The Unspoken Epidemic: The Rise of Unnecessary Apps

by Dmitry Kirsanov 24. October 2023 22:13


Have you noticed a shift in the way service providers operate? It seems as though every company is aggressively peddling their proprietary application—and often in areas where it's surprisingly or even shockingly unnecessary. Take for example, when you want to pay a service bill. Be it for gas, electricity or another regular household provision, suddenly you're being urged to download the company's app which, beyond the transparent promotional value for the company, serves little to no function for the process at hand.

Or perhaps you're pursuing technical support for a product or service. Once again, you're not just encouraged, but often explicitly told to use the company's app. It has reached absurd levels with the aggressive promotion of these apps, to the point where receiving multiple calls or being given ludicrously contrived reasons as to why "the app is better" becomes a norm.

What happened to old-school simplicity? To the days when we could just pay our bills through a website or report sink leak via e-mail? But alas, these features have quietly been shoved aside, hidden from view. It's an approach that screams: "Use the app, or else!"

This cynical practice not only cripples the user experience but presents a glaring violation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR broadly guarantees the rights of individuals over their personal data and defines a set of responsibilities for businesses in the handling of such data. Obligatory app promotion disregards consumers' rights as these apps could possibly involve unnecessary collection and handling of personal data - which is certainly not a part of clause when paying bills or fixing your device!

However, luckily for us consumers, there are ways to sidestep this overbearing promotion without diving into legal battles. A simple trick: pretend you're still a proud owner of a Windows Phone. Announce that with pomp and see the befuddlement that follows. The enjoyment could even be taken up a notch by calling their support and attempting to troubleshoot the installation of their Android app on your Windows phone. Ah, the jollity you could have!

In the end, the question arises: Why this sudden, inexplicable surge in companies wishing to "create their app"? What engendered the idea that this intrusion was not only useful but necessary for business operations? Did companies unanimously decide to attend a training seminar for managers sorely lacking digital acumen, or did an impactful mobile app provider with a commendable sales department convince them that this was the way forward?

While the underlying reasons remain unclear, the consequences for consumers are clear. It is indeed an unwanted, and largely unnecessary epidemic.



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