Carphone Warehouse - Suck rating 5/5
- Their staff said I could change to any O2 tarrif at any time. Not true. They offer their own (worse value) subset of the tarrifs you can get directly from O2.
- I lost my charger, which is certainly my fault. However, they can't sell me a new one! The phone is only a few months old.
- They consider the above my problem, even though I'm locked into a 12-month contract with them and I have a dead phone they can't repair.
- When I bought the phone, a Palm-OS PDA/smartphone, it took me days to figure out how to get it to function on their network. It didn't come with data calls enabled, for instance. Boggle!
- To sort out their service mistakes, you have to dial their charged support line, listen to their horrendous choice of hold music, and speak to a series of clueless support staff.
- They somehow leak your new number to a cold-calling, spam-texting, fraudulent insurance-selling business. They know all this, but rather than just blocking the nuisance company they send you a letter explaining that they're not affiliated with it.
EasyJet - Suck rating 4/5
- If the weather or something else that's fair enough prevents the flight, they don't just cancel it and let you get on. They make you wait in the lounge or in the plane for half a day and eventually cancel it when it's too late for you to find hotels or other transport.
- Their schedule is too tight, so if there is a delay during the day all subsequent flights are delayed, miss their slots, later flights get delayed more, etc.
- There is no staff you can speak to at the airport and no telephone number you can call for customer care as far as I can see! There is an online form to claim refunds for cancelled flights, which doesn't appear to work.
- Luton airport is like a glorified bus station. Too little seating, dirty, cramped waiting areas, etc. No baggage transfer facilities, so you have to pick them up and check them in yourself if you are connecting.
- They are so cheap that if you connect through a real airport like Gatwick that does have baggage transfer systems you still have to do it yourself.
Virgin Atlantic - Suck rating 2/5
- The outside of the plane looks like a can of blackcurrant-flavored soft drink - and look: the inside also looks like your are in a can of soft drink. Everything is shiny metallic-grey plastic, with red and purple cushions.
- The food still sucks. Not that airline food is supposed to be good, but at least it should be vaguely edible. Take a picnic!
- They serve you bad "Japanese" beer brewed in the UK on the Tokyo to London trip. Yes, they carry the imitation Japanese beer all the way to Japan and back so they can torment me!
- They remodelled the seats to give extra room to the LCD screen that plays boring movies at you! Yay for their sense of priorities.
- Said screen is driven by a new, buggy computer system that fails to tell you proper flight details and occasionally crashes, so the screen cannot be switched off. At least the sreen has convenient slots for mounting a newspaper to block it.
- Their staff always young, dressed impeccably and smiling politely. This is a good thing, of course, but I wonder about their employment practices about selection, pressure, etc. In a really long flight I'd expect the staff to show some human tiredness. I think the airline may be extracting this perkiness out of their staff too cheaply.
Palm - Suck rating 3/5
- Haven't improved on the excellent US Robotics Pilot design and software from seven years ago.
- Their devices are still too slow to recognize grafitti properly, and the screen is too poor.
- Instead of improving their PDA software, they provide a catalogue of thousands of confusing, badly interacting, expensive third partly software that may or may not do what you want.
- Instead of improving their hardware (after the very nice Palm V) they produce an endless series of confusing and pointless models, and license other vendors to do more of the same.
Wok Wok - Suck rating 5/5
- Me: Is the Sapporo beer imported or brewed in the UK? First server: Imported! Look here on the menu, it says "Japan". Me: I'll have one then. Second server: Brings beer, serves it, takes away bottle quickly. Beer of course brewed in the UK by Guinness.
- They can't cook! At all! They can buy OK ingredients at Tesco, or something, and just throw them in a hot broth. The result is at least clean, but doesn't qualify as cooking.
- They manage to be variable at this! Sometimes the food tastes good, sometimes it's burnt, or tastes of gas, or is missing the ingredients that the menu says.
Examples of things that don't suck
Just to show some balance...
- Google. Queen of businesses that don't suck! Bonus: doesn't sell anything.
- The Filmhouse. Civilization! Probably the best cafe bar in Edinburgh.
- UGC cinemas. Play at least one art film, treat you like a person.
- Golf and Peugeot cars. Reliable, bits are in the right places.
- Lufthansa. On time, clean, edible food, human staff.
- John Lewis, Jenners. Reasonably good things, OK prices.
- The Kebab Mahal. Reliable, tasty, cheap food source.
This entry will be updated as more businesses are found to suck.