Category Archives: Consumer

Customer Service Failure: Vons

Last weekend I received an email from Vons to get a free delivery from their home delivery service. Since I was stuck working all weekend, I thought I’d save some time and take them up on their offer. I have used their service before when I was unable to make it to the store. Once I went to their website I quickly remembered how slow and difficult using their site is. The following is what I wrote them:

“I’m writing about your shopping online. To save some time I thought I would make an order (not my first time). But it took so long and was so frustrating that I gave up. It would be faster just to drive to the store.

I’m a software developer and know that you are using a framework that is no longer supported and has been out of date for over 10 years!

I might use it when I have to (such as recovering from surgery) but won’t for anything else.”

Here is their reply:

“We apologize for the delay in responding to your e-mail. 

Thank you for providing us with the error message you received. Our records do indicate that we were experiencing web site technical difficulties at the time you reported this issue and the matter has been resolved. ”

What? I don’t think anyone actually read my comment. This sounds like an automated response. I don’t think they have a clue on what customer service is at all! The issue is not “technical difficulties” at all, it’s the crappy website design using a framework that has not been used for over 13 years! Hire a new CTO Vons!!!

McDonalds Likes to Pass the Buck

I wrote to McDonald’s the other day letting them know I was over changed AGAIN at the local store near where I live. Also to complain that they continuously leave an item out of my order. Below is their lame response… nice way to pass the buck guys!

Hello David:

Thank you for your comments regarding prices at your local McDonald’s.

It’s important to know that approximately 85 percent of our restaurants are locally owned and operated by independent business
people known as franchise owners. Each franchise owner determines his
or her restaurant’s prices by taking our recommendations into
consideration, as well as their unique operating costs. This is why
prices may vary from one McDonald’s restaurant to another. Also
franchise owners make decisions regarding charging for condiments.

We are sorry for any dissatisfaction you may be feeling as a result of prices at a McDonald’s restaurant. Overall, McDonald’s Corporation
works very hard with our suppliers, research and development, and
internal departments to consistently offer a broad menu that can be
offered at a good value in our restaurants.

We appreciate your feedback and will share it with the appropriate
people at McDonald’s. Regarding your local McDonald’s pricing, we
encourage you to share your feedback with the restaurant Manager. We are sure the franchise owner would be interested in you comments.

you again for contacting McDonald’s. We appreciate your business and
hope to have the opportunity of serving you in the future.

McDonald’s Customer Response Center

Do Not Get Fooled by the Circuit City Going Out of Business Sale

So I’ve seen the commercials on TV, Circuit City is (finally) going out of business! So I thought I would take advantage of it and while doing errands today thought I’d stop by the one nearest to me. I had a few items in mind, not that I can afford it but I have been looking to get a flat-screen TV, I do need a new wireless router and few other items. I looked at the flat-screens and found a LG model that seemed like a good price. I thought I’d check the price on using the application on my iPhone… to my surprise it was cheaper on Amazon! Then I looked at the Linksys router and I found the same thing and the same goes for the other items I looked at. I even told some of the customers that were looking at the same type of items as I was that they could find it cheaper online.

So, I’m not a big time business guy, but it stands to reason that if you are trying to unload inventory, wouldn’t you sell it at a huge discount? It seems Circuit City is marking all of their items at the original retail price (or more) and then applying the discount to that, which is still more than what you can purchase it from on Amazon (which includes free shipping over a certian purchase total). It’s no wonder why this company is going out of business… it never kept up with compitition. So for one last screw over on the average consumer, now they are predending they are giving them a deal! (this of course does not apply to out-of-the-box prices)

I’m glad to see Circuit City go… the faster the better! I just feel bad that thousands of people that didn’t deserve it will loose their job due to exceutives that can’t get their greedy heads out of their butts.

Your thoughts?

I sent this to KGTV Channel 10 here in San Diego and they are doing a story on it on 2/12/09 at 11pm. Tune in and see what they say!

FedEx Nickel and Dimes Your Shipment Cost

For the first time in a long time I shipped something via my account with FedEx. I was totally surprised when besides the shipment cost they also charged me with:

  • Home Delivery! What gives. Are they penalizing us if we want to ship to a personal address?!?!?!?!?!
  • Fuel Surcharge??? Didn’t the cost of gas go way down??

They also wanted to charge me for:

  • Signature
  • Pickup

But I took those off as soon as I saw how much they wanted. Dang, don’t think I will be using them anymore! USPS only from now on.

Customer Service – Not What It Use To Be

In this day of age with the Internet, you would think customer service would be better? Well I’m amazed at how many large companies totally ignore you when you send them an email or submit a support request. Below are companies that I never hear from or they take a long time. I will also list the good ones (one day or less turn around).

Bad Customer Service

  • I sent Corel (the makers of Paint Shop Pro) a support request the week of 1/7/2008 because the dang program will not accept the serial number from the invoice when I purchased the program. I even followed their online instructions that that did not help. I never heard back from them.
  • I sent Epson a message about their free program that prints graphics on inkjet printable CD’s two weeks ago and have not heard back. This program does not appear on their web site anymore 😦
  • Sent a message to because a feature is not working and I got this in reply: “Your message has been sent to our support team. Please allow up to 2 work weeks for a response.”! Dang, two weeks?!?!?!?!

Good Customer Service

  • On 1/22/2008 I sent an email to Symbol about .NET Framework install for Windows CE for one of their barcode scanner devices. I received an answer back in less than a day!
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