC, MetLife Bank, PNC Mortgage и Wells Fargo. В результате банки могут быть вынуждены заплатить по каждому из обращений от $500 до $125 тыс. за совершенные ошибки. Эти ошибки могут включать отчуждение недвижимости у тех заемщиков, у которых не было дефолта по их ипотеке, или отклонение ходатайства об изменения условий кредитования даже при том, что оно должно было быть одобрено в соответствии с указаниями правительства.Также стало известно, что Федеральная резервная система и Управление контролера денежного обращения Министерства финансов США продлили для заемщиков крайний срок подачи заявлений о пересмотре взысканий по ипотеке, который установлен до 30 сентября.