Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Companies that piss me off

I have no qualms writing in this space when a particular product, or service is over and beyond the Holdraker pat on the back. Since I wrote about the Shark Pro-Lift-Off vacuum cleaner several months ago, I have received an average of about two calls per week asking me about the real sucker.

Recently, Brad Jacobs and Sons broke up and removed my basement floor (no easy job), then repoured and leveled it. They did a terrific job and went far and above what I expected and I would recommend them highly.

Then, there are the products and services that suck, in a really bad way.

First, the U.S. Post Office. Every week we get complaints from subscribers that they either did not receive a paper, or more often, that they received two or more different week’s editions all at the same time. The record currently is three weeks of Times in a single delivery.

This past week Wife Patti ordered me a poster. It was shipped by mail in a cardboard tube. When it did not arrive on time, she called and was told it  was indeed delivered…outside next to the garage door because it was a cold and windy day. I found the cardboard tube buried a distance away under the ice and snow. The cardboard tube was partially crushed and the poster inside damaged. Instead of leaving it out of harm’s way, or telling us there was a package waiting at the local post office that was undeliverable, the delivery person chose the easy way out.

When Wife Patti called to perhaps submit a claim, she was told she could submit a claim to the U.S. Post Office website, but it would probably be denied because “technically” it was delivered.

The poster company apologized and sent a replacement out with no questions asked. I called the Buffalo office of the U.S. Postal Service (no local Rochester people can help-no phone number given). They politely listened to my complaint and that was the last I heard on the subject.

Fedex and UPS are excellent services and I have never had a problem with their deliveries. I am telling any and all suppliers that I would rather pay a little bit more and get the service and sound delivery in the future. The U.S. Postal Service can go suck eggs. Perhaps it is time for the federal government to pull the plug and let the free market handle all deliveries.

Next, I love my Philips Norelco Senso Touch shaver. Best shaver I ever had. It was one of those shavers that comes with a base for charging. When the base failed after two months, the company sent a new base out after several weeks. Even though it had the same part number, it looked different and would not accept the razor. The guy on the other end of the phone kept telling us it was the right model and number. There was no way the razor would fit into the replacement base and there was no way to charge the razor without the base. Only with persistence by Wife Patti did someone on a computer finally admit that perhaps there were two different bases for the same model (???) and they would ship another out in 8-10 days. These companies do not want you to return defective merchandise, they would rather you just chuck it and they write it off. Thumbs down for Norelco — razor good,  support sucks!

I spent a considerable amount for a set of pans at Bed Bath & Beyond. I liked the pans so well I bought $200+ sets for both our kids as well, for Christmas. The sets came with a 10 year warranty and were more expensive than most. After several months the non-stick pans began to show some picking of the coated surface (No, we did not use metal utensils in the pans, or put them in the dishwasher). The company, Calphalon, told us to ship them back for replacement (our cost). After numerous calls and several weeks, some of the replacements arrived with no paper work. More calls revealed that perhaps the other missing pan was being shipped from another warehouse and would arrive later. No reason given why there was no packing slipincluded. Thumbs down for Calphalon.

I generally get good responses from companies and believe they should be acknowledged for their service. On the other hand, when support and service take a back seat, I have no problem standing on this here soapbox.