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Hall of Fame / Hall of Shame

 

Here's my current list of some of the best and worst companies with whom I've done business, based on recent experiences.  These are in alphabetical order, so scroll down to see them all.  Contact me using the link at the bottom of this page if you have suggestions or disagreements.

 

Thumbs UP!The hard-working folks below offer good products, good prices, good service, or at least two out of three.  I encourage you to do business with them.  These recommendations are not based on a single encounter, and they don't necessarily mean we've had no problems; in fact, often the real test of a company is how they handle any problems that do occur.


Thumbs DOWN!The organizations below have, in my dealings with them, consistently failed to understand that their primary purpose is to serve their customers. In my opinion, these businesses don't deserve any of your hard-earned dollars.
 

Thumbs UP!Airpark Auto Service - How many car repair places can you go where you don't worry about being "taken for a ride?"  This family-owned-and-operated company has earned top ratings from AAA for many years - and when you visit them, you'll see why.  You'll be treated with respect and your repairs will be done for a fair price (much less than the dealerships). 


Thumbs UP!Amazon.com - Very comprehensive list of products, very competitive prices, responsive customer service.  Keep in mind, however, that for some items, Amazon is simply the store front for other merchants.


Thumbs UP!The Chuckbox - Want a mouthwatering, mesquite-grilled hamburger fixed just the way you like it in a rustic atmosphere?  IMHO, best burgers on the planet (and I've been eating Chuckbox burgers since 1977, which means I've been eating their burgers longer than most of their employees have been alive)!


Thumbs UP!Discount Tire - I don't know what else to say.  If you don't know what tire you need, they'll help you select without constantly "up-selling you."  If you DO know what you need, bring in the best price you can find and they'll usually meet the price and order the tires in.  They are fast, honest, and have that "the customer is always right" attitude (even when as customers, we are being big fat jerks!). 


Thumbs UP!Google - How do they do that?  Amazing!  Fast and consistently relevant search results! To get even more from Google, check out these materials which I use in the courses I teach at Scottsdale Community College.


Thumbs UP!KJZZ - This local NPR-affiliated radio station, run by the Maricopa Community College District, is commercial-free, offers GREAT news (not 15 second headlines) on international, national, and local fronts, has "intelligent talk" programs midday, very funny shows suitable for the family on the week-ends, and REAL jazz music week-nights.  Give it a try, and then pledge. 


Thumbs UP!Orion Mortgage - Brian Yampolsky and his staff give customized, personalized service to those looking for loans for a purchase or refinance. Brian makes you feel comfortable and confident in a process that can be otherwise quite intimidating. We ended up with a VERY competitive and low-cost loan for our most recent home purchase. Orion takes customers by referral only, so be sure to tell Brian you found out about him here.



Thumbs UP!Showcase Mobile Detailing - Great car detailing service at a fair price. The crew called ahead, showed up when promised, and were clean and courteous as they worked to bring that showroom luster back to my card. And these folks passed the acid test; something went wrong, and when I contacted them to let them know, they jumped through hoops to make sure I was delighted. I can highly recommend them to make your vehicle look like new again!


Thumbs UP!Southwest Airlines - This is an excellent example of a company that keeps things simple. They treat their employees with respect, which results in happy and empowered employees who seem to enjoy working for the company, which in turn manifests itself in delighted customers. If I have a choice, I'll fly Southwest every time!


Thumbs UP!Wikipedia - Another "How do they do that?" amazing internet information resource.  This internet phenomenon relies on the COMMUNITY of internet users to keep their information tuned, relatively accurate, and helpful. 

 

 

Thumbs DOWN!AntOnline.com - They have twice shipped the wrong product and refused to issue a refund.  Good thing I paid with Visa and the bank came to the rescue!


Thumbs DOWN!Arizona Republic - You don't have many choices if you want a daily paper in the Phoenix metro area, but this company sets new standards for poor customer service. They have limited hours for talking to a person. When you DO talk to a person, that person doesn't seem to care. They usually send you to their website, where you will go in circles in a fruitless search for pages that actually accomplish anything, such as changing your subscription, suspending service, making accounting changes, etc.


Thumbs DOWN!Infiniti - Our sales and service experiences with Pinnacle Infiniti/Nissan, and with Infiniti of Scottsdale, were consistently expensive, annoying, and aggravating.  The behavior of both sales and service representatives crossed over into the unethical.  Thanks to them, the day we sold our Infiniti was one of the happiest days of our lives.


Thumbs DOWN!Quicken - Quicken products lose their ability to download transactions from banks after three years - not because technology changes, but because thye have intentionally built in obsolescence to force users to buy newer products when the old ones are otherwise working just fine. I do like using Quicken and love its capabilities until there's a problem; then you discover web- and email-based customer support from this company is INCOMPETENT and JUST PLAIN TERRIBLE - truly a painful experience.


Thumbs DOWN!mytocstore.com - Years ago I had AmericaRX.com listed on this hall of shame list, but when they disappeared from the Web, I removed them from this page. It turns out that like many bad businesses, they keep re-opening under a different name - and now they are doing business as mytocstore.com. This company is unresponsive to phone calls and emails, and they don't confirm orders, and worst of all, they don't ship your paid-for product or send the wrong product. STAY AWAY!


Thumbs DOWN!Nationstar Mortgage - Yet another company who gets five stars for infuriating their customers. If and when you can get through their telephone menu to speak with a real person, you will have been transferred from department to department, asked to enter or repeat your social security number, property address, and zip code several times, and finally end up with someone who can provide you no useful information whatsoever - only excuses for why something cannot be done or was not done. Unfortunately mortgages are often sold or transferred so you might end up with Nationstar not through choice. In 2017, they changed their name to MrCooper, perhaps in an effort to discard a well-earned terrible reputation; we'll see.


Thumbs DOWN!Sears - I am amazed that these folks remain in business. My efforts to purchase two pairs of jeans from their internet site resulted in two shipments by Sears (without tracking numbers and neither of which contained the proper merchandise), several chats with people who did not appear to understand English, several phone calls, two trips to the UPS store to return the wrong merchandise, two charges to my credit which I had to dispute in order to get my money back, and a message on my phone that the UPS shipment was being held for me at a FEDEX location (no, really!). In the end, they never delivered the proper merchandise and I had to dispute the charges with my credit card company because the refunds for returned merchandise were wrong.


Thumbs DOWN!SynLawn - We love their products, but this company is apparently owned and operated by lawyers.  The contract to install 400 square feet of synthetic turf at our house was eight pages long, and the contract is all about the company never being liable for anything, and making the customer liable for everything.

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