The Daily Ping

Fred "Rerun" Barry once commented here.

February 6th, 2001

Ten Companies I Don’t Like Very Much

Because it’s long overdue.

Best Buy. I hate Best Buy. They refused to honor their warranty on a stereo I had purchased from them a few years ago, and only after days of yelling at incompetent employees did they finally acknowledge their wrongdoing. I wrote them a three-page letter and received nothing but a form letter. I haven’t spent a penny there since.

Old Kent Bank (now Fifth Third Bank). Already explained.

Home Depot. Despite priding themselves on astute customer service, I have found just the opposite to be true. Try finding someone knowledgeable – it seems way too difficult.

McDonald’s. Not only is the nature of their “food” questionable, but considering everything that is involved in getting that food to the consumer (which I’m interested to read about in Fast Food Nation), their stuff is also too expensive.

AOL Time Warner. You know why.

BankOne (formerly First Chicago). This bank became widely known for its infamous charges – they charged you to talk to a teller, use an ATM, and breathe the air in their lobbies. But what forced me to move accounts was that I was charged to make a deposit. They actually figured, “Ah, well, as long as you’re giving us a few hundred, what’s another $3.50?”

AT&T. As Best Buy did, AT&T refused to acknowledge that one of their employees failed to tell me something. I was also under the most ridiculous thing ever: a “verbal contract” with them, which meant that it was their word against mine. I signed nothing, and never got a contract. So I told them that since it was a verbal contract, I was changing the terms and charging them $200 for my trouble. They didn’t laugh.

RealNetworks. Just because RealPlayer is such a crappy program.

Network Solutions. Due to their sheer incompetence. I was interested in a domain name that expired on January 10. I checked every day around that time for it to become available. It never happened. They told me that they deleted domains 500 at a time, and there was no way I could get dibs on it (which was fine.) The best part is that the domain was renewed some three weeks later, for three years. Great. Thanks.

Nike. Ugly, overpriced shoes made in enormous, inhumane factories.

There are more, many more, but I think ten is good for the time being. Viva la capitalism! -pm

Posted in Consumer Commentary

FROM: T.S. Murphy
DATE: Tuesday February 6, 2001 -- 12:27:39AM
One company I really, really hate is UPS, mainly because of their absolutely bumblingly clueless 'delivery' procedure. I wasn't home during the day on Friday; nor on Monday; nor, for that matter, during any weekday in the last year. But UPS will insist on making that third delivery attempt on Tuesday before I can even think about going to the office to pick it up. Of course, don't even hope to pick anything up on evenings/weekends. I'm lucky if they leave a note of the delivery attempt when they do come, so I can call them to arrange for pick-up. Or if they don't decide to leave it at a questionable neighbor's house (without notifying me, of course). I've had packages for me returned to sender, because they simply refuse to aknowledge that they attempted to deliver it. Of course, then I get to pay the shipping cost over again, so we can repeat the charade for a second time.

FedEx gets it right (able to pick up THAT DAY if you're not home). So does USPS (no 'repeated delivery attempts'; just a notification in my mailbox). Why UPS can't get it right frustrates me to no end. Grrrr.... And, yes, I will joyfully pay more to a vendor for an item if they can deliver it via USPS or FedEx instead of that horribly incompetent UPS.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Tuesday February 6, 2001 -- 12:29:05AM

FROM: Matt
DATE: Tuesday February 6, 2001 -- 12:29:56AM
I basically agree with most of your choices. Most huge corporations really do suck when it comes down to annalyzing them. I do have a few pairs of Nikes but those are reissues of classics like the Bo Jacksons from 1990

FROM: Vinny
DATE: Tuesday February 6, 2001 -- 1:23:33AM
I completely agree with you on Best Buy. I got a stereo from them a few years back and, in a moment of brain fog, also bought the four-year contract. I’ve had many problems with the CD player since then and took it back 3 times to get fixed (each time the “fix” worked for a few months). At the third fix they decided that they claimed they couldn’t find anything wrong with it and instead cleaned and re-aligned the laser. This also worked for a few months before it went on the fritz again. The next time there I called them on the lemon-law clause in the warrantee (bring it back a fourth time to get fixed and they’ll replace it with another piece of equipment). However, this clause only applies to “fixes”, not times you need to clean and re-align the laser. The fourth time they cleaned and re-aligned the laser again… I get the feeling that if I would have brought it back a fifth time they would have done the same thing. I found another person on the web through that had the EXACT same experience with the same piece of equipment.

FROM: T.S. Murphy
DATE: Tuesday February 6, 2001 -- 1:56:51AM
And, on the retail front, my vote goes to Staples. I always get suckered into going that place and always walk around forever looking over and over again at their insanely limited selection of merchandize, hoping to find what I know is not there.

Best Buy sucks, but fortunately I live in a town endowed with Fry's Electronics which has a much (much, much, much, much) wider selection of merchandise (particularly computer parts), a tantalizingly generous return policy, much lower prices, and much more knowledgable and friendly sales people. I don't understand how people who live east of I-5 can live without the pleasure that is Fry's Electronics.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Tuesday February 6, 2001 -- 7:19:48AM
Vinny, that's almost exactly what happened to me.

Terry, I can't say I've ever been in a Staples. OfficeMax and Office Depot are similarly crappy, here, though.

DATE: Tuesday February 6, 2001 -- 8:57:23AM
Verbal contracts are completely leagal and accepted in a court. However, they are only good for one year.

Vinny, sounds like it wasn't just Best Buy that sucked, but also the equipment you bought. Ouch!

The top company I don't like is Microsoft. Unfortunately most of the good software is Windows based. I do have to give Bill- though really Melinda - credit and respect, they sure donate a lot of their evil money to good causes.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday February 6, 2001 -- 9:32:58AM
Terry -- As you know, I hate UPS, also. I also have deep hatred for Best Buy (I refuse to buy even video tapes from that clusterfrick of an organization) and most chain restaurants (Applebees, Ruby Tuesday, and TGIFriday's top the list).

I've actually had OK experiences with Office Depot (as I mentioned here).

FROM: Paul
DATE: Tuesday February 6, 2001 -- 11:33:35AM

Verbal contracts are completely leagal and accepted in a court. However, they are only good for one year.

OK, but how can anyone enforce a verbal contract? If you've got no physical proof except word v. word, how can that be carried out to court?

FROM: Robert
DATE: Tuesday February 6, 2001 -- 11:53:35AM
I hate Chik-Fil-A, but that's a horse that has been beaten beyond death.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Tuesday February 6, 2001 -- 11:56:09AM
I also want to add that I hate First Union. Those bastards once tried to short me $.50 on a deposit and I spent a good while on the phone to fix it.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Tuesday February 6, 2001 -- 12:01:29PM
I agree with First Union, But not Chic Fil A

FROM: Ben G.
DATE: Tuesday February 6, 2001 -- 1:16:55PM
Don't buy extended warranties on anything, except maybe a new car. If the appliance works properly during the first 90 days (usually the period of your free limited warranty), it is probably going to be okay.

I just like to beat Best Buy at their own game. When they first became common in the early 1990's, they'd always have all the new CD releases priced at $9.99 -- selling them at a loss just to draw you in the store. They got in trouble for doing that, but still once in a while they have really good prices. Just go for those low-priced goodies, but otherwise take your business elsewhere.

It is just a fact of life that you can't go into Best Buy expecting competent help from any of the people working there.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday February 6, 2001 -- 1:46:48PM
You know, I've never once gone into Best Buy and not come out angry at someone or something in the store? It really is the epitome of terrible customer service.

DATE: Tuesday February 6, 2001 -- 2:01:06PM

Found this info on verbal contracts

As far as I have found, when verbal contracts are disputed in court it is a "my word" vs. "your word" situation. If the AT&T rep really didn't fill in all the blank, then you have every legal right to wipe the street with their ass.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Tuesday February 6, 2001 -- 2:39:24PM
Pat... thanks. The situation is resolved now, but one thing I forgot to mention was that the operator I spoke with basically made up the "verbal contract" thing on the spot, when I mentioned I had no written contract whatsoever. "Oh, well, then that means you're under a verbal contract!"

FROM: T.S. Murphy
DATE: Tuesday February 6, 2001 -- 3:06:36PM
When they first became common in the early 1990's, they'd always have all the new CD releases priced at $9.99 -- selling them at a loss just to draw you in the store. They got in trouble for doing that

You really got to wonder about those "consumer advocate" groups who target retailers whose prices are "too low". Huh? How is this bad for the consumer? Who are they trying to protect exactly? People who can't control their spending so they get suckered into impulsively buying more items than were on their original shopping list? Just go in, get the item on sale, and walk out. What's so hard about that?

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday February 6, 2001 -- 9:06:44PM
I agree, Terry (wow -- did you ever imagine you'd hear that phrase?! ;) )... I imagine, though, that a lot of the targets were probably bait-n-switch type situations.

FROM: adam
DATE: Thursday April 25, 2002 -- 12:52:18 am
All you people who are aginst best buy can go to hell, I have worked for the company for almost three years and the only reason that people have a problem with customer service is because most people that come into the store are incompetent morons that cant tell there head from there ass. when you constantly have half witted idiots coming in and complaning about everything under the sun, we get really tired of that. you think you come in and your going to get your way buy screaming and being total assholes well forget it, mabey if you people came in and just explained your situation calmly and more friendly you would probably get alot more help in less time, but no you come in slam the product down and scream at us. That gets you NO WHERE!!!!!! and yelling at a manager gets you just as far, because as ive said about other employees, he or she deals with the same irate assholes all day as well. so take a f-ing chill pill shut the hell up and get on with your sad pathetic lives. instead of doing nothing but complain and bitch go outside and play ball with your kids or something. live is to short to act like that. besides when you have veins popping out of your head it just takes time off your life. sincerly adam.

FROM: Paul [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday April 25, 2002 -- 8:23:36 am
And Best Buy clearly prides itself on hiring competent, educated employees.

Adam, perhaps the issue is that BB doesn't solve the root problem and instead tries to pacify its customers with problems. Maybe it's their deceptive business practices?

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday April 25, 2002 -- 10:30:55 am
Adam -- I'm about the calmest customer Best Buy ever encountered, but it didn't stop them from treating me like a piece of shit. Face it: your company's business practices *suck* and frequently hires employees whose IQ is smaller than their shoe size.

I'll never forget the time I went into Best Buy at the height of the Christmas season just to buy a pack of blank video tapes and they had one lane open out of ten with a line that reached 30 deep. That was the last time I went into a Best Buy (and I left without making a purchase).

FROM: Greg
DATE: Thursday April 25, 2002 -- 1:30:08 pm
Best Buy does not care iota #1 about customers. That shows by the inferior products that malfunction 90% of the time. (I can name 9 people whom have had products break/malfunction on them but not yet one that has had a good product.) My last story with Best Buy was after making my selection (2 CDs), I stood in line for 1/2 hour and never made it to the register. I left and never went back. Do you know why? Best Buy sucks! That's why.

FROM: ann
DATE: Friday May 16, 2003 -- 12:23:14 pm
I laugh when people say they love using FedEx, I also do not prefer ups I use the post office, I work at FedEx and they are the most curropt company that I know of. Charging you 17.25 to ship a letter PSP at FedEx stands for Profit / Service / People. Their employees play Baseball and golf with your fragile packadges just for fun, besides even if their was a manager at a FedEx station not smoking crack their always hiding in their office. I would never ship a packadge with fedex.Besides instead of raises or benifits to their good employees they would rather name a football stadium for 250 million dollars for 5 years. and benifits dont even go their FedEx is one of those companies that ownes their own insurance, and workmans comp insurance companies so they dont have to pay for any workmans comp claims. And hey thanks to our great goverment you cannot sew the company you work for when you get hurt at work so the big fortune 500 company wins again they treat their employees the same way they treat your precious cargo, throw it down and smash it into the ground. Oh did you want a refund with that, Sorry service was late today the sun was shining that would be a weather delay, and yes we do attempt deliveries 3 times and after that we will leave it at a neighbors house, or pretty much throw it over the fence, or throw it into your back yard for you, so the dog can piss on it, or well throw it into your bushes for ya!!. Hey 80% of the time well even open up your packadge for ya and go threw it to see if any thing looks good, thats why we ask you to please, use our clear plastic tape when sealing your boxes, so after we open it up we can retape it so it looks all beautiful for you the recipent, and youll never know the difference. And hey Thank God FedEx drug test their employees on a random basis,( yeah that would be about every 6 years) So that way when we stop at a resturant/Bar for lunch we can throw back a couple do you know how many people have been ran over (and killed) by drunk, or stoned FedEx employees hey were FedEx, we hire who ever will put up with our shit. have a nice day hope you recieved you priorty by 10:00 A.M.

FROM: spelling police
DATE: Friday May 16, 2003 -- 3:01:18 pm
Consider yourself arrested, Ann.

FROM: annie
DATE: Monday July 14, 2003 -- 10:10:38 pm
I think the gal from Fed-Ex must have had the same spelling teacher as the man from Best Buy. No wonder these companies operate so poorly. Their employees don't even know the English language.

DATE: Monday August 18, 2003 -- 4:18:44 pm
I need to know more about this FedEx Employee drug testing. If anyone has more straight facts about FedEx's pre-employment drug policies, please e-mail me and let me know.

DATE: Monday August 18, 2003 -- 4:19:57 pm

FROM: Paul
DATE: Monday August 18, 2003 -- 5:55:00 pm
Because, you know, a site that has nothing to do with FedEx is the est place to get that information.

Welcome to the Internet!!!!

FROM: Robbo
DATE: Monday August 18, 2003 -- 9:21:25 pm
Well, I was going to tell a story about my experience as an AT&T Wireless customer care rep, but I clicked the "preview" button to check it out before submitting and it all went away. And I'm too lazy to type it again. Bummer.

DATE: Tuesday February 17, 2004 -- 2:14:21 am
I despise bankone. I am anxiously awaiting their demise. I would like all bankone haters to ban together and take them for all their worth.

FROM: Alex C.
DATE: Tuesday February 17, 2004 -- 8:03:06 am
I have a heart-warming story of working the system at Best Buy.

A few years back, Titus Games (an awful game developer) made an awful Superman game. Being a huge Superman dork, I bought this clunker sight-unseen (never again!!). Well after just 2 days of playing this piece of crap, I decided to take it back and recoup my 50 bucks.

At Best Buy with their "sorry,no" return policy.

At the time I worked at a Waldenbooks and we had a shrink-wrap machine in the off I go to work and shrink-wrap this crap game (make it look "like new").

Walking into Best Buy, I claimed that "I had already received this game as a gift." Handed it back, got my 50 bucks and high-tailed it out before any more questions could arise.

I hate Titus to this day, much more so than Best Buy.

FROM: greg
DATE: Sunday July 18, 2004 -- 2:47:44 am
idiot ... yes

DATE: Saturday January 1, 2005 -- 3:08:25 pm

Areanna December 15, 2007, 6:05 pm

u suck crap stick in the summer kk nikes are soooo tight jus cuz ur white dont kno fashion too save ur life or cant afforde it cuz u live in the trail park aint nike fault!!

Paul December 15, 2007, 6:13 pm

I’d like to note that the above commenter came here through this search query on Ask:

“how much was nikes in 1990”

How much was, indeed.

Paul December 15, 2007, 6:16 pm

(And that was probably the most painful comment on the Ping in ages.)

Scott March 20, 2010, 6:15 pm


Just reading these posts, some of them nearly seven years old, and the last one coming in two years ago…


Just for future reference and hilarity. Let us see if we can keep this useless forum open for a while longer…

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