The Checkout

E-Service Failings

For the most part, e-mail makes communication easier. But I'm beginning to think there is one area where it isn't working: customer service.

My husband and I recently signed up for Netflix. We got our first movie without a hitch. (Boys of Baraka. Two thumbs up.) We watched it. We sent it back. No problem. Since then, however, we have yet to receive movie No. 2 on our list. I've gone online several times to make sure the mailing address is correct. It is. I reported the movie missing. Netflix promised to try again. It was supposed to show up on Dec. 21. Still no movie--even though Netflix is dutifully charging me each month. So, I went on the Netflix Web site to see if I could sort this out.

Yeah right.

Netflix wants your business. They make it easy to get started and, to their credit, they make it easy to cancel your membership, too. But if you are a member and you need help, good luck figuring out where to e-mail or call.

Netflix doesn't do a great job of displaying its customer service e-mail address. Once you find it, you have to describe your problem in 10 words or less.

I typed "movies not showing up, yet you keep billing me."

Then I got a screen of "related questions" that weren't related, such as, "Q: Why were the Seasons in a TV show sent to me in the wrong order?" and "Q: If I cancel my account, can I keep my ratings?"

At the bottom of the screen are two links. One says "still have questions." The other says "problem resolved."

After hitting "still have questions," I was presented with another round of links, one of which finally took me to a form I could fill out explaining the problem.

I would have picked up the phone. But not even Netflix's CEO could find the company's customer service number on its Web site, as CBS's 60 Minutes demonstrated recently.

My Netflix encounter made me think of other cases where companies push consumers to interact online--with similar results.

Case in point: Last year, I was having trouble shutting down an automatic withdrawal for a student loan I had paid off several years earlier. (Each month, my bank would send money to the student loan company even though I had paid up and then the student loan company would send me a refund check.) I sent e-mails to the bank and the student loan administrator and I received responses weeks later that didn't address the issue. I also called several times and wrote letters. It was finally resolved after I filed a complaint with the New York state attorney general's office.

Case No. 2: A colleague of mine has been having a heck of a time getting ringtone seller Blinko to stop billing him for a "joke a day" text messaging service his son unwittingly signed up for five months ago. I'll be writing more on Blinko later this week, but I thought it was interesting that Blinko's preferred method of having customers complain was also through e-mail. Blinko does about as good a job of providing its e-mail address as Netflix does. According to consumer complaints, many of those who write the company don't get an answer.

It is easy to understand why companies want as much as possible for customers to solve their problems online. That way, they have to pay for fewer customer service reps to man call centers. But if they want people to go online, they should make it easier or as easy as calling. Otherwise, e-mail becomes a way of avoiding providing customer service.

Okay. I'm done ranting for today. What's your experience been with e-service? Which companies are better--or worse--than others? Magic hidden e-mail addresses that provoke responses are also welcome.

By Annys Shin |  January 2, 2007; 8:19 AM ET Customer Service
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Comments

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Well, there's this list of the secret phone numbers and codes to get a human on the phone:

http://www.gethuman.com/us/

Posted by: Googler | January 2, 2007 8:55 AM

I wonder if your problem with Netflix is an isolated incident, or something that happens a lot, but there is no way to assess the overall customer impact. We have had Netflix for about four years and cannot remember any service problems. A video mailed on Monday is typically received on Tuesday (with an e-mail acknowledgment) and a new movie in our mailbox on Wednesday. Our only problem seems to be keeping our queue full or, having our daughters rearrange the queue during college winter break without telling us.

Posted by: Lester Burnham | January 2, 2007 9:57 AM

Verizon's billingservices email address is a freaking joke. What is the point of providing an email if it's never checked?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 2, 2007 9:59 AM

Then there's the opposite -- Southwest Airlines. You call, you get a human. No e-mail addresses. And they're always happy and helpful.

Posted by: Columbia, MD | January 2, 2007 10:15 AM

Online customer service is often inadequate. The Netflix toll-free customer service number, incidentally, is 1-800-585-8131. It took me 20 seconds to find it by Googling directly "Netflix customer service toll-free number" (w/o quote marks). The first URL returned was something called the Amazon.Com Customer Service Page (clicheideas.com/amazon.htm ), a listing not affiliated with either Amazon or Netflix, but containing such obscure 800 numbers as those of Amazon, Ebay and, yes, Netflix. So although finding it is not as difficult as intimated in this article, it hardly absolves Netflix from its failure to put the number front and center on its web site. (I, too, am a satisfied longstanding Netflix customer, but I've never needed customer service.)

Posted by: Richard | January 2, 2007 10:45 AM

This isn't email related - but it is e-service related:
MY Visa card (issued thru Credit Union and Wachovia Bank) recently installed new online security (PassMark). No problem. Except the answers to the 4 personal questions must be 6 letters - and I cannot truthfully answer the questions with 6 letters (yes, I know there are numerous questions but my answers are still less then 6 letters). So to sign up I must make up answers - which I won't remember later unless I write them down and keep them next to my computer. I have questioned the FCU and bank, and only response I got was from FCU who said "they couldn't answer their's either".
Curse my Grandmother for being named Avy and my Father for being named Neal and my school mascot for being a tiger...

Posted by: Jerry in Texas | January 2, 2007 11:12 AM

We have no problems with NetFlix (in fact, we love them), but we had a problem with a company called Flycell. For reasons I never understood, I kept getting the joke of the day for 9.99 a month and 9.99 every time I picked up a joke. These jokes were text-messaged to my cell phone. I don't even know how to use my text messaging. We tried searching their website for a customer service number to no avail. Even my cell phone provider had no number for this company. To cancel, my cell phone rep had to walk me through the various text messages that I needed to send and receive to Flycell, at 10 cents a message. I suggested that the cell phone companies stop allowing companies to charge directly to the cell phone bill and instead a consumer should have to give a credit card number.

Posted by: rosenthal2353 | January 2, 2007 11:26 AM

I had this same problem with Netflix, and now I believe it stems from issues with the postal service. I readjusted my Netflix account to ship to my boyfriend's home, just across town, and now we have no problems whatsoever. I don't know why this happens, especially since my roommate still gets his Netflix (we've got two different accounts). Incidently, I've had a wonderful time communicating with netflix via email.

Posted by: Philadelphia, PA | January 2, 2007 11:45 AM

It will probably be several more years before most corporations ramp up online customer service efficiency. When I talk to the executives in charge they insist most people do not use email for customer service issues. When they clearly post an email address, an employee has to sift through 10,000 SPAM emails to find one legitimate service request. Despite all the claims of cost-savings with on-line support, Customer Service departments still function primarily by phone. If you can log in to an on-line account and then send an email, try that, otherwise refer to www.gethuman.com like your first comment suggested.

Posted by: thw2006 | January 2, 2007 11:52 AM

The only problem we've ever had with Netflix is if we send two movies back on the same day. It then takes 3-5 days for them to be replaced instead of 1-2 days.

Posted by: fresnel | January 2, 2007 12:22 PM

I wouldn't be surprised if the issue is more the fault of the USPS than Netflix. Mail rifling happens, and the culprits are in house more often than not. I've had Netflix for 3 years and the only time I had a problem was when my movie was misdelivered on occasion, stuffed with a neighbor's mail instead of placed appropriately in my mailbox.

Posted by: CyanSquirrel | January 2, 2007 12:35 PM

I couldn't agree more. I had a similar problem with my XM satellite radio service where numerous emails didn't resolve the problem. I did have the phone number but I finally had to cancel the service because the problem never did get resolved and I was tired of dealing with it. A friend recently ordered something from Harry and David via Amazon.com and the wrong item was shipped. She's still waiting for any response from Amazon.com or Harry and David as to why the item she ordered wasn't shipped. It seems like companies only like emails because they feel perfectly content to ignore them!

Posted by: clf01 | January 2, 2007 1:01 PM

Never had any problems with Netflix. Movies delivered very quickly, website has been re-designed often to make it user friendly, and received quick response the only time I needed to contact customer services (I accidentally enclosed on of my own DVD's in the return label).
I have found American Express' online customer service to be excellent with answers within hours-and resolution of issues.

Posted by: Mike | January 2, 2007 1:08 PM

Oh and I empathize with the 6 letter minimum answers for the security questions. I experienced that too. I picked a secondary answer and I use the "requirements" fine print on the log in page to remind me which answer I chose (six or more letters...or not.)

My e-service has been good. It's a godsend to deaf and hard of hearing people as an alternative to the telephone. I use it to contact my banks and other sercure sites, and, of course, to complain about the post office's latest screw up or bout of common senselessness. The PO is pretty good with solving issues submitted through their website...unless it's related to a specific carrier's service...carriers with apparent tenure that can never be fired...sighs.

Posted by: CyanSquirrel | January 2, 2007 1:23 PM

Oh and I empathize with the 6 letter minimum answers for the security questions. I experienced that too. I picked a secondary answer and I use the "requirements" fine print on the log in page to remind me which answer I chose (six or more letters...or not.)

My e-service has been good. It's a godsend to deaf and hard of hearing people as an alternative to the telephone. I use it to contact my banks and other sercure sites, and, of course, to complain about the post office's latest screw up or bout of common senselessness. The PO is pretty good with solving issues submitted through their website...unless it's related to a specific carrier's service...carriers with apparent tenure that can never be fired...sighs.

Posted by: CyanSquirrel | January 2, 2007 1:24 PM

I'm shocked that anyone would find it difficult to get Netflix to respond to a missing movie. "Report a problem" is clearly marked, and my experience is that they will replace a movie within 24 hours. I'm much more concerned about their bottle-necking, where they intentionally slow down movie turnaround times...

Posted by: KCMO | January 2, 2007 1:56 PM

E-greetings, a division of American Greetings. My subscription was coming to an end, and I wanted to cancel. I could find no instructions on their site, but eventually I found a Cancel option buried in a form on a so-called customer service page. I submitted the form 12/10 with my email address and subscriber number, and they dutifully debited my account at the end of December. I email to inquire and am told that I need to call an 800 number, though if I was not in the US they would let me cancel by email!

Posted by: bigolpoofter | January 2, 2007 2:23 PM

Online customer service from buy.com is the absolute worst. They screwed up an order of mine, and after I spent an hour and a half looking for a phone number, I finally resorted to emailing them. Somehow, however, they started correspondence with me with two email accounts and my cell number...horrible.

Posted by: Madison, WI | January 2, 2007 2:24 PM

I've never had a problem with Netflix either. When I first signed up, within a couple of weeks, two movies that I returned at separate times never arrived back at the Netflix warehouse. I wrote to Netflix (easily found a button to get their customer service e-mail) and asked if this often happened and how I could avoid being labeled a thief. They sent a reply assuring me that they would not charge me for the missing DVDs, even if they never showed up. I once received a DVD so scratched it would not play, and they gave me a "credit" and sent a replacement right out. I'm surprised the writer has had so much trouble because I don't know anyone who has had a major problem with Netflix, and all report that minor problems were fixed to their satisfaction. In fact, I find Netflix very responsive to their customers. I wrote a suggestion that they allow customers to "suspend" membership from time to time and a few months later, they added that feature. I know I wasn't responsible for that idea, but I'll bet that I was one of many who made that suggestion, so they decided it was a good idea. Pick on a company that is really crap -- for example, Blockbuster's online site.

Posted by: Carly | January 2, 2007 2:28 PM

We have had Netflix for over a year. One DVD went missing in November and after waiting for it to be in the mail for several days, we went to the Netflix site and filled out the form reporting it missing. (You click on the movie title and then click on the "Report Shipping Problem" link.) We got an email confirmation in less than 12 hours that a replacement DVD was enroute and it arrived the following day. The email also informed us that if we experienced a chronic problem with missing movies then they would contact us to freeze our account until they could determine the problem, presumably suspending our monthly payment as well. Spam is definitely a problem for e-customer service. That is why sites should use web forms as Netflix does and not publish an email address. Anyone these days with an open email in-box would never find their legitimate customers' requests amongst all the garbage. On the other hand, some merchants use comment forms to provide a false sense of feedback. Dish Network is one I have experienced. I filled out their comment form listing all the reasons I was unhappy with their service. Receiving no response after many weeks, I called to cancel. The operator wanted to know why I was cancelling and I told him that I had already sent that information by comment form with no response. He immediately and lamely claimed that they had expereinced "an outage" that had caused them to not receive some comments. When I asked him for the approximate dates of the outage, he couldn't/wouldn't reply.

Posted by: Virginia | January 2, 2007 2:39 PM

I had a problem with an MP3 player that I purchased on Black Friday. The software would not load onto my computer, and RCA's 800-number customer service could not find the model number in their database. It was not listed anywhere on the website, either. I sent an e-mail explaining the problem, and received an automated response to download the manual from the website. The e-mail address was no-reply. I ended up returning the device, packed with documentation of my frustrations. I'm sure they won't learn a thing.

Posted by: Bought an iPod | January 2, 2007 2:48 PM

The INVESTORS BUSINESS DAILY website is chock-full of ways to electronically subscribe to all the premium content. Try finding anywhere on the website that tells you how to unsubscribe.

Posted by: Andy | January 2, 2007 3:05 PM

I find there to be a very interesting thing about help-lines...

In the course of my job, I interact, on occasion, with a number of major companies. And, almost without fail, all of these companies have separate corporate/government helplines.

Now, on the corporate line, you would be hard-pressed to get a hold-time of more than a minute (if there even is a hold-time to begin with. Most places, an operator picks up on the first ring).

Now, swap back to my private life, and I have experienced hold-times in excess of one hour (finally gave up on that one without reaching a human).

Now, I understand that companies want to give better service to corporate accounts, since they pay better. But don't they realize that some- if not many- corporate purchasers might also be private customers? (Dell, I'm talking about you, here). And, quite frankly, the way that a company treats me as a private customer definitely colors the way that I view them in the corporate setting.

Posted by: Castor | January 2, 2007 4:06 PM

No netflix problems with 4 years of service; when a movie does go missing *(infrequently) I click a link on the website and it gets fixed quickly.


But my favorite customer service snafu was Verizon (wired, not wireless). While talking to someone 2 levels up, I asked for their direct line phone number. The gentleman stated that he didn't have one.

Uhm, you work for the phone company, and I'm talking to you on a phone!

So E-Service still looks good to me!

Posted by: t-money | January 2, 2007 4:56 PM

I had a problem with a similar company called Intelliflix. Same deal as Netflix, essentially. I had bought my brother a gift of a year subscription last year and they went ahead and renewed this year. WHen I went to cancel, I had to provide the account name/password which of course I didn't have. No phone number, no way to contact them without the account info. So I just disputed the charge since it was never authorized to begin with. Very shady.

Posted by: Columbia | January 2, 2007 5:14 PM

I bought an iTunes gift card a week before Christmas on Apple.com and have yet to receive it. They say they shipped it on 12/21, but the USPS does not have tracking numbers, so who knows?

Posted by: Andrew | January 2, 2007 5:15 PM

I don't buy a lot on-line, but Amazon.com still continues to amaze me. This summer we ordered travel guides, one of which was to be published in July. However they let me know that the pub date had changed, and as it was past our departure date, I needed to cancel. They DO have a phone option, so in this case I used it. Not only did they cancel the order for me, but the rest of the order came within 2 days. This Christmas I ordered a printer from them and having about 2 weeks, went with the "free" shipping -- which is supposed to take from 5-9 days. The printer was delivered about 36 hours later! I think Amazon deserves the reputation they've built as probably the leading e-business out there. Oh yes, and if you DO need to reach them by phone, you get to talk to a real person quickly. They understand the term "service."

Posted by: Diane | January 2, 2007 6:33 PM

I'm lucky; all I have to offer are the opposite situations. I agree with Mike that American Express' e-service is wonderful. I also had a great experience with Macy's online communication. I actually went there looking for the e-mail address of the store manager, as I wanted to know the purpose behind a particular campaign they ran for the holidays. While looking for the e-mail, I instead found the answer to my question, and I e-mailed the store (using the site's e-mail function, not external e-mail) complimenting it on the campaign. A few days later I received a phone call from their store manager thanking me for the e-mail and giving more information on the campaign. If they are this helpful to those who compliment them, imagine how helpful they must be to those who have a problem!

Posted by: Mona | January 2, 2007 6:50 PM

Netflix is not the only company with poor e-service. Try canceling an account with XM Radio, or getting in touch with a real person with Bank of America. Years ago I made the mistake of using my credit card to start a Newsweek subscription. I canceled before the end of the first year, but my card was charged year after year. It's terrible! I don't use Netflix, I pay subscriptions by check and I keep a close eye on my bank account.

Posted by: Blah, Blah Blah | January 2, 2007 9:13 PM

For uncensored news please bookmark:

otherside123.blogspot.com
www.wsws.org
www.onlinejournal.com
www.takingaim.info

Ford's funeral: the hollow pomp of a corrupt and crisis-ridden establishment

By Bill Van Auken
3 January 2007

Sandwiched as it was between the obscene televised assassination-by-hanging of Saddam Hussein and the dismal although expected news of the 3,000th US soldier dying in Iraq, the attempts by Washington's political establishment and its servants in the corporate media to generate a wave of patriotic feeling with the funeral of former President Gerald Ford fell flat.

The death of a 93-year-old man who served as the country's unelected chief executive 30 years ago--lasting less than 29 months in office--and who is a virtual unknown to the majority of the country's population today offers little to work with for those trying to revive flagging national spirits and obscure the grim and unrelenting news from the Iraqi fiasco.

The brutal truth is that Ford--who allowed his personal opposition to the launching of the Iraq war and the policies of the Republican Party's "hard right" to be made public only after his death--has more than a passing connection to the current criminal catastrophe presided over by the Bush administration.

If he will be remembered for anything, it is for his decision, one month after taking office, to issue an unprecedented pardon to his predecessor Richard Nixon "for all offenses against the United States which he . . . has committed or may have committed or taken part in" during his more than five-and-a-half years in the White House.

(Less well-remembered, but highly significant in understanding the role played by Ford in the affairs of the American state, was his service on the Warren Commission, where he became one of the most steadfast defenders of the "lone gunman" theory, a thesis designed to cover up the political divisions and conspiracies that lay behind the Kennedy assassination.)

Ford's pardon, issued on September 8, 1974, prevented the country from holding Nixon to account for crimes enumerated in the articles of impeachment brought against him in July 1974. Among them were obstruction of justice, illegal spying on American citizens and the arrogation of extra-constitutional powers that were creating the scaffolding for a presidential dictatorship.

Another charge brought but not approved by the House Judiciary Committee concerned Nixon's launching of a covert and illegal bombing campaign against Cambodia in 1969, an act that overrode Congress's exclusive constitutional power to declare war.

Today, these same offenses that went unpunished in the persons of Nixon and Co., have reemerged in far more ominous forms--an illegal war in Iraq, wholesale NSA wiretapping, the unlawful detention, torture and "extraordinary rendition" of so-called enemy combatants, etc. Moreover, these new crimes have been perpetrated in large part by individuals who were closely associated with Ford--in particular his two former chiefs of staff, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

Using such a politician with this political legacy to promote national pride and political goodwill among the population at large is no easy job.

But there was no lack of trying. The media has proclaimed the lifetime Republican politician the embodiment of "decency" and "openness," the "Great Healer," who brought an end to the "long nightmare" that constituted the waning days of the Nixon administration.

Certainly one of the most nauseating pieces produced in the media's campaign to bestow belated sainthood on America's 38th president--and effectively falsify history--came on the day of the funeral itself in the form of an op-ed article published by the Washington Post under the headline, "The Quality of his Mercy."

Written by Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, the purpose of this piece was to attribute Ford's pardoning of Nixon--a corrupt abrogation of justice performed by an establishment crony on behalf of a state criminal--to divine guidance and Christian charity.

Meacham makes much of the fact that in announcing his blanket pardon for a man undoubtedly guilty of high crimes, Ford invoked "laws of God" which he proclaimed to be higher than the US Constitution.

Incredibly, he goes on to draw an indecent parallel between Ford's hackneyed invocation of a deity--hardly an innovation among today's big business politicians--to justify his extra-legal protection of a political ally who carried out a wholesale attack on democratic rights and constitutional government with Lincoln's references to God in his second inaugural address.

In particular, Meacham cites the passage in which Ford paraphrased Lincoln's vow to continue "with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right," a phrase the latter used after declaring his willingness to continue a civil war to abolish slavery "until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword." One can hardly imagine a more inappropriate and sycophantic comparison.

In what amounted to a solid week of official mourning, the body of the ex-president was transported from California to be driven around Washington and then to lie in state in the Capitol's Rotunda for three days before being brought to the state funeral on Tuesday. From there it was transported back again to Michigan for burial. All the while, the various hearses carrying the ex-presidential remains have been accorded seemingly endless televised coverage.

There is something both backward and barbaric about these official funerals. And there is little beyond the official in the attempt to feign national mourning over Ford's demise.

Funerals fit for a king

The pomp that surrounds these ceremonies seems borrowed from monarchic dynasties, entirely alien to a genuine democracy. Indeed, the founders of the American republic would look with horror on such regal exercises.


For the rest please go to:
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/jan2007/ford-j03.shtml

Posted by: che | January 3, 2007 3:27 AM

Cox Cable is another company with *great* e-service. I couldn't get rid of Spanish subtitles on my network channels and after writing them a note on their online form, I waited two weeks to get a canned response stating that it was the settings on my TV that were causing the subtitles to show up. (Interesting, as I indicated in my note that they settings were turned off.) Unfortunately, the phone reps were equally as useless. Thus, I have had to watch football this season with the outside receiver and lineman covered up by subtitles.

Posted by: Cox Sux | January 3, 2007 1:40 PM

I stopped using Netflix after they couldn't seem to send me emails at my registered email address. I found out there was a problem when I checked into my account online and saw that they had been trying to email me. I emailed them from my email address, and they replied successfully to that address, but they continued to have problems initiating email to me. Yes, my address was correct in my account. I re-typed it numerous times to make sure. The rep I was in touch with by email didn't seem to want to figure out the problem. I decided that if the couldn't figure out how to email me, I didn't really need to give them money.

Posted by: LM | January 3, 2007 4:47 PM

A Blinko article would do everyone a great service. We had one of our phones added to their list (a horoscope of all things, which we DEFINITELY didn't sign up for). It required Multiple monthly calls to T-mobile all of which had to be elevated to speaking to a manager to get them to remove the 10 dollar fee and every time the calls ended in an argument over the cell company's responsibility for the companies they were billing for. They insisted that they had ZERO responsibility, believe it or not. They kept insisting we deal with Blinko directly, which was impossible (no response to email, SMS and the phone number went to an answering service that was full). In the end we found information about the Floriday Attorney General's investigation of them (Blinko is an Italian company (earning record profits from their fraud) but their American subsidiary is in Florida) and we filed an official complaint. But it is very clear that we dearly need parallel billing rules for cellular accounts that we have long had for land lines.

Posted by: Marie | January 3, 2007 5:31 PM

Of course, getting the phone number is only half the battle.

Once you're on the phone, you usually have to navigate automated menus and long wait times on hold before you find a human being who may or may not speak English or know how to solve your problem.

I am absolutely positive that most companies design their customer support to avoid providing customer support.

Posted by: PJ | January 4, 2007 9:54 AM

I've always had decent luck with Netflix's web-based customer service, and I've had rental and purchased movies lost in the mail (rentals going in both directions), and difficulties redeeming a gift subscription. Not having a phone number is frustrating, but I have found that I can find their email complaint form quickly, and they answer my email. Only issue was that their response was routed to my junk-mail folder, which is beyond Netflix's control.

Amazon.com is another story. I am very leery of buying anything from them, especially over holiday periods, because their QA goes out the window. One December they shipped me a visibly damaged item - the shipping box was in pristine condition, but the product packaging was smashed and the product unusable - and after returning the damaged merchandise, I had to cc their "customer service" people on a complaint to the Washington State BBB in order to get a satisfactory response (a refund). The product was only a CD, but why jack around a customer with thousands of dollars in previous purchases?

Posted by: BxNY | January 4, 2007 11:02 AM

I use an online bank, American Bank Online, based in Allentown, PA. I have always received prompt, helpful responses to any of my emails (including some on withdrawals for my student loan), and I get 3.5% on my checking.

Posted by: LB | January 5, 2007 3:21 PM

Best bet: If even a supervisor won't help, write a letter -- and fax or email it -- to the highest corporate person you can find. Search business directories, corporate disclosures -- whatever you can find to locate a name, number, street address. I had to jump through hoops to contact Active.com to restore an annual fee I never agreed to, and after getting repeated voicemail hell, I only got results after tracking down their corporate office in LaJolla, CA, and phoning several extensions to get someone who'd get me to customer service. I also had hell with ADT Security, and after two months I located the corporate address and name of the top officer, called for a fax number and faxed the letter to him, retelling my fight with them to restore erroneous charges on my account, which I subsequently cancelled. Within a few days, I got a call from one of his assistants, who gave me her name, telephone and followed up with a call to me once I was repaid. I told her that while a "quick" response to my dilemma, I know that hundreds others had let billing errors go by because they didn't know how to fight it or, better yet, who to complain to who'd get you results.

Posted by: SoCal writer | January 5, 2007 5:30 PM

I'd like to give a thumbs-up to Netflix also. I've been a customer for almost 4 years -- and no problems with shipping (other than the well-known "throttling" issue.)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11262292/

I've also been impressed at how smoothly lost DVDs, or replacement DVDs have been handled. On one occassion I reported a DVD missing -- and Netflix sent a replacement...only to find that it my fault and the disk was hiding in my back seat.

Posted by: Fwong | January 9, 2007 5:29 PM

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