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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I mentioned earlier that we had this bizarre and Kafka-esque billing issue that came up with Verizon today. And lest you think this is just your run of the mill billing dispute - we're not a Verizon customer. Which puts their claim that we suddenly owe them money in kind of a funny light. Here's the post I did earlier. But I'm back on this because I think we've gotten down to what the actual story is and it's so bizarre I wanted to share it with you.

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We hear a lot about how small businesses have to navigate all sorts of cumbersome government regulations to stay afloat. And I can attest to numerous cases where we have to deal with regulations that I fully support but could be much more efficiently managed with zero impact on the social good they're meant to secure. I'm lookin' at you New York State! But a far bigger nuisance is dealing with major corporations that appear to decided that one of their major revenue sources should be a level of institutional stupidity that maintains a steady amount of revenue simply because no ordinary person can navigate what appears to be an intentional level of incompetence. To be specific what I'm talking about: a level of bureaucratic inefficiency combined with incompetent customer service that forces people to pay for services they didn't purchase because the cost of paying ends up being a smaller hassle than navigating the Kafkaesque labyrinth of the company's phone tree. This line item on the corporate P&L I call the 'Delta of Derp'. And here's an example today from one of my favorite companies: Verizon.

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