Two recent stories in the news have disturbed me greatly. The first was an ABC News Report about the shoddy luggage practices of Continental Airlines. It seems that all the safeguards that were put into play at airports give travelers a false sense of security. While we jump through all the hoops before we check our luggage, the real threats are once the bags are in the custody of the airline. It's there that dishonest employees are rifling through passenger belongings and pilfering valuables. The other story was splashed across the front page of yesterday's Washington Post. It exposed the disgusting way that the remains of deceased persons, including decorated veterans, are stored while waiting for burial.

These breaches go beyond bad customer service--I believe that they are criminal. In both cases, John Q Public does exactly what he's supposed to--like using TSA travel locks or arranging for a dignified burial of a loved one through a reputable funeral home--and, through no fault of his own, the whole thing disintegrates.

What do we do when companies fail us? How do we fight back? And most importantly, when these stories are finally brought to light, why do our public officials and regulatory agencies back away from them? What is this about?

Your comments--priceless!!
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4 Responses
  1. catladysd Says:

    It seems these days that customer service is a thing of the past. A customer used to be valued and treated well. Now when i have to deal with a problem, or inconsistency, or deceptive advertising, you are not only forced to jump through hoops you are treated as a criminal trying to get over or as ignorant. I solve this problem by no longer using companies that behave in those ways. It isn't much but i can give my hard earned money to a company who treats me well instead of one who doesn't give a darn if i continue to shop with them again.

    ok now i'm heated up and ready to take one on lol

  2. Katz Scratch Says:

    Let us not leave out the "Ponzi" scheme that has destroyed so many people's lives. This scheme was revealed to the SEC long before it became complete devastation for so many.

    I'm lost.......what do we do?

  3. ugmolicious Says:

    Many years ago...a client's boyfriend (who happened to work for a mortuary business)told me a very interesting story. He explained to me in a very detailed manner, how, the Funeral Home Personnel would wait until after all the family had left the graveside service of their loved one's funeral and would roll the deceased out of their "expensive" casket and replace it with the budget brand casket (the low cost box). Apparently, the word got around about this distasteful practice, and one "widow" brought her spray paint can and "sprayed" the casket at the gravesite with her own special brand of identification (can you say graffiti), and said "Y'all won't get this one back." Business ain't what it used to be, huh??

  4. It's a slippery slope. Once upon a time reputations mattered more than price. The more price sensitive consumers get, the more customer service goes away. Let me be clear--I am not blaming the customer, but I am saying that companies figure out that good service can be replaced with decent service and then they pocket the difference. Decent is swapped for mediocre, then shoddy, then none at all.

    The best way to combat it is through visibility. Notice what happened when there was that peanut butter salmonella scare. Comapnies that were not linked to the bad peanut processor put out ads to say that they had safe products. These organizations did not wan their good reputations soiled.

    Consumers need to spread the word about bad AND good companies. Once businesses understand that customers are both watching and talking about service, they tend to do better.

    Use the media, blogs, and websites to state your opinions about service. Notes to consumer reports, the FDA, and the better business bureau matter.

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