Why I hate some companies passionately Dreamed 4058 days ago | | 571 words

Starting with a note over at 9rules about AOL and the amount of hatred a seemingly innocuous note brought, the question was raised. Why do people hate companies with a passion?

I gave a few examples in my comment, cross-posted below.

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It’s all about experiences with a company. If a company burns me and leaves me for dead, I am very, very slow to change my opinion of then. Especially anything in the tech field where there are 15 other companies waiting to take its place.

AOL burned me for a number I reasons I listed in a comment on your article.
The short version is this. Their customer support was a nightmare. Their overspamming the world with CDs and causing their phone lines to become jammed so people paying for the service could not get on for hours at a time. The fast-bloating software that took over any machine you put it on. And did I mention the time I could see their Dulles, VA headquarters but not connect. Yes, I know their modem banks weren’t necessarily there. But still, it’s something to be able to shake an angry fist at a corporation’s HQ.

In their defense, they did create an amazing instant messaging service. I can’t say client because I’ve long abandoned it since they added advertising to it in favor of Gaim/Pidgin and Adium.

Microsoft’s Xbox division holds a special place of hatred in my heart too because they sold me (and everyone else) a flawed product. I love my Xbox 360 more than most people I meet. But they sold me a lemon. It was going to die (and has twice). That just stinks of wrong! Don’t sell a product you KNOW is going to fail. Fix it, then sell it.

Microsoft’s Windows have been the bain of my existence since I was young and knew enough to know there was better out there. But I also am in awe of their engineers for making a product that can run on… anything! And for supporting as many things as it does, software and hardware.

And do I even need to mention phone companies. I’ve been with Alltel and Verizon. Both of which I could go on about but everyone has their own “got beaten and mugged by a phone company” story. So I won’t. But they all get their special place in hell too. Not as far down as AOL, but close, and closing in by the day.

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When it comes right down to it. Companies need to realize it’s not like they are the only ones in their field. There are 5 competitors waiting to take their place. Especially in the tech field, there is a small army waiting to replace them. If you burn me, I’ll jump ship and get picked up by someone else quicker than it takes you to confirm my account deletion.

I have been thinking a lot recently about the dichotomy of how companies treat their customers before and after the change from potential customer to customer. They’ll wine and dine you while their courting your bank account. Then as soon as you pull out that cash or card, they’ll stop calling. Then they’ll leave you on your wedding day and never return your phone calls.

It seems entirely backwards in how customer service should work. Shouldn’t you treat those keeping you in business better than those who are supporting your competitors?

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