Consumer rage in an electronic age has corporate titans doing something few have so willingly done before: back-pedaling.
When Bank of America announced Tuesday that it was nixing its widely panned plan to charge consumers a monthly $5 debit card fee, it joined a handful of other familiar banks that also had back-pedaled. The unusual moves follow a recent, customer-instigated about-face by Netflix , which scrapped plans to split into two businesses and ultimately charge customers more.
"Every company is now sitting on electronic quicksand," says Howard Rubenstein, the famed New York PR guru. "It may look like solid ground, but one wrong move and you're up to your chin."
Some see it as the Occupy Wall Street of the no-longer-silent majority. Most corporations only become aware of the wallop of this emerging consumer power when they make a serious mistake and fall victim to it. This new, power-to-the-grumbler movement is only going to grow.