Industry Research : Naughty Customer Service in South Florida
South Florida companies are more naughty than nice when it comes to customer service policies, according to Consumer Reports.
The magazine on Tuesday unveiled its third annual Naughty & Nice List of company policies and practices, covering a gamut of industries including automobiles, apparel, hospitality and more. The list is not a rating on the overall company, but just on a specific practice.
No South Florida-based companies made the nice list, but three made the naughty one: CompUSA, TigerDirect and Spirit Airlines. But both electronics companies are really part of the same parent company Systemax. The Naughty & Nice Holiday List is based on input from visits to the Consumer Reports Facebook page, plus the input from Consumer Reports' reporters and editors.
CompUSA -- The electronics retailer gets slammed for "freebies" that are automatically added to online orders unless customers unclick the item so it's not added to the shopping cart. These could be things like a "free" download of computer antivirus software that is only free for six months, then customer gets the bill for it if they don't cancel before the subscription ends.
TigerDirect: While restocking fees have been around for years TigerDirect.com gets criticized for a policy that is "vague" and includes a significant penalty of up to 25 percent at the company's discretion. To escape the fee, the products must be "100% complete, in the same condition as when sold, and in the original packaging" with all packing materials, warranty cards and more included.
Spirit Airlines: The low-cost carrier brags that it allows customers to save money by offering customers the "freedom to choose only the extras you value." But the problem is that if you value anything, it's going to cost you. Now even a carry-on bag can cost as much as $100 to stow in an overhead bin (free if you can stuff it under the seat). Fees vary if you pay in advance, at the airport or at the gate.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, October 29, 2012