THE COMPANIES THAT YOU KEEP

24 Aug

Starbucks recently sent me a birthday card, which was a voucher for a free beverage. It’s not the first time the Seattle-based coffee company has done that. Also, it mailed me a whole bag of joe a few years ago to apologize for a brief technical glitch that I only knew about when Starbucks brought it up. How refreshing when a company not only puts out a quality product, but also backs it up with actions that clearly say, “We value you as a customer”!

Discover Card has amazed me with its customer service responsiveness. And more than once the friendly staff there have waived the late fee when I was a tad tardy on our monthly payment. On top of that, Discover, unlike VISA, got rid of “foreign transaction fees” last year, which was much appreciated during my family’s recent trip to the Bahamas.

Speaking of that trip and unfortunately turning to the negative, Delta (pronounced Delt-ya) kept up its maddening streak of flight delays, poor communication and loser luggage practices. The Atlanta-based airline really has some baggage (rimshot!). This follows back-to-back canceled flights last year, one of which cost me and my wife 10 or so hours on our New York City anniversary trip. At least, Delta tried to make amends (when I filed a complaint), which can’t be said for…

Comcast. Uggh. My wife & I are convinced that the whole Xfinity marketing campaign is because the suits at Commycast recognized the hearty hatred for their company and the necessary strategy became, “Hey, how ‘bout we try to fool ‘em with a new name?” Consumer advocate (and my fellow high school alum) Clark Howard wrote the following late last year:

When you think of companies that have been in The Hall of Shame year after year for abysmal customer no service, Comcast is near or at the top of the list. Historically, in rankings done by Consumer Reports and the American Customer Satisfaction Index, plus based on the calls I’ve received on the show, Comcast has been a train wreck.

How fantastic to be non-Comcastic since April! It says a great deal that the cable giant barely lifted half a finger to try to prevent us from leaving.

Other notables:

Chick-Fil-A was destined to make the above space for its always courteous service and consistently fine product, but not after recent events. Ain’t touching that one. Wait – did I anyway?!

Publix: your prices might be higher, but I appreciate your neverending sales (and, recently, $5 off coupons!), clean stores and nice employees. More than a couple pricing/discount issues have been resolved quickly and always in my favor.

• Kudos to AT&T for the recent ad campaign against texting while driving. (You might just get my cable business.) The only question: why wasn’t such a campaign out years ago?

• Blue Moon/Coors: bounce my rebate submission back to me, then make me navigate multiple online and 1-800 customer service channels only to be met with obstinance on the issue? Nah, not gonna work.

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2 Responses to “THE COMPANIES THAT YOU KEEP”

  1. John Carroll August 24, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    Good post!

  2. ComcastMark August 24, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    Hello there!

    I work for Comcast and I just wanted to let you know that Comcast is still our company name.

    Xfinity is the name for its products (cable, internet, home security and phone). Comcast is the provider of those products and services. An example of this outside of our industry, is the company General Mills and the product is Cheerios or Betty Crocker. General Millis is the provider/parent company of the product/brand (Cheerios or Betty Crocker).

    The reason we picked XFINITY as our brand name is because it stands for infinite content choices and cross-platform features all working together to give our customers instant entertainment anytime anywhere, on any screen (TV, on your computer, mobile). Content and innovation is at the core of what we do. Since we launched XFINITY, we have come out with 16 new products, twice the previous two years combined. The pace continues in 2012 with the launch of StreamPix, Skype on XFINITY, X1 platform, mobile texting and calling with Voice2Go, and many more.

    I am also sorry to learn that you’re no longer a Comcast customer. If you decide to come back as a customer, I am here to help!

    Thanks!

    Mark Casem
    Comcast Corp.
    National Customer Operations
    We_can_help@cable.comcast.com

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