Do You Have a Banned List?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

I'm about to share 3 companies that I've banned for one reason or another. Please post a comment to let each of us know a company or two that you have banned and why. The best comment will win you the official, "Don't Mess With Me" award.

I was in Pasadena, CA last week for work and took Prime Time Shuttles from the hotel to the airport. There were three of us in the shuttle and a femal passenger was very concerned that she was going to miss her filght. The driver got upset and became very argumentative and confrontative with her. He even told the woman, "If you were so worried about getting there on time you should have taken a cab!". I was so put off by the driver that I called the Prime Time customer service department to let them know how dissatisfied I was with the ride. I was on hold for about three minutes before an Operator picked up the call. She answered and immediately gave me the standard, "Can you hold please?" and put me on hold before I could reply. Instead of putting me on hold, however, she hung up on me. I was willing to give them one chance to redeem themselves, but when Prime Time's customer service rep hung up on me I was able to say that wonderful magic word available to each of us as consumers:

"BANNED!"

That's right, I have forever banned Prime Time Shuttles. It will never see another dollar from me. Prime Time joins a rather short but distinguished list of companies that have for one reason or another incurred the wrath of my consumer ire. Here are the top 3:

1. Sears. Early in our marriage we had to get a CV boot repaired on our car before driving from Provo, UT to Arizona. The only place that could do it on short notice was Sears. They ended up putting in 2 CV boots that day, and both of them were obviously not working judging from the incredibly loud clicking noise the car made every time I turned. Later that night the CV slipped completely out of joint. I took it to a different mechanic the next day. He looked at the car, came back laughing, and told me that the part Sears put in was 4 inches too short. It was so costly and aggravating that I've never been back to Sears.

2. Citgo. It's hard to have the warm fuzzies toward any gas company these days, but it is impossible when one charges you $3.00/gallon and is owned by the Hugo Chavez-led Venezuelan government. Chavez is a very outspoken critic of the United States and recently said the following about President Bush, “Yesterday the Devil was here, in this very place. This table from where I speak still smells like sulfur ... in this same hall the president of the United States, whom I call 'The Devil’, came here talking as if he owned the world.” I simply cannot spent another dollar at Citgo knowing that much of it will flow back to Chavez. I'd rather fill my tank at a company that cares about me, the environment, and the promise of tomorrow's children, like Exxon-Mobile. (making gagging/throw up sounds right now.....)

3. Heinz. Much like my reasons for banning Citgo, this is primarily due to politics. During the Kerry/Bush presidential race many of us had the displeasure of being introduced to Mrs. Teresa Heinz-Kerry. Well, she adopted Heinz-Kerry during the race, now she's back to just "Heinz". Anyway, when speaking about her husband's public healthcare plan she said to the Intelligencer Journal of Lancaster, "Only an idiot wouldn't like this. Of course, there are idiots." Well, I didn't like the plan. Nor did I like her calling me an idiot. I have since taken my idiot dollars to purchasing Hunts catsup, even though it is an inferior-tasting condoment. Oh well, I'd rather settle for a slightly less tasty catsup than swallowing the acrid taste of selling my soul to help my hot dog taste a little better. (Okay, a little hyperbole, but it gets the point across).

So there's my list. Please post your "Banned" companies and I'll select a winner.





18 comments

andrea said...

I hope the list stops growing or soon we'll end up living on a self-sustaining ranch in the middle of nowhere. I'll have to sew all of our clothes and we'll have no gas-powered tractors or automobiles. Scary thought, huh?

I banned the department store "Hechts." Although I think they've been bought out by Macy's now, so I don't know if the ban is still in effect. When Whitney was still real little, Andrew was watching both kids so I could go buy some new clothes. I went to Hechts and tried on some pants and found two pairs that I wanted. It was near closing time and I heard something over the loudspeaker while I was in the dressing room, but couldn't understand it. Turns out they were telling us to bring our purchases to the register immediately because the store was closing for the night. By the time I got out of the dressing room and over to the register, it had already been shut down for the night and they wouldn't let me make my purchase. I walked around to three other registers and they all told me the same thing. I was irate! Do you understand how rare it is for me to get out of the house without my two rowdy kids? Just let me buy the pants!! No. They wouldn't budge. I've never been back.

11:24 AM

Banned list:

1. Any Renee Zellweger film: It blows my mind that anyone would pay money for see her “act” .

2. Chili from Wendys: Every since the unfortunate finger incident, I cannot eat the chili that I used to really enjoy

3. Jolly Ranchers: Those things eat through your teeth like White-Out on styroform(don’t ask, I was board in high school)

Greg

12:38 PM

1.I refuse to give Wal-Mart any of my money because besides being evil, stupid people work there and I have issues with stupid people.
2.American Tradition paint- quality does matter, and this paint is like water.
3.David's Bridal- yuck, thats all I have to say on that.
4.Applebees- ate there once and everything came on dirty dishes, you could even see the waitresses thumb print in the grease on those suckers
And there are many more, I just can't think of them right now.

6:19 PM
andrea said...

Greg, didn't you hear that the finger incident was a scam and that the customer who supposedly "found" it in her chili actually put it in there herself. Don't let litigious idiots ruin your love of Wendy's chili!

7:48 PM
Dave said...

1. Arby's. Your food isn't that good. Stop raising your prices.

2. All public services and utility companies. Just because you have a monopoly on the market doesn't mean you have to take advantage of everybody.

3. Anything not owned by Google. Stop being imperfect.

8:03 PM
Tom said...

1. Disney - Not that they have done anything to me personally, but they are the definition of an evil empire.

2. Wal-Mart - Although I can't actually ban them, because I don't have enough money to shop anywhere else. But if I did, they would no longer receive my business.

3. BP Oil - I don't go there because that filthy corporation organized the overthrow, or rather, convinced the CIA to organize the overthrow of the democratically elected leader of Iran in '53, thereby leading to the '79 revolution and a majority of the instability in the Middle East.

Honorable Mention - International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and the World Trade Organization for forcing developing nations to develop in a way that decreases their sovereignty while filling dirty American CEO's pockets.

4:45 AM
Ang said...

Hmmm . . . this one's hard. Maybe I'm going too easy on corporate America? I can't think of any store that I've officially banned off the top of my head, but I did recently ban "The Apprentice" from myself because of the vile things that Donald Trump has been saying about Rosie O'Donnell. And it's not because I'm defensive toward Rosie. More I think that any man of his supposed maturity with his weath and power who resorts to calling a person (any person) "fat" "stupid" "ugly" and so on is deeply off-kilter, in my opinion, and doesn't deserve attention. (And his show's gotten really boring.)

Glad you're back blogging, Drew!

7:35 AM
Shannon said...

I don't know you (I'm Shelley Aagard's sister), but I had to post a comment on here because I have soooo many "banned" places myself. My husband thinks I'm too picky, but with the prices people charge nowadays, I want superior customer service! I won't list all of them, but my big one is David's Bridal. I have told bride after bride after bride of my experience there hoping that no one I know will ever give them a dime. I even change the chanel when their commercials are on T.V. Here is my traumatic experience:
I went into David's Bridal because their display in the front window was so beautiful and they will do any alteration in the store for free (or just the cost of any extra material). I figured (being LDS) I could find the dress I wanted and have them put sleeves on it for me for a fairly low price. Now, to preface this, I hate shopping of any kind, and I just want to get in and out without being bothered if I have to shop. Well at David's Bridal you have to "register" to be helped, then wait in a waiting room for a personal "wedding fashion consultant" to come and hold your hand while you shop. I should have known RIGHT THEN to just get out! But I was patient and figured she knew the store so I could just tell her what I wanted and she could find it for me. Well I tell her that I want a white dress with cap sleeves. She proceeds to bring me all ivory dresses with long sleeves. I told her I wanted white and she tells me that with my olive coloring white would make me look dead so I needed to avoid it. Thanks for your opinion...now get me a white freaking dress! She tells me that they don't have any dresses with short sleeves, so I told her it didn't really matter, I could get whatever and just alter it. So she finds me a stack of white (and ivory) strapless dresses and proceeds to go into the dressing room with me! Then she just starts dressing me. It was the strangest thing ever. So she puts me in a white dress and says "See how you look dead? See how it's just not attractive? Now let's get you in something ivory." Wow. So I tell her ivory is not an option...I am going to have a white dress. She actually rolled her eyes and said "I guess the bride knows best" very sarcastically. I found a dress in the stack I really liked and proceeded to put it on and it was perfect! Really one of the most beautiful dresses I had ever seen, and it wasn't a terrible price either. So I ask her how long it would take for someone to alter it and put sleeves on it and she asked why I wanted sleeves so badly. I told her I just did, and how long would it take? She told me she wouldn't answer me until I told her why I wanted them! So I told her, "I'm mormon. I will be wearing garments. I want them covered." P.S. This was a David's Bridal in Provo, as I was at BYU at the time. She said...no lie..."Gross. Just don't wear them." I lost my temper a little and let her know I didn't care what she thought, I just wanted a white dress with sleeves and wanted to know if there was anyone there that could do that for me. She said (in a very sacharin voice) "Honey, let me just plead with you here. You don't want sleeves on your dress because you have beefy arms and the sleeves with make them look worse. You need a strapless dress to distract from your beefy arms. Nobody likes a fat bride." I am not even kidding. This woman was a piece of work! And I'm not even fat!!! I was majoring in dance and was a size 4! And I'm 5'7"! I'm kind of lanky in the arm area! What a jerk. I said something immature about her pants making her butt look fat and left. So that's my story. Kind of long, but I needed to vent. NEVER SHOP THERE!

11:32 AM
Ang said...

Oh! Oh! I thought of one! K-Mart. I only go there if the situation is extremely dire. The aisles are waaaay to squishy, there's always something going wrong with the customer in front of me that makes them flip on the red light and a 15 minute wait ensues, and one time I went there to get paint and I had to wait by the paint aisle for 30 minutes while they paged "Randy" or "Bob" or whomever (and he never showed so I left). Also, my Martha Stewart comforter started unraveling at the seems almost immediately after I bought it. So there's one!

12:03 PM
Ang said...

Aack! I spelled "seams" "seems." Please disregard. Now I will stop my incessant posting.

12:06 PM
sandy said...

Oh man, that David's Bridal story is a gem - I'm ready to go picket outside their store in defense of modest LDS brides everywhere!!

My one giant never-shop-there place is that big huge car dealership in Provo...I can't remember what its called...Its the one that is across the street from the little shopping center where Tony Romas used to be, kind of by where Food4Less was. Know what I'm talking about?? Anyway - we had a BAD experience there with a very slick used car salesman. To make a very long story short, we basically left feeling like we had just experienced all the things listed in the scriptures as tactics of Satan. They persuaded, guilted, flattered, talked down to, tricked, outright lied...one thing after another. We talked prices for a while on one van (a whole other story...), then next thing I know, he's whipping out this paper saying we need to just sign here so he can check on our trade-in's remaining loan amount at the bank (remember - we had NEVER said we'd buy ANY car and repeatedly told him we weren't there to buy anything that day)- acts like its a permission slip or something, and covers the whole paper with his arm while he points to where to sign. Its a SALES contract - the guy seriously was trying to trick us into buying the car! I mean do we look THAT stupid? (well, maybe...but you'd think Jake would be big and scary enough that some miniature salesman wouldn't pull something like that on him...) He basically kicked us out of the office when we called him on it- it was the WEIRDEST experience I have ever had with a salesman - seriously - like the Twilight Zone. Even now, when we drive by the dealership it gives me the shivers.

5:53 PM
Shelley said...

I have two. And I never even knew that story about my sister. I can vouch for you Shannon - if anything you have spindly arms, definitely NOT beefy!

1) Home Depot
Last year Michael and I wanted a 9-10' Douglas Fir tree for Christmas. Since this is NC and everyone only sells Frasier Firs, this was hard to find. Home Depot seemed to be the only ones that had them for under $50. So Michael and I go there one night at 8:30 (the store closes at 10:00 - this will be important later). We inspect all the trees and decide on one we want. There is a team of garden department employees working together to bring Frasier firs off a semi and into the tree selling areo. There's about 6 of them. They see us standing by the tree and completely ignore us (one of my biggest pet peeves!). So I finally approach one of the guys and tell him we want help with our tree. He tells me he's going to go get someone else (heaven forbid HE help us), but no one else ever comes. Then I approach someone else for help. He gets the lady who's been driving the forklift to come help us. Honestly! I'm the last person to be offended about a woman working in an industrial envirnment, but there are 5 guys and 1 girl and the tree is 10 feet tall. Michael is having a hard time manuvering it! So she comes over and tries to cut off all the twine keeping it tied up. But she keeps putting her exact-o knife back in her apron, which is so full of crap it takes her 5 minutes to fish it out every time. Finally I tell her I'll just hold it until the transaction is complete because I know we're going to need it again. Then she wants to take it over to the stump cutting area. Well, she can't lift it, so Michael has to carry it over there. He has on his nice work clothes and there are 5 guys in the garden department with aprons and gloves on watching all of this happen!!! Then she can't find the chainsaw. When she finally does find the chainsaw, she has to put on all this ridiculous saftey gear that takes her another 5 minutes at least to put on. After cutting the stump, we asked her to trim some of the bottom branches. She then takes FOREVER to go find some shears that aren't strong enough for the branches and I finally suggest using the CHAINSAW!!!! After this whole ordeal, it is now 10:00 and the store is closed! So she has to call up to a register and tell them to stay open so we can buy our tree. After purchasing our tree, we realize we have no way of securing it to our car. So some cashier goes off looking for twine, finds a spool, and then proceeds to fish in her apron for her exact-o knife. Then we get the tree out to the car. The parking lot is empty and Michael's trying to hoist the tree onto the roof of our car all by himself. I'm literally 9 months pregnant and about a week from my due date, so I can't help. Luckily, there was another straggling customer out in the parking lot who came over to help Michael secure the tree. We've bought all our previous Christmas trees from Lowe's and they always come out and secure the tree for us - we just drive our car up front. It should have taken us 20 mins MAX to buy our tree. Instead, we didn't get home until a quarter to 11:00 at night!!!!!!!

2) VoiceStream Wireless, now T-Mobile (Michael thinks Catherine Zeta-Jones is hot, but they are still banned)
I had this provider while in college. As is typical, I moved from one apartment to another during school. I was very responsible and changed my address with everyone, including VoiceStream. The first month in my new apartment, I realize that I did not receive a cell phone bill. This is pre "pay all your bills online", so I call customer service. It turns out my address change hadn't been saved in the computer, so my bill went to my old address and now they wanted to charge me a late fee. I complained enough that they took off the late fee. I changed my address again while on the phone. The next month, the same thing happened. Hey, I'm in college here and worried about more things than "is my cell phone bill coming on time". So again I call, again they want to charge me a late fee, again I raise Cain and they drop it. Again I change my address. Next month SAME STORY!!!! I am livid. I call up and the guy on the phone has the audacity to say to me "Can't you just go to your old apartment and get your bill every month?". UNBELIEVABLE!!! I tell him right then and there that I want to speak to someone in charge (which is no one who is really in charge, of course). I then tell them my whole story and that I want to terminate my contract and that I don't want to be charged the termination fee since they can't get their act together. The manager (or whoever I was talking to) agrees to terminate my contract and not charge me the fee. Again, I'm in college - young and stupid - and get none of this in writing. Fast forward 3 years...
Michael is applying for his student loans for his second year of business school. Since I'm the only one working, I am his co-signer. Sallie Mae informs us that my credit won't qualify me to be his co-signer. How can that be? I was his co-signer last year and have excellent credit! They can't give me any specifics as to why, just that my score is too low. I contact Equifax and see that I have 4 accounts in collection!!! 4!!!! Two with one collection agency, and two with another. Equifax was EXTREMELY helpful in tracking down the information for these collection agencies. I still don't even know WHAT is in collections at this point. I call one of the agencies. Well, you know these guys are total jerks, so when the guy answers the phone, I give him my account number and tell him I want information about who sent this account into collections. He verbally berates me on the phone (I have NEVER been talked to like that before, even by my absolute worst clients) and I tell him I'm not paying anything until I know what's going on. Again the verbal abuse, and I burst into tears and hang up. Michael and I are at a loss - even if I pay off the supposed debts, it's going to take up to 7 years for my credit to be rebuilt and there's no way I'm going to be able to co-sign on Michael's student loan. Long story short (even though it's not short), I did enough research to find out that VoiceStream did in fact charge me the cancellation fee (obviously), had broken it up into two seperate amounts that I owed them, and had both amounts being collected by two different agencies at the same time. I had nothing in writing stating that they agreed not to charge me this fee. However, what they were doing was illegal - you can't have the same account open at two collections agencies at the same time. So I call the attorney general's office for NC. They back me on this and tell me to track down fax numbers for the appropriate parties because they are fining the two agencies and T-Mobile big time for doing this! He he! They also have 48 hours to rectify my credit and report to the credit agencies that I have nothing in collection, nor have I ever had anything in collections. I call that agency back, the one with the guy who made me cry. This time ask to speak to a supervisor. Again, I start to get the verbal abuse. I tell the guy I'm talking to that I have a mandate from the attorney general's office, give him the reference number on the mandate, and tell him if he doesn't get the supervisor on the phone, the fee to his agency is going to increase due to non-compliance. Tunes suddenly change, I'm getting apologies up the wazoo, and my credit got fixed. My favorite call however was to T-Mobile to tell them this mandate was coming. So this was the one time I really got to stick it to the man!

6:46 AM

Shannon, after reading your David's Bridal story, I feel like I should share my David's Bridal story (if you look under my previous comment, all I said was "yuck"). One day while I was engaged, Rob and I went to Staples for whatever reason, and here in Greensboro, David's Bridal is right next to Staples. I was lured in as well by the beautiful display out front and convinced Rob that we should go in and see what they've got. So wee go in, and go through the insanely long registration process just so we can LOOK at a dress. Once it's over we proceed to my size rack and theres a grand total of 2 dresses in my size, both sleeveless. Well, I'm in a good enough mood to just try them on for fun, especially since we weren't ready to but a dress or anything yet. So, then we go to the dressing area, where I'm assigned to a lady, and Rob is told he cannot go back there, even though thats where the big mirrors and stuff are, so he has to sit outside. I go back with the lady, and she also has another girl to dress too, and she hands me a bra thing and tells me to go put it on. So, like the obedient little thing I am, I do, and while I'm putting it on she barges in and starts helping me. Um, let me just tell you, I'm kinda shy and NEVER change in front of anyone (except Rob now that we're married)- not any friends, not even in the locker room at school, I'd always change in the bathroom stall. And then after helping for a minute she leaves again and I'm left alone trying to figure it out when I hear my name over the speaker telling me to go to the other side of the dressing area. So I take the thing off and put my clothes back on and go try to see what was going on. Well, theres no one there, so I'm just standing there wondering what the heck is going on when finally another lady comes and takes me to another room and I have to put that thing on again and then they finally let me try on a dress. But of course Rob isn't allowed back, so I have to go out to let him see, and by this point I am completely on my own, as the lady is helping someone else and they're all crying and happy over some dress this person was trying on. Then I try on another dress and I guess the lady likes it, 'cause she comes over and tells me how beautiful it is and yada yada, but I tell her what I really need is a dress with sleeves. Then she tells me that sleeves aren't in fashion, so they don't have any, but they do have jackets, so she goes and gets one and I try it on and its hideous and I tell her it really won't work, I need sleeves. So she asks what I need sleeves for and I tell her I'm Mormon and she's just like "oh..." (I'm not sure she knew what a Mormon was) and then she leaves me again so finally I just get back into my clothes and after being there a couple hours just to try on a dress, we leave. I don't think it would've been as bad except Rob had been sitting outside watching all these ridiculous women the whole time, not having any clue what was going on. And after all that, I ended up just buying my dress off the internet so I wouldn't have to deal with stupid people.

10:14 AM

After seeing Melinda get booted from American Idol, American Idol has moved to the top of my crap list and is Banned forever

Greg

7:53 PM
Natalie said...

Greg,

You can't ban American Idol. You can only blame yourself for Melinda getting voted off. Yes it was wrong and she deserved to be in the final. But did you do everything you could to keep her on...ie voting for her all night long? I didn't think so.

But I don't really care who wins now. I don't believe Jordin or Blake really earned it. I think it should have been Blake and Melinda in the finale.

Natalie

Oh yeah, here is my baned list...

1) Taquitos - frozen mexican roll ups that I vomitted up one night. Now I can never eat them again. Don't you hate when that happens?

2) A car dealership in Durham - the guy kept trying to push us to a new car when we didn't want one, wouldn't listen to us, and then when I started getting frusted with him, he asked me if I was having a bad day. I almost kicked him! David had to hold me back.

That is all I can think of for now...

9:28 AM
Barbara said...

The only thing I've ever banned is a pricey furniture store in SLC called "The Black Goose." 24 years ago I dropped by there to shop and had Amy in tow - she was probably 1 or maybe 18 months old. As I walked in I noticed a sign out front that said "No Children Allowed." I honestly laughed out loud - thought it was a joke and proceeded in the store with my well-behaved little girl. I was in there for a few minutes and got glared at by the sales person who finally came up to me and said, "We don't allow children in this store." They asked me to leave. I was holding Amy in my arms and she was not making a peep. I was dumb-founded. I've never been back. And it's a really cool store and the sign has since been taken down - but can you believe that?
Great blog comments from everyone!
Sincerely,
Andrew's mom

10:44 PM
Amy said...

Bright Now Dental - Some of you may know this story, but they canceled appointments made months in advance on Dave twice and on me three times, each within 24 hours of our appointment. After the third time,I started getting upset and said that the dentist could do my cleaning (because the hygienist gone and that's why they canceled), they told me that they didn't like my attitude and don't want me as a patient. So I guess we've banned each other.
Zions Bank - We still have a credit card with them, but are in the process of getting a new one and completely leaving them. When we were first married and hadn't discovered the wonderful joyous bank of ING,we had all our money in Zions. We saved up quite a bit for our down payment and became gold members with Zions. They treated us great while we were gold members, but as soon as we put the down payment on our house and transferred almost all our savings to a bank that actually gives interest, they've been terrible. They've given us fees we didn't deserve multiple times (thankfully I've gotten the money back, but it's annoying) and when we went to close our savings, the bank worker just gave us the cash and took our account to $0 and said it'll automatically close. Well again we start getting bank fees because we don't have the proper min. balance. Dumb people. They're banned.

11:29 AM

1. Delta Airlines:
D.E.L.T.A.
"Doesn't Ever Leave the Airport"
I have trouble every time I fly Delta... they cancel flights for "mechanical resons" but really I think they just didn't sell enough tickets to make the flight worth their while. Also, they have terrible customer service.

2. NBC news: for showing the tapes and photos of the Va Tech gunman. He sent them a package with his manifesto, and rather than putting it in the garbage where it belonged they decided to air it on National TV and glorify the killer. I know that all of the other networks picked it up, but I still banned NBC for not having the integrity to throw it in the trash in the first place.

3. "Dr." Keisha Smith at "Doctor's" Vision Center at Adams Farm. Don't any of you ever go there... I wore glasses for several months while I was pregnant because she told me that was the reason my contacs weren't fitting. I went back after I had the baby and after about 5 appointments (no exaggeration) and 7 trial pairs of contacts (still no exaggeration), I still couldn't see. She told me my eyes were too weak and that I would have to go up to a very expensive special order lens if I wanted to see clearly, so she recommended I just stick with the terrible vision. I gave up on her and after ONE VISIT to another eye doctor I could see perfectly... he bumped my prescription DOWN three notches from where she had me. I repeat: don't any of you ever go there. Not only does the dr not know a thing about what she is doing, the lady in the glasses sales department is coo-koo. I won't go on and on about it here, but if you want more details it makes for great party conversation. :)

P.S. How can they call it word verification when what we are typing in aren't words at all...
grxuxogx

2:07 PM