SuddenLink joins United Airlines in a growing list of the-customer-is-always-wrong enterprises

Pratt on TexasHow do companies remain in business when they treat customers badly?

Many of you likely saw the latest debacle, in a long line of similar, from the hate-the-customer airline industry in which United canceled the ticket of a woman they had already boarded for a flight to Minnesota. The woman was trying to get to her dying mother and had bought a United ticket for $585 to make the last moment trip.

The ticket was bought through a travel agency and issued by United Airlines. The woman was able to change her ticket to get on an even earlier flight and United boarded her on that flight but then took her off.

The hate-the-customer airline’s excuse is that the woman should have known to make the change not with United, you know the airline she was flying and who controls the tickets, but should have made the change with through the travel agency online.

United boarded the woman on the earlier flight which means someone in their organization made a ticket change for the passenger and so it and only it is responsible and has once again demonstrated how little it cares about its passengers.

Fortunately in the voluntary private transaction world of the free market, we can usually choose to take our business elsewhere or if no other choice exists, not consume the service or product.

I had a similar the-customer-is-always-wrong experience this week with SuddenLink from whom I obtain some of our Internet service.

I mailed a payment more than seven days before it was due and they claim they didn’t get it until half-a-month after it was mailed. SuddenLink doesn’t care, even though they can pull up a record of years of on-time payments, they would rather lose a customer over a $10 late fee than remove it from a bill. They claim they cannot remove the late fee which of course they can so they are dishonest too.

Maybe they should try billing the post office as the customer isn’t responsible for USPS performance! [Note that SuddenLink uses a lock-box service for payments and that firm can, if SuddenLink wanted, image envelopes to record the post mark but they choose not to do so.]

If a firm’s view is that customers are an inconvenience, or just a target to nickel-and-dime, then the firm needs go the way of the ash heap.

This is why free markets and voluntary association are always superior to the coercion of government control such as we find in Obamacare.

We expect such treatment from government because we cannot make a choice to go elsewhere for things it monopolizes. Fortunately in the voluntary private transaction world of the free market, we can usually choose to take our business elsewhere or, if no other choice exists, not consume the service or product.

This is why free markets with voluntary association are always superior to the coercion of government control such as we find in Obamacare.

Comments

  1. Pratt on Texas says:

    From a listener club member:

    I share your comments about SuddenLink Communications. They have a monopoly on Internet broadband service here in Abilene. Even yesterday, I was experiencing extreme latency on my 200M-bit connection. I could not have decent phone conversation with anyone throughout the day. It seems to be fine today. During Nov-Dec. there were several weeks of sporadic low speed conditions on our neighbourhood span. I believe that their network was overloaded due to holiday traffic.

    Anyway, they are less than apologetic about service interruptions. No credit for bad service, Just call us again when it happens. Yeah right! I would be on the phone all day long spinning my wheels. In addition, they are trying to collect on a month of service that they said I skipped payment on. How could that be when my account was paid and my balance was current after the fact? They’re sorry! I told them to go pound sand!

    Best Regards,
    JW

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