We pride ourselves on the fact that we don't telemarket or lie to our customers. My boss is blown away that anyone would (be dumb enough to) give their SS#, CC#, birth-date, address and phone # to someone that just called them on the phone... Unfortunately people do, and then they have a problem and come to our store, because when they called the telemarketers back no one would give them the time of day. We have to inform them that they bought it from our competition and are now asking us to support it and help them with their product (you can see steam come out of my bosses ears when this happens). They think we are all one happy team and we should help them out for free...
As I said earlier, we have some high profile customers. The University of "my state" medical center (one of the top 5-10 in the country), has our system. To them the fact that it is Dish running the infrastructure is irrelevant. They needed better TV, we bid on the job and won. We build what is essentially an "old school" cable system to run the Hospital, powered by Dish network receivers that are located in a large mechanical room on the roof.
The residential customer sees one of our billboards, or hears about us by word of mouth and calls us, or comes into the store. We show them what we have and they decide what they want. We can not control what other companies do, but we didn't flood their mail with junk mail or cold call them or knock on their door.
Your comment that we are "just doing our job" is silly and insulting. Again, if Sony did something very unethical, does that mean everyone who has ever sold Sony should be considered unethical also? Does it mean that the Sony TV's still weren't the best fit for the customers needs?
My point is, we have played by the rules, care for our customers, don't telemarket or anything like it (door to door etc.) and we are in jeopardy of loosing our business because of the ass hole telemarketers.
As for a car analogy, go step in front of a bus, preferably while it is moving.
The sad thing is, it is very possible Dish will do away with all retailers to help fix this problem, and the small, ethical, local retailers will get thrown out in the wash... This is the complete livelihood for the 5 of us that own and work at our company. We handle some large accts like our state capital, entire state prison system, state University medical center (to name just a few). My boss has built a great little company, it will be very sad to see it taken away as a result of this. This is actually quite scary, we all have over 15 years of our lives invested in this company.
The morning a few hours before the earth quake, she opened the front door and the dog wouldn't go near it. Your example is cool (thanks), but that isn't enough time to be helpful, if there was at least 15 to 30 minutes or so, of warning, then I think it could be useful.
I had an idea over ten years ago, that I hoped could save lives and make me money, but I'll never do anything with it, so here it is:
One animal acting strange (as in before an earth quake or whatever) is nothing, but a large number of animals in a specific area, could very possibly be a warning of impending danger. If there was a (well known) web site that you could report your animal acting "weird", or out of the ordinary to, you would have random reports from all over the place, but if you mapped results in real time and saw a lot of activity in a specific area, that could be an early warning. I don't see why it wouldn't work, assuming the "animals act weird before events" theory is correct.
Anyway, if this works and saves lives, remember you heard it here first.