Greetings. The votes have been cast, and the 2010 "Worst Company in America" is Comcast according to Consumers Union. The decision was announced during a press conference yesterday, and came as no surprise to most Comcast customers and industry watchers. After all, the company had placed second for the past two years and it was only a matter of time before its blatant abuse of customers would earn it the top prize.
The award itself is a bit of a publicity stunt, but it's also a serious attempt to shine a spotlight on corporations that seem to have little or no regard for those they have the privilege to serve. And by practically any measure, Comcast seems to be a most worthy recipient. In fact, the company's "track record" of poor quality, installation nightmares, inadequate technical support, unresponsiveness, deceptive marketing and pricing schemes, and failure to listen to its customers is almost legendary. So its defeat of Ticketmaster, last year's winner and the company that has singlehandedly made every live event significantly more expensive than it should be, was well-earned. Though one might question how they defeated AIG, the company that gave rise to the phrase "financial meltdown." Could it be that this Wall Street giant was old news? Or, as one leading blogger noted: "It all goes to show that irritating individual consumers is a really bad idea." Needless to say, Comcast officials did not attend the award ceremony or make themselves available for comment.
At least they are thoughtful enough to lead, or retreat, by example. Showing other companies how not to provide a valued customer experience must be their way of raising the bar (or at least the red flag). But if you've had a great experience with Comcast, I'd love to hear about it. And I'd even be willing to spread the good word. Even if it's the only good word. After all, I have high expectations for companies based in the City of Brotherly–or Customerly–Love!
We win in business by treating the customer with the highest regard. And when we don't, we still have the chance to win an award. It's just not an award that our mothers would be proud of.