Path: Welcome > Good'n'Bad

Good'n'Bad

… and ugly:-). Okay, seriously: the idea here is to report upon particularly good or egregiously bad cases of customer service, product features et cetera. I will only write about those things that Vero and I have actually witnessed or experienced ourselves, so no second-hand urban legends here. Given the general state of things in the world of customers and consumers my suspicion is that I will have to deal more with bad than with good cases. But I will do my very best to highlight companies that went out of their way to do The Right Thing. After all, it's only satisfied customers who come back for more.

There is also a separate section I'll call Rants with… well, with rants! Please don't take them overly seriously; they're just one way to poke fun on some things I at some point found — to concoct a new word — “rantable”.

Amazon

Perhaps sometimes a little more expensive than others… but they are RELIABLE and FAST. We use a few other retailers but we keep coming back to Amazon because their customer service is consistently good: in my 15 years of being an Amazon customer there never was a real problem — even on the rare occasions when something went wrong they always and speedily rectified the situation. The only real complaint I have with them is their abysmal product menus and search. Recommended.

1st Direct

That's the bank (branchless, internet/phone only) we switched to after too many disasters with our current account at Citibank UK (see further down; though I have to admit that banking in general is a rather sore point here in Britain). They are competent, friendly (not a matter of course with UK banks) and rather swift in dealing with customer queries. If they do commit an error (rare), they always make good. There are a few minor gripes but in general they are at the professional end of banking.

DGM (also trading as Digimate)

Ordered a monitor with a three-year on-site swap-and-replace warranty. Thing broke down after two years… they were unwilling to honour their own warranty. Unfriendly and unprofessional staff to boot. Well, never again.

Staples UK and Maplin

Two of the worst online retailers I've ever dealt with. They let you order products they don't have in stock, reserve the money off your credit card (or, even worse, actually charge it) and then… utter silence for weeks on end. With Staples, this happened three times in a row (third time round I did order against my better judgement…). As to Maplin, after their first big blunder, I never gave them a second chance and I won't in the future: as fas as I am concerned those two are dead in the water. Another retailer I would not touch with a barge pole is the Western Digital Online Shop.

Citibank UK

This is one of the most incompetent financial institutions in the UK (and I am being friendly here). The troubles we had with them, over the years, are far too many to detail. Among the crowning highlights was their inability to send out new internet PINs in time for their grand website make-over. This impressive feat of foresight and planning left us and many other customers without online access to our accounts for several weeks. And Citibank's fabulous phone hotlines were so overstretched by irate customers (like us) that we literally couldn't access our own money for almost a full week.

Or the fun we had when we walked into one of their London branches and asked whether there was any way to get hold of our delayed new PINs if we're abroad: we were advised that sure, no problem, we should simply ask a neighbour to open the envelopes with the PINs inside and have him or her read the PINs to us over the phone (!). The helpful Mr X (we do have his full name) stuck to this advice even after we pointed out that this sort of behaviour would be in gross violation of Citibank's own terms and conditions. These guys are definitely dangerous: we switched accounts as quickly as we could.


$updated from: Good'n'Bad.htxt Wed 22 Jan 2014 15:15:03 thomasl (By Thomas Lauer)$