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18 companies that suck at customer service

John Webster | Nov. 5, 2015
A recent Forrester Research report shines a spotlight across different industries on companies whose people skills leave a bit to be desired, to say the least.

For its part, Cigna spokesman Joe Mondy, provided this statement: 

"The 2015 customer experience index runs contrary to the findings of Cigna's own Net Promoter Score (NPS) research, as well as the findings of other third party studies that measure customer experience that we have been part of over the past several years. We are reviewing the recently released data, as well as what impact the recent changes in methodology that company has instituted, but our efforts to improve customer experience have been showing great results, and we will continue to invest in efforts to improve the experience customers have with Cigna." 

Lower-cost doesn’t mean lowered expectations 

Low cost is the name of the game for Frontier Airlines, but travelers should still expect a modicum of customer service. Earlier this year, CEO Dave Siegel stepped down, and was replaced by the company's chairman, Bill Franke, and president, Barry Biffle. 

In May, a government report ranked Frontier last among U.S. carriers in on-time performance and customer complaints. Complaints were logged at the rate of 8.2 per 100,000 boardings, compared with 2.98 in May 2014. At the time, Biffle told the Denver Post that the new leadership was focused on improving reliability by changing the design of the schedule. As a result, the airline's on-time performance improved. 

Still, in 2015, Frontier ranked last in J.D. Power's North America Airline Satisfaction Study. More than one third of the company's flights were at least 15 minutes late in March 2015. The federal government said that Frontier had the highest complaint rate and worst on-time performance among the nation's leading airlines in March. 

Customers are paying for more than just their car rental at Dollar Rent a Car, even if they didn't know it. Among rental car agencies, Dollar Rent a Car scored lowest, possibly due in part to complaints that it signed customers up for insurance even when they explicitly did not want it. 

Anyone who expected not to see Walmart take the last spot hasn't been on the Internet or watched TV in the past few years. In 2014, the American Customer Satisfaction Index found that overall satisfaction with retail stores fell 1.4 percent after improving steadily for three years. Walmart scored its worst rating since 2007, at the bottom of the list. 

Early this year, the company announced it would spend $1 billion to raise pay for employees. CEO Doug McMillon vowed to make customer service a priority after a rash of complaints from customers about empty store shelves and not being able to find store clerks, even as pallets of merchandise piled up in warehouses. Bloomberg recently reported that even though stores grew 13 percent, the number of employees only grew 2 percent. 

 

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