The List of Stars:
- First is Hewlett-Packard. An all-star company if I ever saw one. Took several repair tries but they then replaced a notebook computer with a better model, and added an extended warranty to boot. First class service all the way. I can't pile on enough accolades about the quality of services received from HP.
- Duraflame Logs. Provided replacement coupons for some difficult to burn logs, and they even sent a label for UPS to pick up a case of unused product for lab testing, and let me know the results! Then sent more coupons thanking us for helping them make a better product when they found the outer wrapper was over waxed a bit. A five star company!
- OPPO Digital, makers of up-converting DVD players. When I purchased one of their players and found I had no way to connect it to my DVI equipped HDTV, I called to purchase a HDMI to DVI cable. They don't sell them, but did send, at no cost, an adapter that does the same thing, so I could hook up and enjoy the player within a day! Great save, OPPO and great customer service, thank you!
- Duracell, part of Proctor & Gamble, makes things right when you have a problem with their products. Once again, no hassle, no haggle, just doing what's right for the consumer.
- SC Johnson, makers of Scrubbing Bubbles, Glade and many other household products. Have a problem and they'll take care of it post haste. Another quality operation you can count on with fine products that are 100% backed up.
- Colgate-Palmolive and Speed Stick. Once again, a problem is no problem to them. Fast replacement of ant defective product and even additional coupons. Nice company to do business with.
- Ken Grody Ford. This dealer has always stepped up to the plate on repairs and done so intelligently and honestly over many years. Whether it was police vehicles or personal SUV's, they have always been great, provided excellent service and have gone "above and beyone" in helping get vehicles back quickly and done right. Special kudos to Mike Stevenson, Service Advisor who helps keep this machine running so well.
- Price-Pfister. The pfaucet with the pfunny name. Takes awhile and they do fumble the ball sometimes, but they do go the extra mile to get the parts out to you to correct problems with their products. Quality products and good customer service. A big thumbs up!
- Logitech. Computer gurus who want to help but seem to have problems understanding their product line. However, all comes out fine in the end, although it takes awhile and tests your patience to get your parts delivered. All in all, a good company.
Hall of Shame:
- Pontiac. Bought a new GTO and the dealer told me I was eligible for the $500 military bonus discount. I signed all the papers and when i went back to pick up the car the next day, he said he had to re-do all the papers because he was wrong and I wasn't eligible; active only. He lied to meet Ford's current bonus then reneged. Pontiac Motor Division VP offered me a free oil change. I'd have left the car but it was the last black on black available. They even scratched the car "detailing it " when I told them not to; it was still filthy when I picked it up, that's how good a job they did on the car. So, I guess this thumbs down goes to North County Pontiac-GMC and Pontiac Division of GMC. But I've never bought another GM product and now they're headed down the tubes. Thumbs down!
- Applebee's Restaurants. Made a big splash about offering a free dinner to military and veterans on Veterans' Day and then you had to dig through "participating locations." Although there are many locations in the area, the only participating one in all of California was a couple of hundred miles away. Applebees reply to an e-mail was basically it was a test but thanks for eating here. No more will we eat there. It will be Chili's! Thumbs Down!
- Albertson's Supermarkets. When a Marine just back from Iraq couldn't buy a 6 pack of beer to go with the food he bought to go home and make dinner because he didn't have a valid driver's license, they wouldn't sell it to him. He had a license that expired while he was in Iraq (most vets have that happen and all states make the license valid as long as you're in active service without renewal and are in another state) and a current Military ID as well...but no, no beer. They wouldn't allow my spouse to purchase the beer for him either. Manager was no help at all. We've not shopped at Albertson's in about four or five years after that flagrant slap in the face to our troops. BIG thumbs down!
- Chevrolet. Bought two new Camaros, and Chevrolet repaired the convertible top on one 28 times before declaring it was a lemon and deciding to replace it. Sadly, I traded it in for a brand new Z-28 Coupe with the G-92 competition package, and then, they couldn't repair the brakes so it would stop straight! It took then 6 tries to repair the drivers seat before they finally ordered a new seat cushion, preferring instead to constantly send it out to a local upholstery shop to mess with! After about a dozen tries with the brakes and no suvccess, I finally took it to a little shop where a mechanic fixed it in one afternoon, albeit at a cost of $300 to me, which was wholesale. You could then stop from 140 with hands off the wheel. 5 thumbs down to Chevrolet, but 5 thumbs up to Dara at C&D Auto Care!
- Smart Solar and QVC. Smart Solar because they lied about replacing parts under their warranty several times and never did, and QVC because their stance was too bad, so sad, it's the manufacturers problem. That was until I blogged about the issue, and then they offered to refund if I would send the fountain back and they would credit $6.95 toward shipping. Pack it all up in the "original packaging" like that would be available, and ship it back for a refund and a stupid shipping credit. When the damned fountain weighs about 50 lbs waterlogged! It's cast resin and not supposed to water log I suppose, but then again, it was made by Stupid Solar. Instead, we've cut down our shopping by about 90% from QVC, won't buy anything from Stupid Solar, and passed the word around, so let's see how their bottom line looks next year.
- Anden Homes and Warmington Homes. They won't care that they made the list, as they both went belly up right after building the last few homes I lived in. But they do deserve to be on the list as grab and run developers anyway.
- Verizon Wireless. They spend so much money on commercials and the idiots who follow one or two people around, it's no wonder the rest of us get such crappy service. After a year of a really bad operating phone, that wouldn't ring, receive calls, couldn't hear the other party, etc. they finally replaced it piece-by-piece and it still wasn't right. I was with Verizon and their predecessors for over 20 years, and now I'm with AT&T and am very happy with the switch. Because I truly can say that I HEAR YOU NOW! Before all I could say was HUH?
- Washington Mutual: You'd think after being a failed bank and being bailed out by JP Morgan/Chase, these people would learn something by now. No, not even that, but hell, no! Their primates closed an entire online account when requested to cancel a single transaction, and nobody in their offshore call center in the Philippines or India, or wherever the hell it is, could rectify the problem. Nor could anyone in any other place that was called. Even the local branch was useless since they are totally unable to handle any banking issue that might have to do with the Internet! Thus, an online business languishes while they screw up and tell you they need three or more days to try and correct a situation they, caused and maybe it will be fixed by then, and than again, maybe not. So, they just lost two more accounts. That makes 5 accounts they lost from us in the past three months ,and two more to go that are time deposits. Frankly, they are destined to fail again, and you can say you read it here in November 2008. Wasted Moo will fail again!
- Car Companies, et al: I guess this is no surprise, but auto dealerships are going out of business all over the country. Some dealers that have been in business for 66 years, such as Bigelow Motors in Belleville, NJ are closing their doors. That's a shame. But wait, before we cry over the 700 dealers expected to go belly up in 2008 (up from 430 in 2007 according to the National Automobile Dealers Assn.) listen up. Some dealers who have laid off employees and cut hours are still holding out for top, over-inflated prices on specialty models that have become showroom queens for months. One dealer has a Mustang that they want way over 30K over the sticker price as a "Market Adjustment" on! And every other high performance vehicle has an upcharge that they just don't want to negotiate. Im that case, I wish them well as they sink to the bottom of the septic tank and wonder how they got there. Like Carlos Mencia says: Dee Dee Dee!! Stock your showrooms with super high dollar specialty cars and jack the price when America can't afford the economy cars!
- There will be more as time permits...but as they say at the show...that's all folks!
Incidentally, I've highlighted the Best of the Best in Green and the Worst of the Worst in Red.