Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Saturday, March 2

Gapers Block

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r / April 17, 2011 9:12 PM

I've sent food back only a few times in my life, but there's something so jerky about doing it. But in those instances, the food was REALLY BAD (undercooked, frozen, etc.).

I also wrote a bad Yelp review of a business after they wouldn't respond to an emailed complaint I had about their service that resulted in me having to pay a lot more $ to correct the problem their product caused. you have to stand up for yourself somehow...

H / April 18, 2011 11:19 AM

When I had a terrible experience with UPS, contacting customer service via Twitter worked much better than calling or trying to resolve the problem in person. I know that seems counterintuitive, but I think that a lot of companies who have social media presences work harder on their image there than they do through their actual customer service hubs.

Cheryl / April 18, 2011 3:26 PM

Oh hell yeah. It works with airlines and stores, but never, ever with the post office. They don't care what we think of them.

Tracie / April 18, 2011 4:06 PM

I had a very good experience with the CTA (yes I know, it's a shocker). I complained last Spring that there were bikes that had been at the bike racks for a year, and were taking up valuable real estate. The bikes were rusted out, and had obviously been abandoned. two days later, the bikes were gone. And the CTA called me to find out if the issue had been resolved to my satisfaction. That was great.

Mike / April 19, 2011 1:01 PM

Long story, but I once battled Sprint for casual billing me an outrageous amount. This was back in 1999, when people still had landlines and long distance. In the end, I wrote letters, spent hours on the phone, and only got reimbursed about half of the $300 they robbed me of. I told them then: I will never do business with you again as long as I live and will tell everyone I can what an awful, awful company you are. I know AT&T and the others are just as bad ... but they didn't screw me -- Sprint did.

I was also screwed by Ameritech, back in the dail-up days, when I mistakenly chose a connection number with the 773 area code, not realizing they would still charge me ten cents a minute (more than my long distance was at the time). When I called them, their belligerent rep told me, "sir, Ameritech is not in the business of giving away service." Then she tried to sell me services. I was so happy to kiss SBC goodbye forever a few years later. "But sir, don't you think you should retain a land line?" they asked. "Nope," I said, "and start getting used to more people like me calling for the same reason."


jen / April 19, 2011 7:46 PM

H - I had the same thing with UPS. well, resolved inasmuch as they found out that as I waited for my package at the facility that night until 9pm, my driver had been back and checked in since 6:30. the level of incompetence I've experienced with UPS has been astounding.

*excellent* customer service came from OXO, who replaced free of charge the lid to my travel mug that stopped "popping" open after I sent them a message via a form on their website.
I've also routinely had great customer service from LL Bean and Lands' End.

Carrie / April 20, 2011 12:18 PM

Nine West shoes once ripped my feet to shreds. They were a different style than what I usually wore, so I made sure to wear them in my house to make sure they were comfy... they were until I got outside. I tried to return, but since I'd worn them outside, they wouldn't let me. I called HQ to let them know that my feet were literally bleeding and was told "it's hot, your feet have probably swelled up". After much back and forth and me reassuring them I'd worn them in my house first and reminding them that shoes should not make feet bleed, they finally agreed to do an exchange. I vowed to never buy a pair of their shoes again and I haven't.

meems / April 20, 2011 1:44 PM

Ditto on USPS. They suck. I wasn't getting any mail, so I called customer service who opened a file to investigate. Turns out the post lady lost the main key to the building and no one on their end notified anyone. It was weeks of back and forth with our landlord and USPS before we got anywhere.
I've had good service from Tmobile though. When I changed my plan they retro'd it so my bill wasn't crazy.

that_girl / April 22, 2011 8:19 AM

Yep. Comcast, when they've given us terrible service. I had a KitchenAid teakettle that RUSTED after three years -- after weeks of complaining (without any response) I finally got a new one free without having to send in my old one. What else.. CompUSA gave us very good service after two successive video cards crapped out on us...

c / April 22, 2011 12:01 PM

recently my friends and i were rowdy and drunk and broke my coffee pot playing wiffleball indoors. it was a braun i got from bedbath&beyond like 5 years ago. i called them to see if they sold the pots separate, because it still worked, just the pot was cracked. this dude said they dont sell braun anymore but bring it in and i'll exchange it for a new one. i said, even if its 4-5 years old, no receipt, and its my fault that it's broken? he said yup. so i went in, they looked up the cereal number for 10-15 minutes, then said you get a 20 dollar credit. so i got a new mr. coffee that was $29 for $11 after tax. crazy shit. very good customer service. i miss the braun though.

mo / April 22, 2011 5:32 PM

When I was a kid, someone gave me a box of Queen Anne Cordial Cherries. About half of the candies didn't have any cherries. I wrote them a letter, not asking for anything or even complaining, just letting them know that their cherries didn't have cherries! I got a letter back explaining that they do their best to have humans confirm cherry deposit from their machines, but they were very sorry and hoped the enclosed two dollar bills would rectify the situation. :)

I will not talk about Comcast or AT&T lest I give myself an anger aneurism.

Jaime / April 22, 2011 9:59 PM

I once got a jar of SmartBalance peanut butter. It tasted like fish. I told customer service. They sent me a new jar of peanut butter. Which also tasted like fish. Called customer service again. They sent me a new new jar of peanut butter...

In the end, the only winner here was my cat, who for several months had poops the likes of which most of us can only dream.

Dennis Fritz / April 25, 2011 1:21 PM

No, they're not. But it is amazing how thoroughly that attitude pervades people's thinking, even in contexts where is is wholly inappropriate.

I work for a state regulatory agency, and licensees seem genuinely shocked discover our job is to protect the public, not advance their industry or help them make money. Even people denied licensure because they have felony records are often outraged. They seem to thinkwe are a business, they are our customers, and our job is to serve them and give them whatever they want. It's amazing.

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