Capitalism means that brands compete for consumers. One negative experience at a brand by one human can lose that brand hundreds of customers. If it gets bad enough, that brand could even go out of business.
Brands can also be political, especially in 2019. Nike standing with Colin Kaepernick both gained and lost it a substantial amount of customers. Choosing a brand makes a statement.
What statement will you make?
Here were some of those stories.
Bye Bye Bank
Bank of America. Their ATM was down so I had to go in and deposit my check. Paid all of my bills and had pretty much no money (this was during college), and they hit me with a $10 service fee which overdrew my account, and then they charged me a $35 overdraft fee. So, $45 I didn't have because their machine was down. The person I talked to on the phone was a complete dick and I decided to get rid of my account right then and there. He then gave me an attitude about canceling. Eff that guy and eff Bank of America.
A Problem They Created
Movistar. Once they downgraded my phone "on accident" and later were unable to undo the downgrade because "they can't replace a phone by another model" and kept me waiting for two months until I said "screw it" and bought another phone.
Money Out The Wazoo
Ticketmaster ... .00034 seconds after tickets go on sale, SOLD OUT for all but cosmically afar seats but their subsidiary Stubhub has them for 400% more but you need to pay an oxygen fee, electricity fee, left turning fee, reach around fee before the fee to disclose fees ... at least 50 shows that I've declined to go when I see that loathsome logo... never ever EVER going to pay them a dime .. probably a fee for that too...
The Fabric Attacks
Victoria's Secret. In my 20's everything I owned was from VS. Over time I realized the quality was declining and the prices were absurd. I would have reactions to whatever they treated the fabric with and that was the last straw. I stopped buying from them.
I'm Doing Your Job
Netgear. Buy one of their top end routers and when you need to update firmware, their automatic process corrupts on download ridiculously often, thus completely bricking it. Rather than fix it or offer to replace or anything, they just say "oh you should have done it manually because that happens a lot"
Wtf kind of response is that? Ridiculous
Left On Read
A lawnmower hit my parked car during work last year and it was terrible dealing with Progressive. The claims agent I got stopped communicating with me after a certain point and I ended up having to hound the lawnmowing company's owner to pay for my car's repairs.
Wells Fargo. Our first mortgage was thru them. After a couple years I get a call on the second of the month telling me my mortgage was due. I told them I had until the 15th. They told me that was a grace period and their investors preferred I pay on the first. I told them I would make sure I never paid it before the 15th ever again and their investors could eat a bag of dicks. We paid the mortgage at 4:30 in the afternoon on the 15th (or closest prior weekday) for the next 5 years at the local branch which was a half mile from the house. Good times!
Sprint Far Away
Sprint. Recovering from surgery, sedated in a hospital, over 8 years ago, I had a pre-smart phone and no data plan. Accidentally pushed some sort of 'internet' button that literally brought up Sprint's home page. When the $450 bill arrived they refused to budge. I was within the 45 day 'cancel for full refund' stage. This was a 2 year contract for my family of six. I returned the phones and cancelled the agreement but they refused to waive the internet charge. After talking on the phone with an escalation call center for over 4 hours I agreed to pay but vowed they would never see another penny from me.
One of a very small number of companies with a lifetime blacklist. I've paid my replacement carrier nearly $20,000 in the meantime. If Sprint ever merges with my carrier (they've tried a few times now), I will leave. If I go to a prepaid network, I will research to make sure whatever I use is not a rented Sprint network. Not one penny.
And I tell this story to anyone that will listen.
Find Another Sucker!
Adobe. I never liked their subscription model and then when administering licenses, the keys themselves end up being corrupted and then you have to go through a tedious process to have them all corrected again. Sub models on popular software always suck.
I was looking for a sectional and found one at a good price. The product page was a sectional, when I added it to my basket it was a sectional, when I paid for it my invoice said sectional, my confirmation email said it was a sectional... When I went to track the package, it magically turned into an Ottoman...
I called them and they said that they have to hold onto my money until the product was sent back to them. I understand that policy, however they were the ones that messed up. They requested that I take a day off of work to accept the package, so there's more money gone. They also didn't honor the sectional price as the sale was over when I found out about the issue...
This is the only time I ordered anything from them.
Post Office Shenanigans
Several years ago my computer died and I sent the laptop in to get the motherboard repaired. The process of getting the box back and forth, took several weeks, and when the computer was returned the wifi antenna was broken.
Thr amount of phones calls I made trying to get boxes, and dealing with the same person was so frustrating. I even spent a full day waiting at a friends for a box they said was delivered, and never came. Ugh!
I was trying to keep it out of a landfill, but my parents were kind enough to get me a desktop since the repair took so long. I still have the laptop but it had been only a year old.
My previous laptop lasted nealy ten years with no problems, it was a Lenovo.
Life On The Screen
Netflix. I'm sick of getting invested in their shows just to have them cancel them around the season two mark with no resolution.
After reading about the way they treat their warehouse employees, we cancelled our Prime account. No regrets. Cancelled Audible, too. As much as possible, we avoid anything associated with Amazon.
There's plenty of additional information that's come out since that confirms it was the right decision.
Alexa? You have to be out of your @#$%ing mind to let that in your house.
Not My Fault
Bank of America. I had a mortgage with them, paid with autopay as long as I had the mortgage.
About 8 years later, they started applying my check to some guy named Bob in the midwest. No explanation. No mail. No email. Got a surprise one day when they tried to foreclose on me from out of the blue.
I went there with all of my canceled checks, and they wouldn't fix it until I talked to one of the Vice Presidents of the company.
A Return For Nobody
TurboTax. Please don't use TurboTax. They tried to charge me $150 for a tax refund that I got for free through another site. For anyone in the US, you can get the same refund for free, I used freetaxusa.com. Don't use TurboTax they're a scam.
Loss Of Values
I'm a bit ahem older than most Redditors, so I remember vividly how great McDonalds used to be as a family dining experience back in the 70s. They had a simple, tasty menu that appealed to both kids and adults and the restaurant experience itself was dynamic and well-themed. I even worked at one in high school in the 80s, and I consider that experience the solid foundation of my professional work ethic as an adult.
Now McDonalds is just another low-quality corporate "everything-to-everyone/nothing-to-nobody" chain with a massive menu of themeless mediocrity. For the cost of their food, I could easily go to any local family-owned restaurant and get a much better version as a sit-down experience.