customer service

Struggling Best Buy Deletes Email Option From Customer Service

Best Buy is in a tailspin, but its new CEO, Hubert Joly, has been touting a plan to revitalize the consumer electronics retailer's fortunes through an emphasis on great customer service. So why, we wondered, did it just eliminate one of its customer service contact options?

9 Questions to Ask to See If Your Bank Is Right for You

The end of the year is a good time to give your financial life a once-over and see what changes need to be made. One item not to forget in that review: your bank. Answering these questions will help you determine whether your money is in the right place, or if it's time for a strategic withdrawal.

The Downside of Credit Unions

Credit union membership is at an all-time high, thanks to our rising disillusionment with traditional banks. Banks, after all, are run by executives aiming to enrich stockholders, while credit unions are owned by, and run for the benefit of, their members. But that doesn't mean credit unions are right for everyone.

The Customer Isn't Always Right, Especially When He's Complaining

When it comes to customer service disputes, there's an old adage in the retail industry: The customer is always right. Of course, the customer is very frequently in the wrong, and unfortunately for put-upon customer service reps, new research suggests that consumers complain the most when they know they're wrong.

Analyst Dumps Wells Fargo for Bad Service, Rates Stock a Buy

When influential bank analyst Richard X. Bove got fed up with Wells Fargo as a customer, he moved his money over to Chase, then turned the experience into a research note. His startling conclusion: "[T]he service is so bad, and yet the company is so good."

Why China Doesn't Like Barbie, Best Buy or DIY

U.S. companies see China as a market of near limitless potential, but plenty of big names have learned the hard way that the American way doesn't always sell in Shanghai. From Mattel to Home Depot, here are some notable attempts that got lost in translation.

Money, We Need to Talk: Investors Demand More Broker Contact

Good communication is key in determining how pleased clients are with their brokers, and there has been a dip in satisfaction. But its not because advisers are communicating less with their clients than they did before the recession. Actually, it's quite the opposite.

The Post Office's Plan: Worse Service, Higher Prices

The USPS is still running in the red, and facing an $18.2 billion annual deficit as early as 2015, The Postal Service's solution in a nutshell: Give customers worse service, and charge them more for it. Where have we heard this before? (Hint: the airline industry.)

Is Corporate America Too Focused on Profit Margins?

I recently penned a column pointing out that when America "lost" the TV manufacturing industry to Japan, it wasn't necessarily a bad thing, because the business has become a low-margin money loser. A lot of readers disagreed.

Remember Customer Service? Me Neither

Forbes contributor Larry Downes predicts that Best Buy will eventually go out of business, based solely on one thing: lousy customer service. Ann Brenoff will take that prediction and raise him one: She thinks there are lots of retail companies on track to go bust for the same reason.

The Year's Worst of the Worst in Online Merchants

The whole concept of online commerce hinges on convenience, particularly during the frantic holiday shopping season. Unfortunately, some well-known Web merchants left consumers seriously dissatisfied in the past year.

The Bigger the Bank, the Worse the Customer Service

The biggest bank in America isn't the one you might think: JPMorgan Chase recently knocked longtime rival Bank of America out of the top spot. But is bigger better? Not when it comes to customer service.

Online Shopping Problem? Please Hold for a Human

Millions of holiday shoppers aiming to avoid the crowds are headed online. But not all retailers do e-commerce with ease -- especially if you have questions and need help from a customer service representative. Which chains respond fast -- and which don't? We have the answers.

Santa's Customer Service List: Who's Naughty, Who's Nice

When it comes to how they treat their customers, some companies follow Santa-like policies. Others are more like the Grinch. But which is which? Consumer Reports offers the skinny on how a number of high-profile businesses behave with its Naughty & Nice Holiday List. Here's a rundown:

Should Bank Account Numbers Be Portable?

Consumer activists are pushing bank regulators to allow people to take their account numbers with them when they switch banks, just like cellphone numbers. Such account number portability might encourage banks to treat customers better because it would make it easier for them to leave.

Online Banks Booming as People Flee Wall St. Giants

While thousands of Americans unleash their anger at big banks in protests around the country, many more are registering their dissatisfaction from their keyboards. In the wake of last week's news that Bank of America is adding a new $5 fee for debit card use, online-only banks saw waves of new customers coming through their virtual doors.

The High Price of Bad Customer Service

The power of customer satisfaction is on the rise, as sites like Angie's List and Yelp grow ever more popular. According to a recent survey, 70% of Americans are willing to spend an average of 13% more with companies that provide "excellent" customer service. That's up significantly from 2010.

Businesses That We Complain About the Most

Poor customer service is one of the primary reasons people tend to shun certain companies and even whole industries. 24/7 Wall St. identified the U.S. industries with the most complaints, as well as the troubles people have with them. If customer service is important to success, those we identified are in trouble.

Southwest Remains No. 1 for Airline Customer Service

The American Customer Satisfaction Index's annual report on airlines showed Southwest still on top of the rankings, and far ahead of No. 2 Continental. Southwest even improved its score, a rare bright spot in an industry that came in last overall in customer satisfaction among those the ACSI rates.

Web Retailers With Best, Worst Customer Response Times

"Your call is important to us ...," but how important? A study out Monday ranks the top 100 Internet retailers for customer service response speeds: How long they make us wait on hold, how fast they reply to emails. There's a wide disparity between the worst and the best -- and a couple of companies that are both.

Lowe's Incentive Program May Boost Its Market Share

As the competition between home improvement heavyweights Lowe's and Home Depot intensifies, customer service is emerging as one of the key features on which they will need to innovate. Lowe's latest attempt is a new incentive program for customers paying with the store's credit card.

Fly the Hungry Skies: Continental Drops Free Pretzels

The United-Continental merger was supposed to bring together the best of both carriers, but it doesn't always work that way. Continental is following United's lead and eliminating its free pretzels. But there are still a few options for flyers seeking free munchies -- and some of them are mighty tasty.

Why Fly? The Case Against Air Travel

It's bad enough that air fares and extra fees have been rising as fast as a plane taking off -- now, travelers must wonder if aircraft have been properly inspected. Are the costs, pains and risks of flying reaching the point where frequent fliers should reconsider their transportation choices?

How You Can Profit From Watson's Jeopardy Win

Last month, IBM's Watson supercomputer beat trivia champs Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter on "Jeopardy." At the core of Watson's success was something called Semantic Analysis Technology, and if you want to make your own "Jeopardy" bet, put some money on the companies that supply it.