I suppose we all hate those large corporations .
Today my Internet connection kept cutting out so I called AT&T this
Within two hours they were out and replaced the modem
Credit where due
not too much to complain about here
I don't think size is the issue. I think its more related to how
*callous* they are towards their customers (assuming ourselves to
*be* those customers).
Purchased a new bed (mattress/box spring). The "cover" (which is essentially
an integral part of the mattress) was soiled when the delivery monkeys
dropped it in the street.
[Guys, the mattress comes packed IN A BOX for a reason. Why not carry
the boxed mattress *to* the door so there is less risk of the plastic
bag that acts as an inner layer of protection FAILING (tearing) and
exposing the mattress to the dirt in the street, yard, etc.?]
Complained to the store the next morning. They were sympathetic;
immediately stated we shouldn't have to accept a soiled mattress
(nor should we have to remove the cover, wash it and reattach it;
we purchased a NEW mattress and should expect a new one!).
Said they would replace it (the mattress) claiming that they
can't replace JUST the (removable) cover.
OK, fine. If you want to send out a whole new mattress and
incur those costs, so be it. "But, let's keep THIS mattress
in the box until it gets to the front door! It's been
Replacement shows up and its not even boxed *on* the truck!
Hmmm... sure looks like someone is trying to slip us a "used"
mattress! And, cover on this "new" one is actually *torn*.
"Sorry, guys... take it back!"
Call manufacturer to complain about the treatment from this
Next day, replacement *cover* is in the post. "Put the
defective cover in the box that the replacement arrives
in, attach this label and call UPS for a pickup. We're
sorry for the inconvenience and hope you enjoy your
So, its not the size of the firm (the "dealership" is a
national chain; the manufacturer is a nationally known brand)
but, rather, the specifics of your relationships with each.
You are right.
I once made the mistake of taking my bicycle to a repair shop even
though I could have fixed it myself.
Lazy I guess.
It fell apart on the way home so I had to walk it for several miles...
then do the right thing and fix it myself.
Called the owner to complain and all she said was,
"Aw isn't that too bad."
Very glad when they went out of business within the next year or so.
I haven't been able to come to a conclusion as to which *sorts* of
businesses "should" be more concerned with their "image", in this
On the one hand, you can argue that small, locally owned businesses should
place a higher premium on their image as they tend to be *individuals*
known in the community -- not wanting their PERSONAL images tarnished
by the perceptions others form of their businesses.
OTOH, they can "fold up shop" and move to another town/city... or,
just reopen under a new name and start over. Very little "invested"
in their "business image".
Or, you can argue that large, national entities run the risk of
a "bad rep" becoming a widespread assessment of their organization
and then they have "no place to hide".
In our "mattress" case, we had two opportunities to seek a remedy;
with the retailer or with the manufacturer. So, thankfully, when
one fell flat, the other picked up the ball.
[I suspect there is actually a third entity involved: the firm that
the local retailer contracts with for *deliveries* -- the true
culprit in our scenario! The local retailer *may* get smart and
find another firm to provide this service. Or, may just want to
On Sunday, October 25, 2015 at 6:18:39 AM UTC-4, philo wrote:
In some cases management is dumb enough to totally piss off customers
when it's very easy to do the right thing. My favorite example was
Mother's Day weekend last spring. A bar/restaurant that we visit
every couple months sent us an email about their promotion. They had
a buy one brunch, get the second free deal for Sat and Sun. This
place is part of a small chain, maybe 25 total. We happened to be
near the restaurant that Sat and I remembered the offer. To make sure
it was for both days, etc, I pulled up their website on my phone.
The offer is right on the homepage, says it's for both days, at the
end it says "Make your reservtions now". Now, IDK how you would interpret
that, but usually, if reservations are *required*, it would say that.
I assumed it just meant that you should make one if you want guaranteed
so, we drive over and it's Sat, like 2 PM, the place is mostly empty.
We get a table, they bring over menus, and there is no mention or sign
of the offer, what you can choose, etc. So, I ask the waitress. She says,
"oh, that's only for tomorrow, Sunday". I tell her that's not what the
offer says. She says she'll go check. She comes back 5 mins later and
says that it is for both days, but you need a reservation. I tell her
that it doesn't say a reservation is required on the website. So, I tell
her in that case, we're leaving. She says "sorry". At the main entrance,
as we're leaving, I spot the manager. I go over to him and tell him what
just happened, and he just says "bye".....
So, now I'm fuming. We had one more stop nearby to pick something up,
so, I figured out I can play their game. I call up, make a reservation
for 20 mins later. We do our stop, go back, get seated, making sure to
tell the hostess that we have a reservation. The same experience starts
all over again. Different waitress, no mention or sign of the brunch deal.
Ask, her and tell her we have a reservation, she says that she doesn't
know about it, etc. So, she has to go check. She comes back and finally
tells us how it works, etc.
So, here you had a really dumb manager that would rather piss off regular
customers than give them the promo that the restaurant had invited us too.
Even if their intent was that you had to make a reservation, with the place
mostly empty and us standing there, would it have been so terrible to just
say, "No problem Sir, we're happy to have you?". When we were done eating
I was keeping an eye on the manager, because I wanted to tell him on the
way out that I hoped he was happy now, treating us that way, etc. But he
had disappeared into the kitchen. When I got home I
went to the corporate website, filled out a complaint. I told them how
their manager had totally alienated two customers that were regulars,
when the correct solution was simple. I told him that IMO, it was shocking
that guy was even in the hospitality business, let alone a manager. Within
I had an email from the GM at the local restaurant, apologizing and admitting
that it was all their mistake, the crew had not been properly trained, etc.
He offered to send some gift certificates, which he did and a few days
later I had two $10 gift cards good for 6 months. Just used the last one
a week ago. Which is a funny thing. After the incident, I was OK with
them again, but still didn't go back for almost 6 months. Not on purpose
really, it's almost like a subconscious thing, they were off my radar.
Which shows you the damage some dope can do. Those two recent visits,
no sign of the idiot manager either.
Fortunately I've only had one bad restaurant experience where they did
not honor some published special.
Rather than let it ruin my day by arguing with them, I went home and
posted a bad review on Yelp.
On Sunday, October 25, 2015 at 9:18:45 AM UTC-4, philo wrote:
In my complaint, I mentioned that I had always had excellent experiences
in the past and that I had posted good reviews online. I figured they
could take the hint. And if I hadn't gotten satisfaction from the complaint,
I would have posted negative reviews, citing the experience. It's interesting
that a rare few establishments actually respond to negative reviews online
tell their side, apologize, etc. Most there is nothing, you don't even
know if they read them, give a damn, etc. Lots of reasons why so many
restaurants fail and you can see some of them from the reviews, lack of
Recently had a good experience with Samsung. According to the printed
warranty, it ran out a month before a problem occurred. I went on line
and they have a chat thing so I asked about the phone. They asked for
the serial number and said it was covered. They emailed a prepaid UPS
label for 2nd day air. Gave me updates as it progressed in their system
and six days later had the phone back
They are set up for good customer service and they seem to really want
We had a not-so-great experience with them -- but, large appliance
(where they probably don't have to be as competitive/friendly as
they do in profitable cell phone market!).
FL Washer door lock/latch failed ~18 months of LIGHT use (there's
just the two of us here and I *live* in jeans & a T-shirt!). In
fact, the machine tracks the number of wash cycles so I can tell
it's run an average of roughly TWO per week.
The original part -- in a role that sees LOTS of mechanical abuse
(you are pushing the door *into* it each time you open/close door)
was made out of flimsy plastic; the two "snap-together" halves of
the assembly simply falling "apart" from each other as the "snaps"
failed (because they were in-line with the stressed applied
instead of at right angles to those stresses!). The part on
the door that mates with this PLASTIC assembly is *cast* -- I
guess they figured *it* would see lots of abuse but it's
[Note the spring that governs the assembly is stiff enough that
manipulating it outside of the assembly requires a fair bit of
force! Yet, the assembly was intended to constrain this]
Out of warranty so I went looking for a replacement part to install myself.
Ah, Samsung service shows two parts as replacements for the broken one
in my hand! One having the exact same part number; the other, a
different number. "Perhaps the different number is an upgraded
assembly? Sure as hell don't want another flimsy plastic part
*if* there's a better replacement. OTOH, don't want to order a
part and discover it has some other incompatibility (that isn't
explained in the trivial "parts list" on-line.
OK, take advantage of on-line chat. Maybe they have access to
more information than I do!
Ha! Nope. Just repeating what the web page is already telling me.
Can't explain the differences between part numbers 23423542 and 42423424.
So, the chat has simply been a waste of time (I guess it's there for
people who can't read?)
After *forcing* the on-line chat person to escalate the issue, (kept
wanting to repeat the two part numbers that I could *see* myself!)
they agreed to send out a local repairman (which was more than
I was asking for -- I just wanted a DEFINITIVE statement as to
which of the listed parts was the *correct* part for me to ORDER)
Local kid shows up, very polite, prompt, etc. Turns out there
are *7* versions (revisions?) of this particular model. So, any
guess I made was likely to be just that -- a guess.
He looks at defective part and sees how it has failed completely.
But, the replacement appears to be identical -- plastic hasn't
been beefed up in the areas where the snap-together tabs failed;
hasn't been redesigned to snap together left-to-right instead
of front-to-back; hasn't been cast out of metal or even formed
sheet metal. I.e., start the clock; expect another 18 months before
Mentioned this to the librarian who had initially recommended the
unit (washer and dryer). Her reply: "Oh, we've already replaced
*both* the washer and dryer (due to failures)". Wunnerful.
So, my opinion of Samsung? "A" for their handling of the event
AFTER I had escalated it. "F" for a bad product design and
"expected" support (ambiguous web page).
They make a refrigerator in which we would be *very* interested.
But, with this experience behind us, we won't even consider it
(the dollars involved are substantial). Similarly, have been
casually looking at TV's and routinely pass the Samsung units by.
Also notice how often we see one at the "returns" counter at
Someone recently wrote a "popular" title regarding how prices are set
(and manipulated) and how we decide what something is "worth".
Title escapes me, at the moment. Something like:
"blahblahblah Why we pay what we do".
It was an interesting examination as to how we think about "value"
and how marketeers leverage those practices to manipulate us
into thinking favorably about *their* price points. It also
tried to address whether or not *everything* in life has some
sort of "price" associated with it ("mating", reproducing, voting,
Some of the examples given were entertaining, if nothing else!
Very good question.
It's $7 a month. I do know that I would have been better off to buy my
own and was just thinking of doing so prior to this problem.
Now that you brought this up I see maybe my "good deal" was not so good
as I've paid $70 this year to rent it...and I bet I can get one on eBay
for that price.
Well, I guess now would be the time for me to buy my own equipment
thanks for bringing up that point.
I am on TWC and bought my own modem a couple of years ago. A monthor so ago
they upgraded the standard speed from 15 to 50 meg bits or whatever.
The modem I had bought was new and only $ 25 shipped form ebay. It works
fine at 15,but not rated for over 30 or so. With the upgrade, I found
someone on ebay that had a new modem like the TWC recommended one for $ 50
shipped. They usuallly run about $ 65 to $ 70 shipped.
Easy to install. Just hook up the modem and wait for a short period of time
and the computer screen connects to the internet and asks for a few numbers
off the modem and then it starts up.
No problem installing a new one as one of the things I do is computer
Even though I'm aware that I'm getting "ripped off" so to speak to rent
one the fact that I got it replaced within a couple hours of my
call...on a Saturday night yet kind of makes it worth it.
If I had my own and it died, it would take me a few days to get one from
I probably can do that if I want to spend a little more money.
I suppose I could also buy a spare...I pretty much have a
Must have at least 20 computers in the house and boxes of spare parts.
Old computers still retain functionality. An old modem may be a doorstop
once your ISP "moves on". I have several pricey (> $1K) dialup modems -- e.g.,
Telebit 8840's -- that are *barely* useful as doorstops!
Likewise, many DOCSIS 2.0 devices effectively rendered useless by the
move to DOCSIS 3.0, etc.
It rarely pays to make long term "investments" in technology -- esp
Find an auction nearby (police, city/county, university, large business,
auctioneers, etc.) and pick up what you want for a song, typically.
I need a "new" (IDE) DVD writer for one of my computers. I'll pick
up a scrap computer for $3 next week, pull the DVD drive, RAM and
hard disk -- then toss the rest in the recycle pile (not worth
salvaging anything beyond this level of "detail")
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