Fights with Multinationals
You are a small business owner who returns to your business to find your wife in tears and your business ravished and brought to a standstill by your new computer system.
Multinational computer companies (“multinationals”) offer cheap servers to SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises). But if something goes wrong, providing a replacement server does not compensate the SME for data loss, business downtime and a technician’s time.
Do not criticise the multinational itself, but blame their employees’ decisions. This is especially important on social media as an attack on the multinational can just cause the company and employees to circle their wagons. You need to argue that the employee’s actions fall below the standard of the multinational.
However, your lawyer’s letters are ignored. The multinational relies on you not having the money to sue.
But that night, after watching a re-run of Braveheart, you realise Mel Gibson was right, and yet another peaceable, hardworking small business owner is goaded into becoming a lethal fighting machine.
Admittedly, the English army did not give Braveheart the run around using Bangalore call centres. Nonetheless, there are lessons in guerrilla tactics that may help you elevate the issue in the multinational until you find someone with a budget to pay you off:
1. Get your lawyer to summarise the claim and use him as a background adviser.
2. Complain to the CEO in the HQ as well as the local office.
3. Complain to government departments.
5. Have your lawyer threaten court action but conduct the case yourself.
6. Use the Small Claims Court procedure, which does not allow either side to claim their legal costs.
7. Sue both the parent company and the local subsidiary. Write to the founder, telling him your reasons.
8. Enlist press support in your just cause. Your story may interest them, especially on a slow news day.
9. If your cause is just, then you have nothing to fear from the court finale. But the multinational does.
Isn’t this a bit risky and time consuming? Well, no more than leading a 13th century rebellion.