Friday, July 13, 2012

The 10 Most Disliked Companies In America

I adopted this from what was published in the Business Insider last month, with which it quoted a sad but true reflection of what causes a company to perform below expectation:

"Where companies have little or no competition or where customers encounter barriers to switching among competitors in terms of cost and/or convenience, companies may not need to satisfy their customers to the same degree in order to keep them." - BI

How true.

On the same token, utility companies in Malaysia - corporatised and privitised alike - seem to trend in the same manner as those of the United States',  perhaps worst of. It would be very interesting to see results of  study carried out by independent entities on customer satisfaction here.

Let's look at what Business Insider compiled in its publication and benchmark against your own experience with companies in Malaysia (well, it says 15 but I prefer to share only the top 10). Suddenly our utility company, Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd, SESB comes into mind:

#10 Delta
Rated 65/100.
Most of the complaints include customer representatives not responding in a professional manner.

Since acquiring Northwest airlines in 2008, Delta's consumer satisfaction score decreased rapidly and was at its lowest last year. The airline seems to have worked out some of the kinks last year.

#9 US Airways
Rated 65/100.
Regular complaints include inaccurate billing, failing to notify passengers of flight delays and terrible service.

One customer says he saw a crew member on a Charlotte to Toronto flight bullying a disabled elderly woman for asking to get her belongings out of a carry-on bag.

In November 2011, the airline was at the center of a PR nightmare after forcing a passenger to stand for seven hours because of an overweight man seated next to him.

In the same month, the company was attacked for initially denying a ticket refund to a terminally ill cancer patient.

#8 American Airlines
Rated 64/100. The second-worst big airline.
The legacy airline, whose parent company, AMR Corp. filed for bankruptcy in November 2011, has done a worse job of pleasing passengers than small, low-cost airlines such as Spirit or Frontier.

In a recent study, American ranked last among 10 major airlines at keeping customers informed, leaving them on hold for an average of 1 hour and 32 minutes and failing to respond to to questions on Twitter.

One traveler explains her frustration: "American Airlines canceled our flight one day before traveling to Mexico. We had to call and wait for over 30 minutes just to find out our refund will take one to two days. We needed our refund quick to make other arrangements to travel over Easter since they just screwed up our Easter travel. I will never use them again. No wonder they filed bankruptcy."

#7 Cox Communications (Television Service)
Rated 63/100.
According to ACSI, "higher rates and fees for many Cox customers are sapping customer satisfaction."

One customer said the Atlanta-based company demanded money after changing the contract: "I setup 2yr service w/Cox —1st yr @ $29.99, 2nd @ $49.99.

Now after 6mon they changed it to 1st 6mon @ $29.99, 2nd 6mon @ $49.99, and 1 year @ 79.99."

#6 Time Warner Cable
Rated 63/100.
Although the cable provider improved marginally since 2011, slow internet speeds, cable outages, disastrous customer service and high rates continue to cause frustration among users.

One customer vented, "TWC has destroyed my business and doesn't give a damn: I first complained five weeks ago about outages and miserable upload speeds. I need to send large files to clients. I've had two technicians visit, who both found it was in the neighborhood. Today, I found the situation has not changed and am told there's no further work order."

#5 United Airlines
Rated 62/100. The worst big airline.
It's no surprise that United Airlines has been dubbed the "the worst airline in America."

In March, the carrier generated an unusually high amount of aggravation after a computer switchover following the airline's merger with Continental caused widespread flight delays.

Poor customer service, flight cancellations and lost baggage are other common gripes.

One customer wrote, "It's unbelievable! I was charged twice, and I had to wait over an hour on the phone to talk about the overcharge on my credit card. This company has a serious problem. I will never fly United Airlines again!"

#4 Comcast (Television service)
Rated 61/100. The second-worst TV service.
Ever-unpopular media conglomerate Comcast has been blasted for early withdrawals, faulty equipment and unprofessional service technicians.

One customer complained that a repairman lied about arriving 15 minutes late, another said a Comcast employee left equipment, including plastic wires and clips, all over his front lawn.

#3 Charter Communications
Rated 59/100. The worst TV company.
Poor customer service and unfair billing practices are common complaints about the fourth-largest cable company in the country.

One customer explained, "The sales rep originally promised us a $42.95 a month for services, with an introductory price of $24.95 for the first 3 months (a savings of $18 a month).

After the introductory period ended, the company started charging me $56.95, when I finally caught on that they were charging me $14 more per month than what is said on the Work Order (could provide at anytime for proof), he never once mentioned that there will be a $10 more per month, and now the company says if you have no other cable service with us (Charter Communications), you are to be charged $10 more per month!!"

#2 Northeast Utilities
Rated 59/100.
The company's reputation was severely damaged after two major storms at the end of 2011 caused massive power outages.

A destructive snow storm last October left hundreds of thousands of homeowners and businesses sitting in the dark without heat for up to two weeks.

The extensive outages ultimately led to the resignation of the president of Northeast's subsidiary Connecticut Light & Power in November 2011.

New England's largest utility company is also at the center of a dispute with federal regulators over complaints by several states that it, along with other utilities, "are making excess profit," the AP reported.

#1 Long Island Power Authority
Rated 58/100.
The Long Island Power Authority is currently ranked the lowest in the energy utilities sector. The score plunged 11 percent in April alone.

Common complaints include rate hikes and overbilling mistakes linked to listing homes as commercial instead of residential. Hurricane Irene also led to widespread outages last August.

In January, a bill was passed requiring the utility to "undergo comprehensive and regular management and operations audits" and creating a new way for customers to file complaints.

Reference and sources:
a) The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI)
b) The 15 Most Disliked Companies In America by Business Insider


tehr said...

sektor khidmat belakan kuasa juga di tempat pertama

de engineur said...

@tehr - di Sabah pun x jauh beza juga tu. Maklumlah sabah hari mati karan

de engineur said...

*Saban hari putus bekalan