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Thread: Customer Service Winners and Losers

  1. #1
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    Customer Service Winners and Losers

    Had several encounters with companies today, and I think it's important that they companies be held accountable for how they treat their customers.

    First I called Geico. Even though I have a clean driving record and am no longer some young aggressive driver (by their rules), my rates still go up every 6 months, with the excuse that it's because of NY State medical coverage costs. I called today and they offered me two ways to lower my bill. One was to take a 6-hour online defensive driving course for $24 and save $100 a year for 3 years, and the other was to pay via checking account debit instead of automatic credit card payment, which would save $3 a month. It wasn't much but the lady was friendly and I felt fairly pleased. I still want to get rid of my car altogether though. I still don't believe that there's not a manager there that can't just make a decision to lower my rates for once out of fairness and the general desire to keep me business. I don't feel incredibly valued by them and will jump ship at first chance of a lower rate.

    Next was TMobile. I called them mostly to learn about how I can get a new cell phone (dump my nearly broken Blackberry and get the new Samsung Galaxy). I was told a couple weeks back that I didn't qualify for an upgrade, this and that, and I wasn't too excited with that. I learned I could get a better deal with Verizon, and I called TMobile for one last crack at it. The woman not only helpful, but she was friendly and wasn't reading from some script, so she sounded genuinely interested. Not only did she help me with a deal to get the phone for $400 off, but she lowered my monthly payments as well. This woman went out of her way to make sure she kept my business, and I was upset when I learned that she doesn't get commission on that. She deserves something. The thign was that I didn't even get the phone...but she put the deal in my account and I can take advantage of it at anytime (maybe within the next month). This is why I will stay with them for another 8 years.

    After this I went to Subway for a sandwich on Steinway St in Astoria. I thought Subway had gone out of their way to show that they aren't skimping on the items that make up a sandwich, but I was wrong. On a foot0long, he put 5 slices of turkey and 4 slices of cheese....leaving big gaps where my bites would consist of just bread and a thin slice of turkey. I asked for just one more slice of cheese to close the gap and he said he'd have to charge me extra. I shared my disapproval and when he was done making it, he asked "Would you like anything else?" and I said "No, you'll probably charge me up the @$$ for that too." I actually had a Subway gift card to use, otherwise I'd have told him to go screw and just left the store. Really annoyed me.

    On top of that, I gave the guy the gift card after he told me the balance of $7.50. I gave him the gift card, which I thought only had $5, and then I gave him a credit card for the remainder. After getting home, I realized he never applied any of the gift card (which actually had a $15 balance) and he put it all on the card. I'm pretty furious. $7.50 for a crap, nearly empty sandwich that wasn't supposed to cost me a dime.

    You folks have any experiences with any companies? I'd love to hear some stories, and in turn, base who I give my business to on who is being treated like your business is wanted.
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  2. #2
    Moderator Matt Molnar's Avatar
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    I'm leaving for Oshkosh (via Chicago) early tomorrow morning and just discovered my debit card isn't working. Just tried calling Capital One to find out what's wrong...and they no longer answer the phones at night. Really unacceptable nowadays when people rely on debit cards 24/7.
    Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem.
    All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them under control.
    I trust you are not in too much distress. —Captain Eric Moody, British Airways Flight 9

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    Senior Member NIKV69's Avatar
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    You will have a tough time finding a cheaper rate than Geico. Subway sucks, the one near me does the same thing and puts next to nothing on sandwiches and when you gripe they tell you they have to charge you for more lettuce and things.

    Only way is to stop going there. Not much more you can do.
    'My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person doing something unfamous.' Andy Warhol

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    Oh hey, a captive audience for my Orbitz story!

    In April 2010 I booked a flight through Orbitz from Newark to Rome for our honeymoon. The online process didn't have a step for picking seats, and we ended up with seats in completely different parts of the plane. I called Orbitz that same day and asked if they could change the seats to get us together, which they did...sort of. The website reflected the new seats, with a "These seats are confirmed" message. So imagine my surprise when I get to the airport for checkin and we're assigned to the original seats.

    At that point, there were only two seats together left on the plane, which we took. [They were terrible seats, right next to the mid-cabin lavs and in front of a row with enough legroom that people would cut through but not enough room to do that without banging into the back of our seats. It was a miserable flight.]

    While we were waiting to board the plane, I called Orbitz. I got some runaround about how "sometimes the airline needs to change the seats", without getting any attempt at an explanation about how they ended up being the exact seats we originally had (same for the return flight) or any explanation of how "These seats are confirmed" actually meant something more like "Some seats are confirmed."

    In short: Orbitz is terrible and no one should ever use them. Whenever someone asks me about what site they should use to book a flight, I get to tell this story to get them to use somewhere else. So, good job guys.
    Phil Gengler - NYCA's "other Phil"

  5. #5
    Moderator mirrodie's Avatar
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    Im between patients but the only thing that resonates with all this is that you are dealing with big companies, some of which have limited competition.

    I HOPE the trends continue and spur more companies and more competition. it takes very little to make me leave.


    Have i told you Phil about my Verizon story?
    And I, I took the path less traveled by
    and that has made all the difference......yet...
    I have a feeling a handle of people are going to be very interested in what I post in the near future.

    http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?userid=187

  6. #6
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    Last summer we flew to Germany for my girlfriend's brother's wedding. Our Virgin flight out of Kennedy was 3 hours late due to a mechanical. By the time we got to Heathrow we had missed our BA connection to Hamburg(actually we were there in enough time, but they claimed they couldn't get our bags on the second plane in time, which to me is bullsh*t). So they rebook us on a Lufthansa connection. Before leaving London we try calling the hotel in Hamburg(called "Hotel Village") to say we're delayed, but the call wouldn't go through. So we end up getting to Hamburg a few hours later than we anticipated, her parents pick us up and drive us to the hotel. The owner proceeds to tell us that he thought we weren't going to show up so he gave our room away 50 minutes ago, despite that we had given them a credit card to hold the room and we had confirmed via email the week before leaving. I should also mention that we just happened to be there in the middle of "Harley week", a huge biker convention, and all the hotels were booked up.

    Well, after an entire day of "I'm sorry, sir" and "there's nothing I can do" after having flown halfway across the world I totally lit into the guy. The fact that we tried calling was totally lost on that assh*le. The lobby was full of people and they watched me scream my head off at him. And then he had the nerve to say what I had been dreading hearing on my first trip outside of America, "What can I do? You Americans are all the same! You don't show up then you don't pay then I'm left with empty room!" I had hands on me pulling me away from the place and apparently I freaked my girlfriend out pretty badly. Needless to say once I got back home, I left as many negative reviews of that hotel as I could on different travel sites. Fortunately the rest of the trip more than made up for this incident.

    Having been a customer service supervisor for a major corporation for many years, I am very sensitive to customer service failures. I have had hundreds of supervisor calls in which I would do whatever I could to forge an amicable solution to someone's complaint, and to have people not even lift a damn finger when they know something is wrong on their end...well that just irks the hell out of me.
    Last edited by megatop412; 07-27-2012 at 10:54 AM.

  7. #7
    Phil -

    I had an accident (my fault) a few years ago and went to Geico when Allstate dropped me from the policy. Geico wanted something like $4,000/yr for my coverage. I went to AAA for the SAME coverage (I've since changed again and don't recall the exact details of the plan) and AAA was something like $1,200 for the year. I never had any incidents with AAA but from everyone I've known who has used them, they're supposedly fantastic. In setting up my new policy with them, everyone I dealt with was nothing shy of phenomenal.

    And Subway sucks...unless you like a salad on bread with a little meat and tons of bread.
    Have you ever seen a grown man naked?

  8. #8
    Moderator mirrodie's Avatar
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    so in october, I made the leap to a smartphone.

    WEnt into a Verizon store simply b/c I had the day off on the Iphone 4S's pre-order date and I said to my wife, I'f there's no line, then we'll just get it done."


    walked in at 11 am, no line, and signed up and was told I'd get delivery the foloowing Friday.

    Got the phone shipped on Friday with a hairline crack on the camera lens. Verizon blew me off, sent me to Apple. Apple said they would do it but would have to order the phone and that Verizon should be taking care of it. WEnt back to Verizon brick and mortar store (after calling their corporate office and having Apple's staff talk to them!) and still got BS results.

    Finally dermanded i see the district manager. He came out and took care of it.


    For a first time customer who walked in off the streets, not at all enticed by any advertisements but purely the fact that the buttons of my ghetto phone were falling off, that I needed a new phone and the 4s pre-order date co-incided with my day off (AND THERE WAS NO LINE), I was an EASY customer.

    For them to put me through the ringer and have me waste 2.5 hours of my life to replace a phone that came defective was absolute BS.

    I told the DM I would use Verizon this contract and see if they do better by me. I doubt it.
    And I, I took the path less traveled by
    and that has made all the difference......yet...
    I have a feeling a handle of people are going to be very interested in what I post in the near future.

    http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?userid=187

  9. #9
    Senior Member moose135's Avatar
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    Speaking of smartphones...a few months ago, I decided I wanted to upgrade from the old iPhone 3 I was using. I stopped in the Apple store at Walt Whitman mall one Sunday afternoon, and spoke with a sales person who explained the differences between the 4 and 4S, then asked what I use my phone for. When I told him it was mostly for calls, calendar, and stuff like that, he asked "If you don't use all the features, why do you want an iPhone?" Clearly, he doesn't work on commission. I thanked him for the information, then stopped at the AT&T store near me. Sales rep went through the same explaination about the phones, and I decided to get a 4. They set it up, transfered all my stuff, and I was ready to go.

    I took it home, and I couldn't connect to my home wireless router - it wouldn't even see the router, unless I was with 10 feet of it. I called Fred, and he said to make an appointment with the Apple store. I planned to just take it back to AT&T, since that's where I bought it, but on Monday, I headed to the Apple store at Grand Central at lunchtime. I explained my problem, and within 5 minutes a technician was looking at the phone. She went in the back, came out and was checking the phone. I asked what she was doing, and she said "I have to run some diagnostics before I can give you a new phone." She went in the back again, and came out with a new phone. In all, it took less than 15 minutes, and when I got home, it connect to my wifi immediately.

    Not that I'm going to trade in my PC, but I certainly was satisfied with Apple's customer service.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Steven Holzinger's Avatar
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    I'm not going to lie here... and this is after having worked for the company for a good part of my life, but everything revolving around customer service and SEARS just sucks.

  11. #11
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    For those who are familiar with my flag caps that I wear a lot, I received one recently from Blackhawk.com and the front patch area was off-center. I made a casual tweet about it, and they were quick to want to send me a replacement. I appreciate that.
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  12. #12
    Moderator mirrodie's Avatar
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    YEs, Moose, in direct contrast, Apple has my business.

    I got my Macbook the day Obama was put in office and the warranty was due to expire this past Jan.

    I had an issue w. the video with a month to go on the warranty. First they replaced my entire screen. When that didn't fix the issue, why replace my 2 video cards, which were integrated into the motherboards. So I got 4 Gb Ram cards replaced and a new motherboard and a new screen with a few weeks left on warranty.

    And that was after they replaced my iPhone as well for a sep. issue.


    They dont bust my balls.



    Also, Honda customer service.....at the dealership/long island district level, it sucked. Again, they pissed me off enough to go to corporate to fix my issue.

    That ticks me off and makes me now want to buy another Honda...
    And I, I took the path less traveled by
    and that has made all the difference......yet...
    I have a feeling a handle of people are going to be very interested in what I post in the near future.

    http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?userid=187

  13. #13
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    that's interesting about the Honda Mario, the Honda dealership I use here in South Jersey(Burns) treats me and my '98 Civic like I just bought it there, very courteous and professional. A few years ago my side window stopped moving on my way up to NY so I took it to South Shore Honda, where I bought it, and they wanted over $700 to fix it. I told them to forget about it and just roll it back up and I would have it looked at elsewhere. I took it to Burns and they fixed it for about $350, new motor and everything. In fact they even commented that it was obscene how much South Shore would charge for the same thing. Obviously it depends on the culture at the dealership level, explaining why you had to go through corporate.

  14. #14
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    Being a vet you should try USAA. I switched to them from geico a few years ago and saved almost $150 a year. Then switched my homeowners to them and they gave an even bigger discount.

  15. #15
    Senior Member moose135's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njgtr82 View Post
    Being a vet you should try USAA. I switched to them from geico a few years ago and saved almost $150 a year. Then switched my homeowners to them and they gave an even bigger discount.
    I've been with them since 1984. Simply outstanding service, great rates, hard to beat. I've insured and financed cars and homes with them, use their credit cards, and invest with them. Since most of what they do is by phone (well, I guess a bunch is on-line these days, but back when I started with them...) they have telephone customer service down to an art form. I remember one time I was out somewhere - a mall, a fair, or such - and they had some information booth pushing some service. When I said I used USAA, the guy said "Oh, never mind, we can't come close to their rates..."

    If you qualify and don't already use them, you should be.

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