What's the worst company you ever had the misfortune to deal with?

I had the idea for this thread after responding to a [probably] automated email informing me that my domain name had been renewed with Us2.net.

I responded thusly…

Whether I’ve shot myself in the back or not is not something I care about in the context of this thread. My point is I don’t think I’ve ever had worse experiences with a company [other than the one I work for] than that one. They seemed to excel at ineptitude.

The United States federal government. Shockingly inefficient, slow, bureaucratic nightmares. I can personally cite dozens of instances.

Travelocity. They could offer me round trip fare to Hawaii with a hotel for $100 and I wouldn’t accept it from them.

Providian Bank. I had an identify theft issue and while trying to work with them they were nothing but extremely rude and verbally aggressive.

Dish network is getting on there as well…

MOIDALIZE - why travelocity? Story?

:smack: That was supposed to be First Premier, not Providian. For some reason I don’t have an edit button there, sorry.

It was honestly so silly and minor. I booked a trip for me and my girfriend and wanted a room with a Queen sized bed. Some browser/website snafu resulted in me booking a room with a full sized bed. All I wanted to do was cancel and rebook, literally within 2 minutes of booking it, and they wouldn’t let me. Not only could they not just tell me ‘no’ straight up, they routed me through a bunch of customer service assholes in India who didn’t seem to have any concept of what customer service was.

I decided that if they were going to be that petty over something so minor then they weren’t getting anymore of my business.

My wife got me a Phazer Passive Radar Jammer for Christmas one year. I had never heard of it, but as soon as I saw the box I told her to send it back. Explaining that if it’s passive it doesn’t jam radars, if it’s active, it’s illegal. My god, that was AWFUL to get my money back. I’ve never been given the run around like that. I ended up having to dispute the charge AND contact the attorney general in two states to get my refund.

Oh, and she told me to just give it a try since they’ll pay for any ticket you get. Ignoring the fact that I don’t speed, I pointed out to her that the small print a very narrow set of circumstances for which they will cover a ticket. Going 30 in a 20, not covered. Going 60 in a 55 covered…wait, it was a consturction zone, not covered. Ticket doesn’t have the word “Speeding” on it (the one’s I’ve gotten said “exceeding zoned and posted limits”) not covered etc etc etc…

Aww what the hell, here’s the story. Called them up and told them I got two and wanted to return one (no use fighting with them). They told me to send it back and gave me an RMA number. Said I would see the refund with in 2-4 days after they receive it. Called a week later the first thing they said was “What was the tracking number?” It was VERY clear that if I didn’t have a tracking number they would have claimed they never got it. Gave it to her, she acknoleged that they recieved it and told me it would be 2-4 weeks. Ummm? You, said, errr, okay maybe I mis heard. Called back after 4 weeks and she said it would be 30 days. Now I KNEW she was lying even if I misheard the days/weeks, I KNEW I had heard the 2-4 part twice now. Whatever, called back a few days later she said it’s not 30 days, it’s 30 BUSINESS days. After that, I called the CC company and disputed it. After what was now 30 business days (since they were dragging the dispute) I called back and she said that since I was disputing it, they were just going to do the refund that way. At that point I wrote letters to the AG of the state where Rocky Mt Radar is and the state where I sent the thing back to alerting them of what I felt was as scam. Eventually got the money back, but it was a pain in the ass.

Looky here, I found the thread I started on it, but apparently never finished.

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=407818&highlight=phazer

CrateFurniture.com would be the worst. I ordered over $1400 worth of furniture and the delivery day came and went, and I started calling and writing to them, and they never responded in any way. After another 11 weeks I swore out an affadavit that they had defrauded me and my bank refunded the money to my account per the terms of my debit card. A little web searching turned up hundreds of postings from people having the same experience. Almost 2 years later, I see their web site is still up.

Of course, then, they didn’t imprison Jewish slaves and work them to death, so perhaps Volkswagen is worse…

On my last computer I bought a top-of-the-line DVD burner from LG. It worked fine and I had no problems until I switched from 98se to 2k, when it promptly stopped working. Assuming that it was a firmware problem, I flashed the ROM, and still no dice. On the off chance it was a driver problem I did a Google search and found dozens of other people all complaining about that particular model, and who had also upgraded from 98se to 2k. Then started my adventures trying to get support.

The LG website provided no support whatsoever. There was lots of corporate flash, penis-waving for investors, and so on, but they seem utterly uninterested in providing support to their customers. I sent email to various LG divisions, asking for assistance in at least providing me with instructions on who and where I should contact for support. No response. I ended up calling long distance to Europe to actually talk to a living, breathing human being and, after something like 40 minutes of playing with their voice jail and getting transferred from receptionist to receptionist, I finally managed to get ahold of an actual LG tech.

The tech assured me that I was wrong, stupid, and ignorant, that all DVD burners/players use the same generic driver, and either the rest of my hardware was to blame or I’m just lying. I told him that with a simple Google search of my model number I had found dozens of others with exactly the same problem – all of whom had eventually just given up and thrown the DVD drive away. He told me I was lying, the problem didn’t exist, and go away now.

I, also, ended up throwing my top-end DVD burner away. And I have sworn never to buy another LG product as long as I live.

I was assigned a vendor for a project. Halfway through, their key person quit. Deadlines were missed, quality suffered and I was told I had "mismanaged the project."Two months later I lost my job.

Bank of America can burn in hell for all kinds of reasons, but their CEO bragging to shareholders about how effectively they were gouging their customers for fees pretty much sums it up. Now they are a penny stock. Sweet justice.

Not a penny stock. Do your research.

Cite

Wow. It sure has rebounded a lot in the last few months, but it almost was. Your tax dollars at work!

Normally I praise credit unions, but the one in the Nellis Air Force Base was the pits. Absolutely no customer service, and they’d put up all sorts of barriers to opening an account, making an extra payment on a loan, all this other stuff. They made an error, I bounced a few checks because of it (they hadn’t put the money in the right account), and they refused to waive the NSF fees. Of course, I had to pay NSF fees to everyone I’d written a check to as well, so that ended up costing me quite a bit.

I used to bank with Canada Trust. They had great service. When they merged with Toronto Dominion the quality of customer service collapsed, quite literally, overnight. When I called the first day to do some telephone banking there was a message about four changes to customer service, every one of which made customer service worse.

Within two weeks I had had a customer service experience so utterly appalling I switched banks. Switched my accounts, my loans, my cards, everything. MY current bank screws up a lot and they’re still not 1/100th as bad.

Those were multi-billion-dollar enterprises. It takes a lot of effort to take a billions-of-dollars bank and turn its customer service from terrific to crappy in one business day.

Conversely, I’ve been remarkably lucky in my dealings with government so far.

A tossup between Dell and Sun. When I had a problem with my new Dell laptop in 2001 (it actually arrived on 9/11) I could never get to speak with a technician who understood as much about computers as I did. (For the record, there was a problem with the BIOS.) I eventually returned it.

I guess my problems with Sun were more profound. As an example, when I bought a Sun SLC in 1991, I bought the hard drive (a giant–in 1991–667 MByte drive) from Sun although I could have saved a fair bit of money buying it from a 3rd party because I assumed–silly me–that it would come ready-to-boot. No, it came with a licence to copy Sun-OS from wherever I could find it. So I paid a student $50 to get it running. It turned out that there was some “magic number” that was needed in order to attach the hard drive. So I called Sun and they asked if I had a maintenance contract (which cost $2000/year). I didn’t. Then the techie said they couldn’t give it out. I told him that I hadn’t paid yet and was ready to send the whole thing back (the school wouldn’t pay until I agreed I was satisfied). Very reluctantly, they disgorged the number and we got the machine running. But my troubles were just beginning. What a company!

Then there was the Bell Canada technical helper who, when I told him their name server wasn’t working (I could get to a web site whose actual IP address I happened to know, but not to any other), started by asking me, “What’s a name server?” I told him and he denied there was any problem, that both my computer and my wife’s must have simultaneously out of order. Curiously, both our computers were working fine the next morning. I now get my high-speed (and telephone) from the cable company. These companies never try to find out why I was unhappy.

I guess I could at least explain why I hate one of the companies on my list.

Dish Network. Went through an identity theft issue, and when I ran my credit report I found a Dish Network account that I’d never heard of (among others). I filed reports with the FTC, local sheriff’s office and put alerts on my name through the credit bureaus. Sent copies of all kinds of paperwork to every fraudulent account. Everyone else started investigations.

Dish Network sent me a letter saying they needed the paperwork I had already sent, an affidavit (already sent) and a photocopy of my social security card.

Photocopy of my social. WHAT??? Not just the number, no, they wanted me to copy it, front and back. I called them and asked why, “It’s a policy, we require it”. I replied that no one else had required it, I had been dealing with several companies and they’re must be a way around it. “No, sorry, it’s a policy.” Well fine, let me talk to someone higher up who can override that. “Ok, give us your number, Mr X will call you within 48 hours.” (This was a Thursday). I said, ok, so I’ll hear from him today or tomorrow? “Well no, he won’t be in until Saturday”. Ok, so I’ll hear from him this weekend? “Well, definitely by Tuesday.” What?

Naturally, Mr X never called, so I need to start the process over. sigh.

Ikea comes to mind pretty quickly. I’ve never experienced a more inefficient system for buying and organising delivery of goods.

Follow-up to OP…

First reply…

Second reply

Careful review my arse.