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Service providers - the good the bad and the ugly
Old 11-13-2014, 12:53 PM   #1
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Service providers - the good the bad and the ugly

I usually have high expectations for the services I buy. When I fill out a service providers satisfaction survey, I seldom give anyone the highest marks for simply providing what they are suppose to be providing and what I paid for. Most are okay or acceptable but a few are exceptions from my POV.

Near the bottom of my list is Direct TV support. Fortunately, their system works well for us most of the time, but when we do have problems, I absolutely dread calling in and dealing with their support systems and personnel. I'd much rather call in and argue with my heath insurance provider over a claim, and that's certainly not fun either.

One of the best has been NetFlix's DVD service (not their streaming service). Their DVD service has been outstanding for us. We get 5 or 6 DVD's per month from NetFlix. I drop off a DVD in the mail and two days later (at the most) I have another one in my mail box. Considering the nearest NetFlix distribution center is about 150 miles away and they have to deliver it through the US mail, that seems pretty good to me. Maybe twice in the past few years, we have received a bad or damaged disk. I simply let them know VIA their "easy to use" website and I have a replacement disk in a day or two, with no questions asked. (Says something positive for the US mail too)

Care to share your recent good, bad or ugly service provider experiences?
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:56 PM   #2
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Time Warner Cable tops my list of bad service. Especially the telephone call center.
Best Buy is right up there (won't shop there ever again.)
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:59 PM   #3
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Time Warner Cable tops my list of bad service. Especially the telephone call center.
Best Buy is right up there (won't shop there ever again.)
Darn, I forgot about Best Buy. I agree, I won't shop there anymore unless I have no other option.
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Old 11-13-2014, 01:40 PM   #4
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I don't know that you would consider these service providers or not:

Walmart is on my do no buy from list. I have had so many instances of poor customer service that I will always go to Target and pay more.

On the other hand, our regional grocery company Market Street (by United Supermarkets) has always been wonderful with their service and selection.

I also love Southwest Airlines. Even if I've had a problem, they bend over backwards to make me happy. And they have fun and make sure passengers have fun, too.
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Old 11-13-2014, 01:41 PM   #5
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Netflix's DVD service has been very good to me also. Generally, if I mail a disk in on a business day, I get the next one two business days later.

If a disk if not locally available, they will send me the next disk on the list while I wait, so I end up with two disks at times, while I am only paying for one.
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Old 11-13-2014, 04:18 PM   #6
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ADT security tops my bad list. Might save lots of dollars by firing them. For the level of support they give may as well hire an independent guy, with a server in his garage.

Odd we've been with Direct TV since '96. Their customer service used to be the absolute worst, they either got better, or broke my spirit as I don't think they're too bad now.

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Old 11-13-2014, 04:30 PM   #7
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Comcast is at the top of my list as a bad service provider. Each year there's some new charge, or attempt to take more dollars from your pocket. I don't recall the exact charge, but they added 9.99 to a bill for a feature that I don't have, and for which the bill said the charge does not apply to basic service plan. I got it taken off, but of course the rep tried to sell me a higher tier of crap TV.

PNC Bank is an example of a good service provider. The people who staff the offices near me are friendly and helpful. Just today one spent a good 20 minutes with my kid helping her open a new CC, explaining her accounts (pretty low balances I might add) and how they were linked, and taking her to the ATM and showing her why depositing cash was secure. Amazingly, the woman put $2 into her accounts while doing this.

Charles Schwab is another good service provider. After the PNC visit we went to see Chuck about opening a brokerage, high yield checking, and VISA. Again, same courtesy extended, as the rep answered her questions, helped explain the form, told her about the ATM charges being free overseas and domestic, and gave her a an overview of retirement savings. A great moment as the kid could answer, "Yes I match to the maximum, and get the free money."
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Old 11-13-2014, 04:39 PM   #8
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I've always liked USAA for banking and brokerage services, and they're usually good with insurance claims, though I had one bad experience. My worst experience is with Carnival Cruise Lines. They're service in setting up a family druse for 25 people seemed excellent until we actually arrived on the ship our requests were ignored.
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Old 11-13-2014, 04:40 PM   #9
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Ditto Comcast, seemingly in competition with other cable companies for the title of "worst customer service and outrageous fees". If DW didn't like her cable TV so much I'd drop those jerks in a heartbeat.

At the other end of the spectrum, Frontier Communications. Not perfect by any means but they do actually answer the telephone (in English!) within a reasonable time. With one exception their Internet connection hasn't been down for more than 12 hours at a time in the last, oh, eight or so years. Last time they were down for an entire weekend but I suspect the weekend had more to do with that. By 10:00 or so Monday they were back up.
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Old 11-13-2014, 04:46 PM   #10
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Odd we've been with Direct TV since '96. Their customer service used to be the absolute worst, they either got better, or broke my spirit as I don't think their too bad now.
I love DishNetwork service. Perhaps, Direct TV is learning from Dish.

My recent experience with AT&T has been good. Perhaps, I have gotten more patient & tolerant.

Bad services? All those companies with robots on the other end. One recent experience kept making me go around in circle without an exit to real person option.
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Old 11-13-2014, 04:48 PM   #11
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Ditto Frontier. Very reliable internet service. The one time I needed help they were right on it and got things fixed quickly.
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:13 PM   #12
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At the top of my list: AT&T U-Verse. Our actual internet speed is often far lower than advertised. And when our set-top box stopped working last month, AT&T said they wouldn't send a technician out. Instead, they shipped a new box to my home, asked me to set it up, following instructions that did not correspond to the equipment I received, then pack the defective box and bring it to the nearest UPS store. So not only am I paying an arm and a leg for "service" (ha!), I am also expected to repair -for free- the equipment that I rent from them. They are the only option in my building, so I am stuck with them.
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:15 PM   #13
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Ditto on Comcast. Seems service providers do everything but provide customer service.

Kind of like public servants will do everything to avoid public service.
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:26 PM   #14
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At the top of my list: AT&T U-Verse. Our actual internet speed is often far lower than advertised. And when our set-top box stopped working last month, AT&T said they wouldn't send a technician out. Instead, they shipped a new box to my home, asked me to set it up, following instructions that did not correspond to the equipment I received, then pack the defective box and bring it to the nearest UPS store. So not only am I paying an arm and a leg for "service" (ha!), I am also expected to repair -for free- the equipment that I rent from them. They are the only option in my building, so I am stuck with them.
This is exact opposite of my experience with AT&T. I subscribed to 12 mbs service but usually get 15 mbs. When one of my set top box was having very poor wifi performance, they came out to multiple times to fix until the wifi performance issue was found to be the set top box's problem.
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:30 PM   #15
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Comcast, Discover, and T Rowe Price top my list of The Dung and The Help-less.
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:32 PM   #16
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This is exact opposite of my experience with AT&T. I subscribed to 12 mbs service but usually get 15 mbs. When one of my set top box was having very poor wifi performance, they came out to multiple times to fix until the wifi performance issue was found to be the set top box's problem.
Lucky you! Based on their Yelp ratings, you seem to be an exception.
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:49 PM   #17
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Pretty darn good service: Comcast service technician, showed up on time, explained everything, even installed a new DVD player that I'd just bought and was going to install when he left. Best and fastest service call.
Excellent service: My Ford truck dealer, saw the truck I wanted online, called to see if it was still there and told my salesman I wanted it. Stopped at bank and got a check and was off the dealers lot with truck in about 45 minutes. I've bought all my trucks from them since I was sixteen. There have been times when they've told me to just take the truck and bring a check the next day.
Worst service: One of the largest corvette dealer in the US. Have bought several corvettes from them, always pay cash. Saw a vette I wanted online, called to verify the car was still there and told them I wanted it. Showed up on Saturday with cash and a fairly new trade-in in hand and it took me 4 1/2 hours to drive off the lot.
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:52 PM   #18
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Walmart has been fine with me, I sometimes order stuff and then go pick it up in the store. Sure the pick-up thing sucks as you have to wait for some employee to come, but other than that, even when they mix up stuff, they work it out fine.
Most recently I ordered 6 person pop-up tent, and 2 queen air mattresses for $129 with free delivery to house.
Five days later I get an email, the same thing is $99, I go to their website, find the place to email billing and request a $20 adjustment. They emailed back the same day and said I'd see the credit within 7 days. Very easy.
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Old 11-13-2014, 06:42 PM   #19
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In particular....
Our experience -Discover Card (prev. Sears Sears revolving Charge SRC) for about 53 years... never a service charge, never a mistake and best part... a service rep answers the phone.
DirecTV. Since 1995 when we had to pay $700 for the equipment... upgraded receivers 3 times... never a problem, and in addition to phone courtesy, always get some type of freebie when moving back and forth to FL, or adding or subtracting services. The Techs have been great.

Comcast... the mere mention of the word drives my BP up by 20 points. I am now officially on their snit list with a red flagged account. We deal through the attorney general's office.

The local bank changes their web page and the password process every 6 months. Even the tellers etc, can't keep up.

Having been in retail when it was customer oriented, I now studiously avoid store confrontations and suppress the urge to kill. As one of my store managers once told me "The thing I have feared the most, has been left to happen."
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Old 11-13-2014, 06:51 PM   #20
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New one for me is Humana Heath--fortunately we only have our Plan D with them but no more. Initially called to change credit card when our original card was replaced thanks to the Home Depot hack. Customer Service Rep incredibly incompetent. What should have taken 5 minutes took over half an hour.
Shortly after that call, I attempted to change our Plan D to a different deductible option and encountered nothing but frustration. Got hung up on by rep when she wanted to basically create a new application and I asked to use the data on file from our existing plans.
Humana is not providing our Plan D any longer after Jan 1. Sure glad it is open enrollment time. I would really hate to have them providing my Medicare Supplement.
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