Wait, who sucks?

An investigation.
This weekend found me in a live chat with “jagdeep”, a technical support rep from QuarkXpress, a pricey software company. My Quark application would no longer open, crashing each time I tried. “Jagdeep”  informed me that QuarkXpress no longer offered support for my six-year old version of their very own product. He suggested I upgrade to their newest version, for about three hundred bucks. Well, I had a suggestion of my own for jagdeep and Quark.

Steamed and seeking vindication, I launched my investigation.

I zipped over to google and typed in ‘quark sucks’. I got 426,000 results, a number probably equal to their customer count. Was I surprised? A little. Not by the number who think Quark sucks, but that there was proof. Feeling emboldened, I typed ‘at&t sucks’. Wow, 6,910,000 results, nearly seven million unhappy campers. And ‘verizon sucks’ found 6,630,000 results, neck and neck with AT&T. Tin cans with a string are about the only option we have to these two arrogant behemoths if we want wireless service. And they know it. So why should they try to please customers? Well, they don’t is the short answer.

I couldn’t stop, I didn’t even try. I was morbidly fascinated.

‘amazon sucks’ = 35,500,000 hits.
‘barnes & noble sucks’ = 897,000 hits.
‘zappos sucks’ = 705,000 results.
‘microsoft sucks’ = 34,600,000 results.
‘apple sucks’ = a surprising 48,500,000 hits.

Only five companies, but 120,202,000 pissed off customers. Try it for yourself. Just go to google and type in the business name of your choice followed by ‘sucks’ or, for a refreshing change, ‘blows’. Hours of fun await.

Granted, this was a highly unscientific, totally suspect poll and angry customers are much more vocal than satisfied ones, but still. The numbers speak for themselves; they’re saying crappy customer service is rampant, epidemic even. And at a time when every business is frantic for new sales and new customers.

All the while, the powerful titans who run these goliath companies sit around scratching their heads and wondering how to increase revenue, how to increase market share. It takes a special kind of bonehead to miss the very obvious, practically neon-lit answer: start treating your customers as assets rather than nuisances. Not one of them will recognize these dismal numbers as the huge opportunity they are.

For this myopic vision they reap millions in salary and bonuses and stock options? Where do I send a resumé? I’ll do the job, only better, for half that much. Please contact me via the Comment Box below. Thank you.

Copyright © Publikworks 2011.

7 responses to “Wait, who sucks?”

  1. ‘Hoover sucks’ generated 2.49 million results. Being a vacuum maker, I suspect this is a good thing, right?


    1. That’s funny. Thanks.


  2. You took the words right out of my mouth. I’ve been saying This for years. Companies have totally lost the premise of customer service. They don’t know what it is anymore. Every single time I go to a customer service person I get treated like I’m interupting them and, my gosh, what do I expect them to do. Those are the rules. We are annoyances that get in the way of spending time selling. Great post.


    1. Hi, O. Leonard, I shouldn’t have taken the words out of your mouth, sorry. Thanks for stopping.


  3. Hiyas Plublikwork =) hehe another great article of yours, thank you for the giggles. Well, as for those companies . . . you should come here to germany and see that here something like customer support doesn’t exsist, so I would just have to type “germany sucks”. Even our government figured and they recently made an online portal for customers to complain about deceptive packaging. Of course the companies are pissed but will they change something? Nope, simply because people will continue to buy from them. My ISP got a tiny bit better lately but only because he got some competition. This will stay as long as the competition will be a real competition and that will not be long because, t-online own 100 % of the entire line network in whole germany and so the “competition” has to rent the right to use this network too. See what I mean. The others do not have a real chance to become a real competition. So yeah, being a customer sucks.

    Have a great day and be safe!


    1. Thanks for the German perspective, Min. It sounds pretty similar to the American.


      1. But I figured long ago, that you can find the best service ever in the USA. My host for example is located in the US and their support is truly heroic. Whenever I can, I purchase things in the US (see, that’s why I love the web, it gives me the freedom to purchase where ever I want) and all those companies have been great. Might give an idea how bad it really is here. But yes, the big companies, like our ISP’s are all the same. Isn’t t-online overthere in the states as well?


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