If you, your employer, or your business are mentioned on this page, read carefully and learn from your mistakes. I'm being nice enough to tell you why you suck. Also, if you're mentioned here, don't plan on getting much of my money any time soon. Check out my Customer Service page for tips on how not to end up here. If you feel offended and don't like being here - tough. After the crap I've taken from your ilk, I'm fully entitled to complain about why I think you shouldn't be allowed to be in business anymore.
This page was featured in an online sales magazine as an example of what a "vindictive customer" can do. While I appreciate the recognition, I also want to make sure people visit my Why You Rock page to see that I give kudos and not just gripes. Yes, I'm annoyed at bad service, but sharing my experience with others is hardly "vindictive". Word of mouth and the reputation of a business drives money to or away from them. Always has, always will. These pages are merely my attempt to share my experiences - in detail. If your business is here, it's not because of one random event. It's because of a pattern of events. Each of these businesses had my feedback verbally long before it made it here - and they all ignored it or worse. It is because of that arrogant disregard for the customer that each of them has earned their place on my Customer Service Wall of Shame. I'd also like to point out that not one of these companies has bothered to contact me and say "sorry, how can we fix this?", indicating that they are either oblivious to the World Wide Web (Googling for "<companyname> sucks" can be enlightening - or depressing :-), or that they don't care about how I feel about how they run their business. I've received various emails from other customers who have shared the same experiences with these businesses, so I don't think I'm being unduly harsh. I just happen to have no problem sharing this information with anyone who cares to look at it. Vindictive? No. Just a very powerful "word of mouth" about the reputation of these places.
Also, now that more folks seem to be finding this page, a couple folks have taken it upon themselves to try and shout me down via email. One guy argued with me to see if I could prove I was serious and not just idly spouting off - - who appointed you the Internet Police? Another has gone so far as you explain what unmentionable things he's done to my wife in an effort to sound manly and tough. And, guess what, he happened to work behind the counter somewhere, likely being a jerk about things. No surprise there, I guess, but the email was a bit over the top. I'd post it here for fun to shame the dude, but it was way too crude. Yeah, well, that's just going a bit low class, OK? Keep it out of the gutter, folks. Even more amusing is that these folks don't work at any place I've ever knowingly visited, but somehow I'm the source of all the ills and annoyances in their life. Displaced rage or something along those lines, I guess. And, then there are the inevitable trolls out there looking for a fight just because they can. Some people need a life. Fortunately, out of the many response that have come in about this page, all but a handful have been positive, encouraging, and entertaining. I've enjoyed emailing with those folks and sharing stories. The trolls? Not so much, but at least they're rare so far.
P.S. - The best way to deal with an angry customer is to not make them angry in the first place!
TGI Fridays in Kirkland - You suck! I eat out about 5 times a week. A lot. This place is the only restaurant I refuse to go to anymore. The first time they screwed up (we waited over an hour to get our order taken) we called their complaint number and they sent us gift certificates for a free meal. So we went back. Then they ignored us the same way, then screwed up our order, then gave us lip about it! So we called to complain again, and all we got were smaller gift certificates. We tossed 'em in the trash and haven't been back since. We have made it a point to bad-mouth them to anyone who mentions their name to us, though. We figure it's helped cost them quite a bit in lost sales since this happened - and we're still having fun steering customers away from them. Stupid is as stupid does...
Ford of Bellevue - You suck! My wife and I came in to test drive some convertibles and get a feel for things since I was thinking about buying one. (I did much later, but it sure as hell wasn't from you.) Even though we asked to be left alone to drive and compare, you felt compelled to twist the screws and employ every high-pressure sales tactic you could think of along with a multiple-pronged attack from 4 different salespeople. Yours sales manager would have been amusing if I wasn't so annoyed. You people were so slimy that I actually took a shower when I got home. It does make for a good story, though. And no one we know has ever gone into your dealership (new or used) since then because of it. I figure that amounts to at least 4-5 car sales a year lost because of this, and that's just with the folks we know and talk to directly, and this page reaches far more people. I figure I'll be around for another 40 years or so, so your little stunt might actually cost you millions of dollars in lost profit over my lifetime. On the other hand, the Dodge/Plymouth dealer across the street was much better off. He gets positive recommendations in the same story... When will idiots like you ever learn? UPDATE: We eventually bought a new Magnum from the Dodge dealer across the street, all the while remembering the moronic salespeople at the Ford dealership and how nice the folks at the Dodge dealership were. Our car buying experience on the Magnum held true to our initial experiences a few years back and was a pleasure to do. I now brag about the dealership every time I talk about my cool new Magnum. Get the picture yet, Ford of Bellevue? Those dollar signs you tried so hard to grab at simply went elsewhere. Oops.
UPDATE: Apparently the Dodge of Bellevue folks let their sales goons interbreed with the Ford of Bellevue sales goons from across the street, because they're just as bad now. There's a difference between a hard sell and being a physically offensive moron. I don't mind, and actually enjoy, a good negotiating session, but when you get into outright physical bullying tactics, I'm done. Grow up. Ya'll deserve a lot worse than you get...
Phone Solicitors - You suck! At this point, I've gotten so fed up with you that I practice ways to annoy you, waste your time, and generally confound you. I figure if I waste your time, you spend more on the phone call and you can't bother anyone else who might be more gullible than me. My wife enjoys just hanging up on you, but I go for the serious time suck - keep you on the phone by thinking you might get a sale out of it, but dash your hopes at the last second and hang-up. I must admit that my oldest son Jon has mastered this much more than I have - his 45 minute MCI price haggling call is nearly legendary among those who know about it. You and salespeople from the Ford dealer should be locked in a closet and kept away from decent people - your special brand of annoying behavior seems to be contagious. Other companies keep doing it thinking it will help their sales. All it does it net one more unhappy anti-customer. The Do Not Call list has lessened my fun in this area, but it's for the good of everyone. With any luck this entire industry will fold at some point.
Car Toys of Bellevue - You suck! I went in to get a simple shaft-style radio and speakers to drop into my 1972 Electra without hacking up the dash. Now, I realize that a $70 stereo and a $50 set of speakers aren't exactly a high end sale for a place that sells $5000 stereo/video setups like they're going out of style, so I tolerated the general "quite wasting my time" attitude because your prices were decent for having them in stock (still more than mail-order, though, even after the shipping) and it looked like you could sell me the parts that day. After some shopping around to other places, I drove back over to your place to buy the parts. But, it turns out that you guys only keep the display unit of that stereo around and none of the stores in the area had one - as in, not a single store in the whole western part of the state. Then you refused to sell me the display model - even at full price - going so far as saying that you didn't have the authority to sell a display, and then refusing to call a manager to check on it saying "he'd be annoyed at me for calling him and he'd just say the same thing". Real smooth, moron. The only reason I was going to buy from you at all was that you had the parts in stock and I could spend my weekend installing the parts and put my dash back together. If you don't stock it, why display it? That looks like a classic up-sell attempt to me. Nice try, but no cigar - I wasn't upgrading because all of the "better" units would have required cutting up my dash, not because I didn't have the cash, so you got caught here. I can say that none of my other stereo projects, cell phones, or other electronics projects will be spending money with you, although I won't mind wasting your time to look at the stuff, learn about it, and get specific model #'s that I can order from others for less money. I'll also be sure to tell lots of folks that your service stinks unless there are dollar signs being waved at the salesman right at that instant. You guys are almost as bad as a Hollywood agent - you only love the money, and your schmoozing efforts are so completely and utterly transparent it's pathetic. Congrats for loosing thousands of dollars in business to avoid the "hassle" of selling a "beneath your sales abilities/targets" basic stereo setup. My only regret is that I didn't get the salesman's name so I could post it here and shame him by name.
Hagen's Automotive in Puyallup - You suck! I was trying to track down some parts and interchange information for my 1972 Electra, and even though it was very clear you knew all about the details I was looking for, you decided to not answer any technical questions and give me a strict "it needs to be the exact replacement part" line. Get real. I do a ton of work on old cars, and lots of things interchange in odd ways that are unexpected and often quite useful. Replacing a part with a similar part from a different model year is often not only cheaper, but often more functional as well. This is the sort of stuff that happens all the time when working on older cars. From the little bit I talked to you on the phone, it was very clear you knew exactly what I was asking about, and at one point you even let a quick "yes it will work" slip before you retreated to your "exact only" line. Even worse, your prices on the exact replacement part were over $50 higher than anyone else - and I'd venture a guess that you knew you were the most expensive. It ended up looking like you wanted to sell me the uber-expensive $200+ part with the $50 markup (aka, pure profit for you) instead of the $40 part with the $5 markup that would work and be less effort for me to install. Even if your motives were more pure than they appeared, by not being open with what you knew and helping me out with some oddball questions, you ended up annoying me and loosing a ton of business. I had never heard of you before that call, but now that I know who you are, I'll gladly pay to have stuff shipped in even and avoid your business even though you're reasonably local to me. You remind me of a wrecking yard called Vintage Auto that used to be out near Woodinville, WA. They had some really rare and hard to find stuff - and they knew it. They decided to hoard it and ask for prices that made an irrational eBay bidding war look downright reasonable. As a result, they didn't sell a darned thing and eventually sold off the business to someone who closed the yard and carted the stock off to someplace else to be sold at more plausible prices. You guys know you have and can get lots of hard-to-find stuff that people like me need for their old cars, and you acted like "we have it, you need it - pay up". I have a few choice responses to you, but this is a family friendly website, so I won't write them here. Maybe the person I talked to on the phone was an aberration to your normal way of doing business, but after that attempted mugging of my wallet, I'm not going back and risking a repeat without a really good incentive.
Page last updated 04/17/2011 04:13:36 PM