What perks do influential people get to keep them in the dark

By ‘perks’, I’m not talking about bribes, trips, discounts, etc, I’m talking about hiding the negative side of their behavior to prevent powerful and influential people from turning against organizations that do not want powerful enemies.

When a nation brings dignitaries over, they usually try to prevent them from seeing the more unpleasant side of the nation. So the homeless are cleared out of the way, the building are repainted, pollution is cleaned up, etc (this happened with the olympics in China as an example). The goal is to make the powerful visiting dignitary believe the nation is a better place than it actually is by keeping them in the dark about how things really work when they are dealing with powerless people.

In the documentary Maxed Out, which was about predatory lending, there was a consumer advocate who claimed about 90% of credit ratings had errors, and that these errors led to higher fees and rates. He said it was easy for companies to eliminate these errors, but they didn’t want to (probably because it let them get money from the errors). But he also said that the companies did a good job of scrubbing the records of influential people like congressmen/women, and I believe celebrities. The implication was to keep powerful people in the dark by hiding the more negative aspects of day to day life, because powerful people (people who have political power or social capital) who turn on these companies could actually do some damage. The vast majority of people who get screwed over cannot really fight back.

And I’ve heard health insurance companies do not really perform rescissions or denials of coverage on powerful people for the same reason, they do not want to make powerful enemies. They’ll do rescissions and denials to people who are fairly defenseless, but not to senators, congressmen, governors, etc. because they don’t want powerful enemies. If you refuse to cover surgery to the daughter of a senator with 20 years in the senate, you’ve probably just created another Bernie Sanders. If you do it to Joe Blow, he has no real recourse other than a few LTTE.

So what other perks do powerful and influential people get from the corporate world to hide them from the negative side of things? Their credit records are scrubbed of errors, they supposedly get few/no health insurance denials or rescissions, but what else is done to keep them in the dark about economic or social injustice?

what you say seems to boil down to “smart companies don’t step on rich/powerful people’s toes”. Now, what does that have to do with keeping them in the dark? Especially in the case of visiting dignitaries, I don’t think their respective governments are all that in the dark about the situation in the host country - after all, they have more efficient ways of info gathering than just looking out the limo window :-). Likewise, who is keeping whom in the dark if an insurance company is very kind to relatives of a Senator?

I’m not sure what you’re asking. You are right that smart companies do not step on the toes of powerful and rich people. And I’m asking what all do they do to avoid doing that which is not done to everyone else.

Police treat wealthy and powerful people differently, but as of 2009 I think the police are fairly reasonable with most people a large amount of the time even if those people are not powerful or influential.

However not wanting to make powerful enemies isn’t totally the same thing as hiding injustices you commit against poor/weak people by not doing them to powerful people so they do not feel any sense of urgency in trying to protect the weak people. The majority of people face rescissions, health denials and corrupt credit records. Powerful people do not. The reason is powerful people can fight back. If you step on the toes of a powerful person, it might make them stop you from doing it to weak people. So you protect the powerful and exploit the weak.

What injustices which are committed with impunity towards 90%+ of citizens by organizations and individuals are the wealthy, powerful and influential protected from by those same individuals and organizations?

Companies don’t need to treat specific wealthy people better. They just treat all wealthy people better. In return, they charge wealthy people more.

A famous rock star, perhaps it was Mick Jagger, said he was so rich and famous he didn’t own anything. One of the weird quirks of our society is that those who need things the least often get them for free.

One corporation I heard of (Hotel chain IIRC?) kept a sheet of pictures of all the head office big shots for the staff to peruse, especially the front desk. The big shots had a habit of using their own facilities unannounced and no manager wanted a bad report of his staff or location.

Rank hath its privileges.

I’m sure most large corporations do react in some way to the “do you know who I am?” routine, and many medium-level people are frequent users of that line. Any smart front-line person will bump that sort of customer upstairs to higher management to deal with very quickly. If the person really is influential, why risk your job? I’m sure somewhere in the top levels of management, they do a risk-benefit analysis of what they will let an ignorant but influential person get away with.

How many of you folks here have actually pulled the ‘don’t you KNOW who I am’ card? I’ve never done it.

When I was a CS agent for a large hotel corporation I used to get the “Do you know who I am” question at least once a week. Like md2000 said, it was usually from some mid-level person that would threaten that his/her company would never use our hotels again! Those types would get the same service we gave everyone.

The truly powerful, on the other hand, tended to not call a front line CS agent to complain. We usually found out about those when a VP would call our department head, who would have a supervisor take care of it.

That being said, I once had a very drunk Louisiana elected official call and complain that the hotel was kicking them out and demanded I fire everyone at the hotel. And, no, he didn’t get any preferential treatment. Later I found out that he and his party were eventually escorted from the hotel by the police.

I used to do Apple desktop computer support. Applecare.

They have a Customer Relations department accessible by Applecare reps, and an Executive Relations department that is not.

Ah, but Executive Relations doesn’t just deal with the bigshots. I found out when they called me and asked me to take care of something for them and a “special” customer. This man had been banned from setting foot on Apple property (including stores) and forbidden to have any contact with Apple employees and representatives except those approved by his handler in ER.

Why? Because he was basically nuts. He had been given a very large number of product replacements, but nothing was good enough for him. He complained about a huge laundry list of petty issues that no sane person would even notice. He repeatedly demanded cash compensation for the same petty, inconsequential things. He demanded that I document, and personally fix, each and every one of those issues. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Yeah, go fuck yourself dude. Get a new hobby.

The ER person explained that they don’t just get the bigshots, they get the troublemakers, the people who have sued Apple, the complete nutjobs, the people who attempt to call, write or drop in and visit Steve Jobs over their little petty problems, etc.

All in all probably not much different than handling the self-important bigshots.