December 06, 2004

Stupid Companies

Aubrey has a post on stupid customer service practices. Here are a recent few annoyances, and a kudo:

I used to have Sprint, and couldn't remember why I hated them so much after using AT&T for a few years (they were expensive, but I never had a problem with them other than cost). Besides, AT&T didn't have the i500 Palm/cellphone. Ooh, and Sprint's plan was cheaper, too, as long as I was on the 2 year contract. OK, then, I'll sign up.

Now I remember why I hate Sprint. They have cancelled my service every single month that I've been with them. Usually, this happens about a week before my bill is actually due. Once, it happened twice in a 2-week period. (Note: I've not once been late on a bill to them, with the exception of the first month, where I didn't receive a bill at all.) Usually, dealing with them is slow and inefficient, because they can never tell me anything of use. This is especially so since their website is never current on the invoices/minutes, so I cannot even try to determine the problem myself. They have also messed up every single service change (including adding a second phone) that I've done, and in the bargain have ended up costing me more than twice what I expected.

Cool phone, though.

The other stupid customer service tactic goes out to all of the credit card companies out there. Or at least, all of mine. Note to companies: calling your customers and demanding payment for "past due" amounts when the bill was mailed the day before does not endear your customers to you. Adding in the next month's charges to what is "past due", demanding immediate payment over the phone without a chance to check records, and not keeping track of the fact that payment was made to you by phone over a week ago (sometimes it's just easier since they've already gone to the trouble of calling) is not good. Oh, not that I'm totally innocent here: starting up a new business means that I have been late one some of my credit cards - but I'm still not sure why they then think they should call me on months when I am not late. Not that I'm bitter.

And now the kudo: I recently started using ATA for flying back and forth between Dallas and Chicago. I get better prices than using Travelocity or Orbitz, and their customer service is excellent. Their planes are well-maintained and clean, and also quite comfortable. They have a lot of flights scheduled between Dallas and Chicago. Pity they don't fly more places out of Dallas. This wouldn't work for booking flights and hotels together, but it suited my present need wonderfully.

Posted by Jeff at December 6, 2004 09:50 PM | Link Cosmos
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