Good Stuff From The Consumerist

The Consumerist has been on fire lately, with a slew of great stories and posts:

It has a whole section on AOL, with plenty of stories on AOL's crappy Customer Support and their policy of actively preventing users from cancelling. One man, Vincent Ferrari, even taped his call, and made it onto CNN with the Dada-esque results. Another resorted to begging.

Then there's the case of a Comcast technician falling asleep on a customer's couch, apparently because Comcast kept the guy on hold for an hour. Comcast fired the technician, but the person who reported it tried to get him rehired, since the fault really lies with Comcast's tech support infrastructure, rather than the individual technician. But as Consumerist rightly points out, there is no excuse for a technician to fall asleep on a customer's couch - that is as unprofessional as it gets.

Then they have a funny take on the feud between the administration and The New York Times on the latter's reporting on the government's secret trolling of bank records: some supporters of the administration say it's "treason" to report on something like that. Says the Consumerist: "If free speech is treason, then the terrorists truly have won. If they win, the war is over. If there is no more war, then there is no crime of revealing state secrets in wartime. Therefore, there is no treason." At least they admit it's specious reasoning :-)

They have a cool story about a band encouraging their fans to download their music and burn their own CD's.

And a story about how Intel plays the song "Intel Cares" on the PA for its factory workers in China.

But what I like most of all is their straightforward approach to how they see companies - not as antagonists, but simply customers who want to be treated fairly and like human beings. That's why they're reluctant to say hello to a salesperson in a store. And why they sometimes feel that dealing with Customer Service is a war, and that, in that sense, companies are not even following Geneva Conventions. And that "Sometimes All We Want Is An Apology" (great post on how companies could avoid a lot of lawsuits if they were willing to admit they were wrong every once in a while).

Last but not least, they are more than happy to post stories about good customer service, like Moen, USAA, Timbuk2, and even the rarest of the rare - good service from UPS. And they do point out when the customer who contacted them is actually wrong.

So keep up the good work, Consumerist! Fight the good fight!


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