Good customer service is never an accident. The motivation to provide good service has a lot to do with a company’s culture. When Delta’s CEO talks about ‘customer satisfaction’, ‘quality’ and ‘good service’, I think he is mocking us all. When Jeff Bezos of Amazon says the same things, I know he means it.
As a lone consumer, there isn’t much I can do. A bank like BofA would be shut down as a criminal enterprise in most countries, but when you make political contributions to the tune of $530,500, the largest ever by a bank, it is hard to shut down that bank. I think Warren Buffett invested in this bank for exactly this reason and not because he believes BofA is a wonderful bank. Buffett is no fool.
What I can do is, not deal with such companies. Might not make even a dent in how these companies do business, but greatly reduces stress in my life.
Susan Komen Foundation
Even before the planned parenthood controversy, I had decided not have anything to do with this organization. This foundation sent lawyers behind any fund raising organization that used the word ‘for the cure’! And lawyers don’t work for free! That’s your donations at work!
Their associations with companies to promote their efforts always raised eyebrows. You could buy specially engraved Smith & Wesson guns with the awareness ribbon engraved on them. Do you see the irony here when compared to the refusal of donations to planned parenthood?
They collaborated with M&M and get this, KFC! Apparently, death by obesity is less important than death by cancer.
And a CEO with a pay package of slightly less than half-a-million dollars to run a charity.
If you are looking for identity theft protection, I can’t tell you where to go. I can tell you where NOT to go. Privacy Guard comes to my mind. The service provided by Privacy Guard is offered mostly by Chase as a trial offer. You call to cancel within 30 days and you won’t be billed. I did and they billed me year after year claiming I never called. I was no exception, there are tons of complaints against this company.
I’ve flown Delta. When things don’t go wrong, their service was ok. It was like taking the bus. You don’t think much about it. But when things do go wrong, it is a nightmare. Here’s one such experience.
This was a flight for an international travel. Delta was the connecting carrier. I arrived at the airport and was told that the flight was cancelled. No big deal. I was on vacation, and didn’t mind catching the next flight. But here’s the kicker. They didn’t provide one! Instead they advised me to pay for the fare at the Jet Blue booth next to Delta if I want to catch my connecting flight!
The travel agent couldn’t believe it since Delta and the connecting international airline were partners and when things go wrong, you usually get the next flight with a corresponding flight from the connecting airline. Delta didn’t care!
So we went home and I was on the phone from 2 am till 6 am (I wish I was exaggerating, I’m not) making various calls to the Delta, to the international airline and the travel agent. Delta was the worst with wait times lasting 45 minutes and when you do get them, they were of no help. Not to mention, extremely rude. And there was not even a talk about a refund.
I hope I never have to fly this airline again.
Homesite Insurance (Progressive)
Homesite is one of Progressive insurance group’s homeowner insurance partners. Homesite is not related to Progressive insurance group. And to be clear, I have nothing but good things to say about Progressive. But their association with Homesite leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
Since bundling your home and auto insurance saves you a bit, I decided to sign up for homeowner insurance from Homesite since my auto was already with Progressive. A year passed, and I got a renewal with an increase of more than $250! No claims or anything the past year or …ever!
No biggie, I called to see if they may be able to reduce the premium. After the call, Homesite increased my premium by another $75 dollars!
So this woman takes my call and goes over the various coverage and claims that with the new information, the premium has gone up and I now have to pay $75 more.
Ok may be this is how the industry works. Fine, but that’s not what bothered me. Throughout the call, this woman was least interested in what I was saying and extremely unhelpful. She couldn’t care less if I stayed with Homesite or not and most annoyingly was giggling almost throughout the call. Either she was high or flirting with a co-worker.
No, this wasn’t an outsourced call.
Progressive is the complete opposite. They were so good and so accommodating, I actually switched back for my auto insurance from a different company! Pity they teamed up with Homesite.
Oh, and don’t bother using Homesite’s contact page. They don’t acknowledge your email or respond to it.
First Internet Bank of Indiana
If you’ve never heard of this bank, good for you! If you are thinking of refinancing your home, here’s one bank to stay away from. Their behavior was so unprofessional, it warrants an entire post by itself.
When you lock in a rate, you are guaranteed that rate for the lock-in period. That’s the point of locking in a rate. Not at FirstIB. A week after locking in the rate, I get an email saying the rate has gone up and they can’t provide the agreed rate unless I paid points.
This bait-and-switch tactic is very effective because by then you’ve already paid for the credit reports and the appraisal and if you choose not to go with the vendor, you lose that money. But I was looking at the bigger picture and hinted that I will going with another vendor.
Guess what? The agent pulled the classic car salesman tactic – ‘let me talk to my manager’. Within 10 minutes I get an email agreeing to the original rate!
This is just one incident, but every step of the way it was an unpleasant experience. Thankfully, FirstIB is only a broker and not the actual lender and now that the deal has closed, I don’t have to deal with them again.
Bank of America
I’m a BofA hipster. I quit this bank before it was cool to hate BofA! Much before their sub-prime fraud, the mortgage fraud, the muni fraud, the robo-signing fraud and yet-to-be-revealed frauds.
Thankfully my mortgage wasn’t sold to BofA.
Do you have a blacklist of companies you don’t hope to deal with? Share your stories!