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When a used car salesman sells a "lemon" on a lie, he gets a bad reputation by word of mouth. In this day and age, word of mouth is exponentially faster and wider spread. Twitter, facebook, forums, fansites . . . it all piles together into what is the public and private opinion of the masses.
As such, when any company, including mmo companies, use "underhanded practices" to achieve their goal of increased revenue, with small print, confusing contracts, or unscrupulous notes in EULA's that require a lawyer to understand, or any method that might seem immoral, it hurts the goodwill and trust of those who gave and give them their hard earned money.
Trust and openness is expected in any healthy business relationship. Sure, there are business secrets, but not when it comes to the fundamental legality and mutual understanding between both ends of the transaction.
Lack of understanding and communication can be unnerving.
"What are you doing with the product(s) into which I am investing my time and money?"
"Is my personal information, not just credit card information, safe?"
And "Can I ~trust~ that the company has my best interests at heart?"
Investors expect communication and openness. Games, telecommunications . . . whatever.
There are always nay-sayers, and those that excuse underhanded tactics to separate money from wallets; there are those who do not mind overspending with a company that is known for exploiting their customers. Because they can spend that money again on a different game. And again. And again.
So, final point for all us investors, and something for self-reflection: how many lies and how much deceit in your business affairs until you pack up and head somewhere else?
. . . and final point for those who mistreat their investors: There is a price to honesty . . . in dollars.