Why do companies go out of there way to make customers angry? Have you noticed how many products and services seem like they were designed to frustrate the customer? This blog entry is going to be a rant. It won’t accomplish much except to make me feel better at the end Below are some products, services, or business practices that I feel are a complete slap in the face to the consumer.
1) DVDs that won’t allow you to skip the advertisements at the beginning before you can watch them – I can only imagine the group of dimwits sitting around a table deciding that angering millions of people to make a quick advertising buck was worth it. I can’t stand to start a movie for my kids only to have to wait 10 minutes to actually start the movie. I avoid buying kids movies for this very reason. When will they ever learn?
2) AC power adapters with no label on them – Everyone I know has a drawer full of black ac power adapters that they have no idea what they are used for. Manufacturers don’t have them labeled because they cost a little bit more. Many of these are used for several different devices and they save their 2 cents by not having them labeled for their specific device. Sure I can label my devices myself but should I have to? Come on!
3) Airlines miles that you can’t use when you want, and have to pay double when you do use them – The days of 25,000 points equal to a single coach airline ticket are gone for most airlines. Sure they “advertise” it, but when you try to use them you find out that those tickets are full but if you want you can “upgrade” and use double your points to get what you should have gotten in the first place. Delta Airlines is the king of customer dissatisfaction. Based on my findings I estimate that they provide somewhere between 4-6 seats per flight that are the 25,000 points per ticket. After that you need to use DOUBLE your points for the same ticket. Airlines are probably the worst offenders of any company when it comes to dealing with customers. The level of disgust is enormous in this market!
4) Any company that does mail in rebates – Mail in rebates were invented to charge people with more money a higher cost than those without. That has been the marketing/sales problem for many a company. How do we get the most money out of each customer? The problem is that all it does is make your customers angry. I will always avoid buying a product with a mail in rebate because I find the marketing practive so distasteful. Over the years it has become such a problem with customers that many large retail chain stores like Staples won’t even allow it anymore. If the rebate can’t be taken at the register then don’t even have it. There aren’t many things that makes a customer feel more put out than mail in rebates!
There are obviously more customer relationship issues than what I mentioned above, but those are some that get to me personally. Companies should consider the long term implications of their short term decisions with regard to customers. For some companies it doesn’t matter how they treat the consumer. In return, we should reward these companies by taking our business elsewhere. If company executives would simply ask themselves if they personally would like to deal with/participate/use the products in the manner that they expect their customers to do so that many of these ridiculous practices would be eliminated.
I feel much better now
Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com