So after 3 hours on the phone today talking to several different computer companies, I had a breath of shining light. A glimmer of hope that someone on the other end understood what I was saying and was actually concerned about it enough to strike a dialogue with me.
This is rare. The most frustrating part of this whole struggle is that the most common response to my inquiry line is “I’ve never been asked this before”. To me, this means either that consumers don’t care enough to ask about the product line, or they don’t know that this is happening to even ask, or the people at the company are lying to me trying to avoid the question. I’m hoping for the second option. At least this I can try to do something about.
Today, on my 6th set of calls to Dell Computers in the past 6 months (that’s really gotten me nowhere so far) I finally spoke to someone who seemed like they would try and find an answer (or some sort of solution) for me. After 10 minutes of an automated service, being switched to 3 different departments and having to decide which product I wanted information on exactly, and whether it was for home or business use (in fact, it would be for both, so I had to choose); I was redirected to someone who seemed to actually be interested in what I was trying to do.
I was put on hold while he searched for my answers about their product line. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find the specifics for me in the short period on the phone, but assured me he would find some more useful details on the product line and forward them to my email address. He also asked if he could have more information on the issue so that he could research it on his time off because he was interested. Definitely! R, I hope you are reading this now!
Maybe these companies haven’t heard or been asked these questions– but they should be. Phone the company and inquire about their product line. Ask about their ethical purchasing policies. Ask where they source their raw materials. Ask about whether they support any human rights violations to make their product. The more inquiries they get– the more likely they will be to find a real answer to them.
It takes people caring enough about the issues to say- “I will not support this!”. It takes people looking deeper into each step of a product line. It takes a lot of work, most certainly, but it is worth it if we can stop human rights violations.
If you are a company, you should know what steps have gone into making your product. You should know whether your product has supported human rights violations along the way and you should care enough to say stop if they are! We are soo disconnected from everything we use, we are not even aware of the damage it may cause. This is not right. Many companies are making profits, making HUGE profits. It is time they took these profits and made a real change in their own structures to prevent human rights abuses.
It is not enough for them to give to charity. Especially, if they are the ones who are helping to fuel the atrocities in the first place. If this is the case, charity only equates to guilt money.
So I’m nowhere close to finding the answers I desire– but I am hopeful that I have at least reached one person…. and that’s a start.