What is it with these larger companies? They have completely killed customer-driven business. You all read what a horrible time I had with Dell and their outsourced customer service. Today, I have 2 more companies I'd like to rant about.
First up: Ben's Outlet
I have a Motorola Droid Bionic (Verizon). When I bought the phone last October, I had the option of buying the laptop dock accessory for an additional $300. I turned it down. I wasn't about to pay $300 for a laptop dock, when for $300 I could buy a laptop! Well recently, Ben's Outlet was offering Moto Droid Bionic Laptop Docks for $79 and then again for $89. At that price, hubby told me to pick one up. I missed out on the $79 sale. They were sold out before I could get one. So when they went on sale for $89, I nabbed one. I received an email stating that my item had shipped. The email included the UPS tracking number. I kept checking the tracking number and UPS continued to report that while a number had been created for the package, they had not received the package yet. After a week of getting this same message from UPS, I tweeted about the odd delay on Twitter @Ben'sOutlet. Their social media department contacted me via DM and took down my order # to check on it. A few days later, a customer service rep contacted me to let me know that their warehouse was behind and that I'd have to wait a little longer. A few days passed & I tweeted again. Ben's Outlet SM Dept. DM'd me again for my order # and assured me that they would check on it. A customer service rep contacted me and said that they were updating their warehouse and that was the reason for the delay. A few hours later, the same customer service rep refunded my money via paypal and contacted me to say my item was lost in transit and there was no way they could replace the item since they don't routinely stock the item. I will never shop there again.
Next: Verizon Wireless
I've been a Verizon Wireless customer for well over 10 years. About a year ago, Verizon announced that they would no longer provide loyalty discounts to their customers. So those of us extremely loyal customers would no longer get a discount on buying a phone with new contract. Then Verizon Wireless did away with unlimited data plans, but assured us loyal users, that we'd be grandfathered in and our unlimited data plans would remain intact. NOW Verizon Wireless has announced that those of us who were grandfathered in will be forced into a data share plan - having to share our data usage with our family and pay for a limited amount of data. Bad form, Verizon. You have no more carrots to hang in front of loyal customers like myself. With the onslaught of large carriers and small carriers alike, I can take my business elsewhere if there is absolutely no incentive for me to stay with you. And while big name phones used to keep customers coming back to their fave carriers, that is no longer the case. Most manufacturers like HTC, Motorola, and Apple have begun to offer their phones to all carriers. HTC and Motorola just rename their devices depending on the carrier. And with the news that many manufacturers may get in on the Nexus craze, tech-savvy consumers don't have to be loyal anymore.
Bottom line: my pennies are precious. Consumer loyalty is at an all-time low because companies just don't care to cater to the consumer any longer. They outsource. They cheapen products and services. And they don't reward those who continue to patronize their establishments. It's time that those of us with a voice speak out.
And to Ben's Outlet, Verizon Wireless, and Dell: you could learn a thing or two about how to treat your customers from small businesses. You could take a page from the sellers on Etsy.