One of the best parts of having a blog is that not only do you come across interesting people, but when you encounter something that pisses you off, you have the perfect outlet to vent your frustrations. Well, that's what I'm about to do right now. Please forgive me, but I am about to go there.
There's a certain bus company, and to avoid potential legal ramifications, let's just call them Hound Dog, that I absolutely hate with a passion. I believe that you would be hard pressed to find a more unprofessional company in American history. Yes, with our recent economic turmoil, we've come across companies such as Tyco, Enron, and Adelphia, but even those companies didn't screw as many people as Hound Dog has. My earliest memory of Hound Dog has to do with the birth of my brother. When my brother was born, I was only 19 months old, but I swear that I remember my parents leaving me with my Grandmother, and I was playing with a toy bus. And that bus just happened to be a replica of a Hound Dog bus. Little did I know that Hound Dog would be a thorn in my ass the next 30 years.
My next significant memory of Hound Dog revolved around a bus trip that my mother, brother, and I took from Chicago to Los Angeles. We were moving there to be with my father. (Long story for another blog). Well, we left pretty close to Christmas. The trip was relatively uneventful, until we reached a little shit hole town called Green River, Utah. For those of you who are geographically savvy, Green River is about 100 or so west of Grand Junction, Colorado. If you're unfamiliar with Grand Junction, then you're beginning to understand just how much in BFE Green River is. But I digress. So the moral of the Green River story is that Hound Dog had us stuck there for let's call it 12 hours. That may not seem like much, but to a 9 year old, it was an eternity. I don't know what they eventually did to get us on our way, but what I do remember is that we made it to Los Angeles on Christmas day. I don't believe that was the original plan. But when it comes to Hound Dog, the only plan you should make it to have them piss you off at some point.
Over the course of the next 21 years, I've had many Hound Dog tales. There's the time that I lost my entire CD collection in Pittsburgh, the time I was on a Hound Dog bus that broke down in the middle of the expressway in Atlanta (and we sat in the middle of traffic for more than an hour with cars speeding past us on both sides), and the time that I got left in Walcott, Iowa at a truck stop while all my possessions were on a bus heading towards Chicago.
The moral of what I want to say is that in this kind of economy, its no wonder how many of these companies are losing money. Companies that treat their customers like crap deserve to be teetering on the brink of collapse. Other companies that fit that mold in my opinion are:
I've been a customer with them for 7-8 years. And to this day, I still don't know why I'm with them. Their customer "no" service is horrible. When it comes to them, I feel like I'm in a bad marriage, but for some reason I just can't leave. (Right now, it the $200 divorce cost that keeping me with them. Lol)
With my job, I spend way too much time in this place. My biggest problem with them is that there never seems to be anyone around when you need them. There prices are a little high to me as well. And I swear that if my company didn't have an account with them, and they weren't open 24 hours, I wouldn't have to have them.
Yes this is my bank. Why? Once again, I have no idea. Probably because they are one of the few banks that I have found everywhere around the country. Which makes it convenient given my constant travel. If you're not a customer, I don't recommend them. They are the bank that introduced $3 ATM fees. Their customer service is average at best.
For those of you who don't live in Chicago, count yourself blessed that you've never had to deal with these people. Jewel is a grocery store, and I hate going to the ones in the city. (Suburban Jewel's seem to be ok). When you go to this place, you might as well expect a serious attitude to be sold to you along with your milk and eggs.
Any mechanic fits this category. There aren't too many places that I dread going, but the local mechanic is definitely one of them. When you go, you already know that you're gonna get screwed. They do it with a smile on their faces which actually makes it much worse. I hope that someone will soon open up a repair shop that's not a pain to go to.
I know that its up to us to spend our money with companies that provide the best service possible. And while that's usually our goal, we sometime find ourselves caught in a bad set of circumstances. Its just then that we wish the old adage of "The customer is always right" were still the prevailing wisdom. Unfortunately, the desire of "customer service" has too fallen victim to the almighty dollar.