Consumer reviews on PissedConsumer

92 percent of consumers use online reviews. That means only 8 percent of America’s population isn’t looking up what others are saying before they make their own purchase. Not only that, not quite half of the population – 44 percent – believes that only reviews from the last four months are relevant when making a purchasing decision.

That’s a lot of pressure on companies to keep up a fully charged, positive spin online with customers. That pressure can lead to another impressive statistic about online reviews. A full third of consumers will only trust reviews if they believe they are authentic – and that means customers are trusting online reviews less.

The Art of the Online Review

It used to be that we had to rely on the experts to try things out for us and tell us which was best. An entire industry sprung up around these experiments and reports and publications like Consumer Reports are still used for this purpose today. But while the expert feedback is always good, what matters even more to the typical consumer is what others have to say about their experience. If something is good enough for a friend of mine, it’s probably going to be good enough for me.

A first we could only rely on word-of-mouth recommendations. Now we have the wide world of the internet at our fingertips, simply bursting with reviews and customer experiences. It’s a challenge to find a retail website that doesn’t offer customer reviews of specific products, while other websites – like this one – collect reviews about a number of businesses and industries.

With more than 90 percent of consumers now checking out new local businesses online, it stands to reason that more than 90 percent of the population is also making decisions about these businesses based on the reviews others have left. Restaurants and cafes are easily the most popular type of business reviewed online, but it is possible to find reviews about doctors, hotels, airlines, clothing, books, dentists, realtors, schools and even driving instructors. Consumers are searching, reading and basing their decisions on all of these reviews.

Choosing a Good Business

Simply having a review or two online isn’t enough to satisfy most new consumers. On the other hand, having thousands of reviews isn’t much help either since most customers only read the ten most recent reviews. Many read fewer than that.

It would probably surprise business owners how much information would-be consumers pull out of reviews online. Not only is the potential customer reading to understand another patron’s experience, but they are looking at the number of stars other customers have left for the business as well as how well the review was written and even the age of the reviewer. A forty-year-old isn’t looking for the same sort of café experience as a sixteen-year-old, of course.

Overall, however, it is the star ranking – the most visual aspect of reviews – customers react to most. Most only select companies with at least 3 stars. Almost half will only work with businesses that have earned at least 4 stars out of five. But regardless of stars, some individuals find themselves impressed and swayed by a company that makes it a point to reply and respond to posted online reviews. A company willing to try to publicly acknowledge and address an issue gets a favorable boost from customers.

Trusting Reviews

There is one tiny hiccup for customers in the world of online reviews and it is growing larger with time. Customers are trusting reviews less than ever. An increasing percentage of consumers will only trust a review they feel is “authentic.”

While this is great news for the public’s increasing ability to think critically online and not be swayed by nonsense, it presents a challenge to companies. Customers are skeptical. Reports of companies being able to cherry-pick reviews, dropping negative ones in favor of more positive ones, makes people raise eyebrows. The emergence of an entire industry paid to post positive reviews on products certainly doesn’t help.

It’s not just fake positive reviews customers must be wary of. Some unethical companies, or even unethical fans of a company, may post negative reviews about a competitor, posing as an irate customer.

The increased volume of online reviews has naturally led to an increased number of possible issues, leaving customers cautious and businesses on edge. The best solution for building trust with online reviews is to read a larger variety of reviews from a variety of viewpoints. Go back a few weeks and check how reviews are trending. Fake reviews will almost all ways stand out from the real ones over the course of time.


Reviews about shopping on PissedConsumer

Hennes & Mauritz, or H&M as it is better known in most retail establishments, is the world’s second largest fashion retailer. The company’s brand is known for inexpensive, quality merchandise, but the company recently revealed that they are looking for a change. In particular, they are looking to change the way they make clothing.

The company has offered the world one million euros, slightly over one million dollars, to come up with a way to recycle clothing materials in new ways. This prize is to be offered every year, rewarding innovators who can easily change the entire fashion market.

Throw-Away Clothing

Right now there are many retailers – H&M included – who are dependent on customers buying new clothing constantly. Their pricing structure is set up so that customers buy an inexpensive shirt, wear it out, and then go in and buy another one. Without the constant sales, the companies simply wouldn’t move enough merchandise to be successful in the low-price marketplace.

The downside of this increasingly popular retail strategy is the old clothing. When you’ve worn out that old, cheap shirt you can’t do much with it. You might turn it into a dusting rag, but most people simply throw the old clothing out. After all, cheaply made goods don’t stay stitched together very long and they can’t be donated.

Environmentalists have been calling attention to the tremendous volume of waste in the fashion industry as well as the volume of chemicals necessary to grow cotton for clothing reliably. H&M is looking for a way to recycle the fibers of these old clothing items to boost it’s environmental street cred as well as prepare for raw material shortages.

Recycling Clothing

The $1.16 million prize isn’t just for recycling cotton and synthetic fibers. Technology currently exists to do that. Unfortunately the cotton fibers that are removed from the recycled materials aren’t nearly as strong and useful as the original ones, making current recycling methods inferior in the marketplace.

H&M is looking for a new technology that can recycle the fibers with an unchanged quality. Essentially, that worn out and torn pair of jeans can be remade into a new pair of jeans from the same high quality cotton. So far this technology is only imaginary, but H&M has hopes for the near future.

Of course, while the company waits for the next big break-through in recycled materials, there is still plenty for the company to worry about on the customer service front including return policies and even safety recalls.



Reviews about college diplomas on PissedConsumer

In our modern age of online education, there are hundreds of qualified, credentialed programs available to students looking to earn a degree with a bit more flexibility than sitting down most of the day in a traditional college classroom. Right along with these online extensions of real college programs came the diploma mills.

A diploma mill is a “school” that doesn’t give you a chance to earn a degree – it simply sells the degree to you. Of course some school programs are better than others, but the diploma mill is at the absolute bottom of the barrel. In fact, it’s not a school at all.

Are you being taken for a ride? Here are ten ways to tell.

Overly aggressive marketing.

If you’re a senior in high school with high SAT scores, you can expect to get quite a few flyers in the mail. If you’re a regular adult working online bombarded with emails and banners telling you how authentic and notarized a particular college is there is room for doubt. There is a huge amount of concern if colleges start calling you up on a Tuesday afternoon without any requests from you.

Light to no academic work or interaction.

A diploma mill isn’t exactly an academic powerhouse. In fact, there isn’t really any academics at all. If you’re earning course credit without doing any course work, there is a serious problem with the quality of your “education.”

Unlimited enrollment based on ability to pay.

If all it takes is a working credit card to sign up for the “school”, you’re not in school. You’re in a business. And a shady one at that.

Degrees based on work experiences and resumes.

While it would be nice to earn a degree from the school of Hard Knocks, in reality it takes more than seven years of showing up on time to a minimum-wage job to actually earn a bachelor’s degree. Likewise, doing a few years of data entry won’t earn you a master’s degree – no matter how nicely you write it up on your resume.

Almost instant degree.

If the college advertises that you can earn a four year degree in just 30 days you’re not looking at a real degree program. It is possible to earn a bachelor’s degree in less than four years, but that requires a tremendous amount of work year-round – not signing the credit card receipt.

Flat fee payments for degrees.

If a school offers you a degree program guaranteed to earn you a bachelors for $499 you’re living in a pipe dream. While some schools may give you an estimated payment for a full degree, a real college charges tuition based on credit hours and semesters – not bulk degree pricing.

Complaints galore.

There is a huge, glowing, neon sign if there are hundreds or thousands of complaints online about diploma mills. If others are telling you to stay away. Stay away!

No faculty are listed on the website.

Colleges are proud of their faculty. After all, these are institutions that sell knowledge and credentials. The better the faculty, the better the knowledge! If there is no faculty roster or list, raise an eyebrow. If there are fake degrees paired with faculty names, run away.

The college is located in a foreign country but offers degrees only to American citizens.

A college located in Mexico would first serve the population of Mexico. Likewise a school in France would serve the population of France. Any college that exists overseas but only is available to residents of the United States is not just strange, it’s unheard of.

The admissions people explain how overseas schools are never accredited in the United States.

To get around the pesky overseas-only-for-US issues in #9, some colleges try to tell Americans that foreign universities can’t be accredited in the United States. This is 100% false. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation exists for this very reason. When a school lies to you to get your money – it’s absolutely a diploma mill.


Diploma Mill Reviews:

Reviews about Ice Cream on PissedConsumer

Blue Bell Creameries is finally getting back into production and ice cream will be back on shelves by the end of the month. This is after months of complaints, videos, pleading and begging by Blue Bell customers who have evolved into something more closely resembling a cult following than angry ice cream customers.

Ice Cream Is On Its Way!

Blue Bell announced this week that the long awaited ice cream production and delivery are finally starting again. Apparently Blue Bell ice cream will be re-stocked across fifteen states over the course of five phases. The first phase of this delivery plan starts on August 31, just weeks away. The first lucky areas to get Blue Bell back in store freezers are in the Brenham, Houston and Austin areas. As it is only the plant in Alabama currently working, the areas in Birmingham and Montgomery will be getting ice cream soon as well.

“Over the past several months we have been working to make our facilities even better, and to ensure that everything we produce is safe, wholesome and of the highest quality for you to enjoy,” said Ricky Dickson, vice president of sales and marketing for Blue Bell. “This is an exciting time for us as we are back to doing what we love…making ice cream!”

The Voluntary Recall

Blue Bell broke the hearts of many of its customers when it closed factory doors and recalled all Blue Bell ice cream in April after ten different listeria illnesses, including three deaths, were linked to the Blue Bell production facilities. In the months since the closure, the plants have been thoroughly inspected and even stripped of machinery as the company fought to clean all aspects of its production and be clear with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and state health officials.

Producing Ice Cream Again

Only one Blue Bell facility is currently in production. The factory in Sylacauga, Alabama began producing ice cream toward the end of July. Now as the end of August approaches, the ice cream produced in that facility has been on trucks traveling across the southern United States, which has caused a great deal of excitement as they have been spotted on highways.

Since only one factory is in production, restocking the freezer shelves will take a bit of time while Blue Bell works to bring the rest of the production facilities, including the flagship factory in Brenham, back into the business of making ice cream. The first wave in the five-phase plan will be in Houston, Brenham, Austin and parts of Alabama. The next phase will include the Dallas Area and Southern Oklahoma, followed by the San Antonio area and central Oklahoma. The final phase will be the remainder of Texas and Louisiana as well as the rest of the states where Blue Bell was previously found in stores.


Blue Bell Complaints:

Reviews about McDonalds on PissedConsumer

A McDonalds in France was in a rather awkward position after a sign posted in the store made it onto social media. The sign, which was hung in a McDonalds in Hyeres near Marseille appeared to chastise workers for giving their employee meals to homeless individuals.

The sign explained:

“After an incident on July 25th, it is absolutely forbidden to provide food to vagrants, as a reminder, the team’s meals should be eaten on the premises. Meals for team members are a personal benefit and are to be enjoyed only by the worker in question.”

The notice went on to say: “McDonald’s is not in the business of feeding all the hungry people in the land,” and concluded: “Any diversion from the procedure cited above will result in sanction that could lead to dismissal.”

The employees of the store thought this particular sentiment was a bit of out of line and took a picture of the sign to showcase it on social media. Not surprisingly, the sign began to spread across the internet and soon the corporate offices of McDonalds noticed and made a statement of its own.

Fortunately, it would seem that only the management or owners of the franchise in France feel like firing employees for giving their employee meals to the less fortunate. The corporate offices of McDonald’s has publicly apologized for the entire incident.

The Full Story on Feeding the Homeless

In the public apology, McDonalds explained that there was a serious incident involving homeless individuals at the store that started the whole mess. The sign, which McDonalds acknowledged was “clearly clumsy” was aimed at keeping the restaurant safe for customers.

The sign was apparently removed quickly and the public apology by McDonalds was almost immediate, but the damage was done. Sign or no sign, it would seem that at least one McDonald’s restaurant isn’t entirely in line with the brand’s policy of being “dedicated to serving all its clients without discrimination.”

The big public apology did not, however, include any more specifics about what employees can do with their employee meals. The spokeswoman also neglected to explain or elaborate on any more than the official canned statement.

Complaints about McDonalds

Of course, McDonalds isn’t new to the game of public apologies and customer complaints. More than 1,100 customers have logged complaints on PissedConsumer about the food, service and experience at McDonalds. The complaints range from cold food to full theft. Obviously the problems with McDonalds are not confined to southern France. It would seem not everyone is “loving it” at their local McDonalds.


McDonalds Reviews:

Reviews about Target on PissedConsumer

Target is in the news once again, but once again the retailer is on the cutting edge of society’s wishes. Just weeks ago, Target was in the news for being so progressive when it came to the store’s breastfeeding policy. Now Target is in the news for removing the gender labels from toys, baby items and home items after a social media outcry.

Target Called Out for Labeling Genders

Earlier this summer, a Target shopper expressed her displeasure with Target’s current labeling system on her Twitter account. Abi Bechtel tweeted “Don’t do this, @Target” along with a picture of a toy aisle labeled “Building Sets; Girls’ Building Sets”.

The post went viral and became something of a sounding board for society’s latest battle – overzealous gender identification. Why can’t we just have building sets? Why do they have to be marked differently according to gender?

Apparently Target agrees.

Target announced this week that they will begin using gender neutral signage in many areas of their store.

Gender-Free Shopping

Aisles that carry toys, bedding, books and home items have been labeled according to gender, either outright, or by using colorful wallpaper behind the shelves carrying the items. Pink walls marked the dolls and “girl” toys, and blue marked the “boy” ones.

But no more!

Target announced that over the next few months, the retailer will replace gender-specific signs with labels that no longer segregate children by gender, but instead speak to them (and their parents) as a group. All gender advertising in toys, home and entertainment will be removed in response to the requests by customers (and critics.)

Target claims, “We heard you, and we agree. Right now, our teams are working across the store to identify areas where we can phase out gender-based signage to help strike a better balance.”

While gender warriors await these changes with great anticipation, Target reassures parents that some things won’t be modernized quite so quickly. Apparently clothing will retain labels for boys and girls to ensure that shoppers can distinguish between sizing and fit as clothing items do, in fact, vary by gender.

Target knows what it’s doing – replacing a few signs and bits of wallpaper to placate some will only spin into positive marketing to its most important (and financially stable) demographic: parents.


Target Reviews:

Reviews about Netflix on PissedConsumer

Netflix has gotten a great deal of positive attention lately for its progressive policy on maternity leave. Earlier this week, Netflix announced that they would be implementing a new policy that employees would be able to take unlimited maternity leave. While the media celebrated, an ugly truth shifted to light – not all of Netflix employees would be able to take advantage of the policy. Apparently there are two classes of people working at Netflix, and it pays to be in the upper class.

DVD and Streaming

Netflix got started with mailing DVDs to customers looking to watch movies easily. Overtime, the streaming business picked up dramatically and today Netflix apparently runs the DVD division separately from the streaming business. They have different reporting systems, different management and apparently different human resources policies.

It is the Netflix streaming division that benefits from the new maternity leave policy. The Netflix DVD division is lucky to make $15 per hour – without many additional benefits.

Despite bringing in $765 in revenue every year, the DVD division of Netflix is treated much like second class citizens. The division employs primarily hourly employees who no longer are able to take advantage of stock benefits and who have the option to contribute to a 401k…with a $25,000 annual income.

The streaming division, on the other hand, employees engineers making over $300,000 per year due to high demand. The real perks and benefits are being reserved for these employees. And employees in other divisions are feeling the slight.

Customer Complaints about Netflix

Netflix isn’t just battling some internal murmurs and complaints. Netflix customers are becoming increasingly frustrated as well, but for different reasons.

The two chief complaints about Netflix are the annoying self-promotion that the company has started during what used to be uninterrupted streaming as well as the availability of certain programs. If the irritated customers are correct, there are fewer “good” shows on Netflix now than there used to be, and when you do sit down to watch a show, you can expect to be interrupted by commercials for Netflix’s own shows almost constantly.

Some customers are so irritated by these new interruptions that they are planning to stop using the streaming service all together. Others are furious and are working their way toward canceling their Netflix subscription and returning to cable or using a competitor.

It looks as through Netflix still has some issues it needs to work out if it wants to keep those streaming customers happy.


Netflix Reviews:

Reviews on PissedConsumer about media services

In the second annual 24/7 Wall St. analysis, Comcast has topped the list for sheer number of customer complaints. In the results published last week, 24/7 Wall St. compiled results on 150 companies. Of these 150, those with the worst record of customer service topped the list in the “Hall of Shame”. While Comcast came out on top, it was in close company with DirectTV, Bank of America, AT&T and Dish Network. The top ten list was entirely comprised of media companies and banks.

Comcast Makes a Poor Showing

A full 28 percent of reviews said that Comcast’s customer service was “poor.” Another 26 percent rated the service as only “fair.” While this survey doesn’t give examples, Comcast received marks as having the worst customer service, not just in its own industry, but in every industry. Fortunately here at Pissed Consumer, we have many, many examples of exactly why Comcast may have such a terrible reputation.

There are a total of 2,306 complaints about Comcast on Pissed Consumer with a total of more than half a million dollars lost to consumers. What’s especially telling is customers complaining about Comcast don’t even fault the customer service representatives for the poor service.

As one reviewer from Georgia explains, “I feel sorry for their customer service reps…Obviously no one of the supervisors and above give a ***.”

When customers go beyond angry to pitying the reps who can do nothing to help them, it’s easy to see where Comcast won’t be coming off the Hall of Shame list any time soon.

The Complaints against Comcast

Comcast seems to have a few elements that customers repeatedly complain about online.

Price Increases
Comcast customers think they are signed up for a particular service and expect the same bill and the same service every month. Unfortunately many customers experience seemingly random price increases over the months. Their bills change, and when they call customer service they can’t seem to get a straight answer from anyone about why they are paying more and more every month for seemingly worse service.

Service Drops Unexpectedly
Other reviews claim that Comcast is constantly dropping or cutting out service for “unexpected maintenance.” When customers call to sort of what’s happened to their cable or internet, they are told that being shut down is really to their own benefit as the company is “improving” their service during the maintenance. Needless to say, customers aren’t feeling any great benefits.

Canned Customer Service Response
Every time a customer calls Comcast customer service, they are given scripted responses that do nothing to ease their frustration. In fact, as one customer said, “All the ‘canned responses’ makes me ill.”

Judging by the results in the 24/7 Wall St. survey, there are a lot of ill Comcast customers and former customers out there.


Comcast Reviews:

Reviews in Supermarkets and Malls category

Among the hot topics discussed by moms, breastfeeding in public ranks near the top of the list. Pictures circulate of celebrity mothers breastfeeding. News reports circulate revealing which companies have harassed mothers trying to breastfeed in public – even discreetly. But the retail giant Target has come to the rescue with its publicly leaked breastfeeding policy.

Public Breastfeeding Woes

Mothers are divided on the appropriateness of breastfeeding in public, and the public is even more divided. Some feel a mother should feed her baby at any time, even it if means exposing her breasts in public because that is essentially what the breasts were designed to do. Others suggest perhaps a cover or blanket to allow the mother to feed without exposing herself. Still others argue that babies shouldn’t have to eat with a blanket on their head and that stores should provide a place for mothers to breastfeed or leave them alone.

Target has been training its employees to do both.

Clean Breastfeeding Locations

Many breastfeeding mothers have stories and complaints about breastfeeding in public. They are asked to leave a store or encouraged to go and feed their babies in a public bathroom. Target, a favorite of mothers, has recognized what these mothers need and put the appropriate steps into the store training manual.

The Target breastfeeding training policy states:

Guests may openly breastfeed in our stores or ask where they can go to breastfeed their child. When this happens, remember these points:

  • Target’s policy supports breastfeeding in any area of our stores, including our fitting rooms, even if others are waiting
  • If you see a guest breastfeeding in our stores, do not approach her
  • If she approaches and asks you for a location to breastfeed, offer the fitting room (do not offer the restroom as an option)

If you have any questions, partner with your leader.

It appears Target has settled on a policy that should please all breastfeeding mothers. Those who want to feed in the shoe section of the store can do so with the support of the store. And those who would like a bit of privacy will be directed to the fitting rooms, a clean location far from public toilets.

Target Gets Breastfeeding Right

While there are still some who would rather not ever see a baby eating away from its home, public breastfeeding will be an area forever debated much like children in restaurants and babies in movie theaters.

But after the policy leak this week, Target has become an even bigger darling among mothers for getting breastfeeding right. Now if only they could sort out a few other policy issues customers are concerned about.


Target and Walmart Reviews:

It’s not news that Amazon is a fan of delivery drones. Nor is it news that Amazon has built a business around prompt delivery. Now Amazon is taking the next step and trying to get the world on board with 30-minute delivery via drone in a protected air space.

Protected Air Space

In a rather startling presentation, Amazon announced Tuesday its desire to establish a high-speed protected airspace for drone flight. The move came at the Nasa UTM Convention at Nasa Ames in California, and it wasn’t a vague mention – Amazon has a fully developed proposal for the world to consider.

Amazon’s aeronautics experts proposed that the air between 200 and 400 feet be segregated off for the most cutting edge drone. These drones would come equipped with communications and sensory equipment. Flying at 60 knots or more, these high-speed drones would be below commercial airline flight, but well above the majority of buildings and citizens. In fact, the space between 400 and 500 feet would be an official no-fly zone to provide a level of air protection between drone flight and airliners.

Changing the World of Delivery

Amazon has already made some impressive changes in the world of delivery. The company has coordinated with the United States Postal Service to offer Sunday delivery – a day the post office has never delivered on before.

Now the online retailer wants the world to prepare for a “paradigm shift” that will come with the increased number of drones as delivery vehicles. In the company’s position paper, Amazon feels that the 85,000 commercial flights moving through the sky every day will be “dwarfed” by the hundreds of thousands of small, unmanned drones moving through the sky.

Amazon has made many noises about drone delivery before. In fact, the company has a drone delivery testing facility in a secret Canadian location right now. The new paper presented this week shows just how serious Amazon is becoming about drone delivery – and how much more prodding the Federal Aviation Administration will need before this new vision becomes a reality.

In the meantime, while the aeronautic experts and drone proponents at Amazon are working on changing the future, the rest of the company can continue working to ensure that the famous sure-fire delivery comes through as being as exceptional as promised. Because, despite world-changing views of the future, Amazon has a few kinks in its current delivery model if our consumer reviews are to be believed.


Amazon Reviews:

Reviews about work experience on Pissedconsumer

Negative news isn’t exactly something new for Abercrombie and Fitch. The company has a string of complaints in the past year including the standard fare about rude customer service employees, but more impressively, the founder of Abercrombie has angered the plus-size community by refusing to make clothing for plus-sized women.

The company also made fun of Taylor Swift, a darling held dear by many in its customer base. Finally, the pesky “look” policy has caused trouble with discrimination in the past and it’s that same policy that has landed the company in its current bout of hot water.

Trouble with the Supreme Court

Abercrombie does everything in style, so when it went up against the Supreme Court, it lost rather spectacularly. A qualified applicant, Samantha Elauf, applied and interviewed for a spot in the Abercrombie Kid’s store in Oklahoma. She did well in the interview, but didn’t get the job because she didn’t meet the company’s “look” policy, meaning the hijab she was wearing wasn’t the right “look” for the company.

Not surprisingly the Supreme Court sided with the applicant against Abercrombie saying that she did have a case against the preppy company, and the case is still pending back in the lower courts.

Following the ruling, Abercrombie made a few changes to its controversial “look” and hiring practices. According to a spokesman for the fashion brand, “We have made significant enhancements to our store associate policies, including the replacement of the ‘look policy’ with a new dress code that allows associates to be more individualistic; changed our hiring practices to not consider attractiveness; and changed store associates’ titles from ‘Model’ to ‘Brand Representative’ to align with their new customer focus.”

More Trouble with Looks

Unfortunately for Abercrombie, the changes to the policies didn’t come fast enough. Last week a federal judge certified a class-action lawsuit of current and former Abercrombie employees against the store. The complaint? It was two-fold. One, the employees were required to purchase clothing from the store but were not reimbursed. Second, the employees lost shifts and subsequent pay when they were sent home for not following the look policy to the letter.

There were many ways employees can run afoul of the “look” policy including having their fingernails too long, having the wrong make-up look, having the wrong color hair or not wearing the latest Abercrombie brands. To that end, employees were required to buy new clothing with the release of each new sales guide. The attorney in the class action suit called this requirement akin to a required uniform, and the company did not reimburse the employees, which is a violation of the state labor codes.

While the old and new lawsuits will likely be giving the top Abercrombie officials headaches for some time to come, the store can easily resolve many of its other complaints. Customers here on PissedConsumer aren’t very impressed with the friendliness of the “models” or “brand representatives.” In fact, there are dozens of complaints about rudeness and customer service issues. Perhaps Abercrombie can start there to clean up its act.


Abercrombie and Fitch Reviews:

Jul , 2015
Reviews on PissedConsumer about car recall

Cars are often one of our largest expenses. When you’re spending thousands – or tens of thousands – of dollars you want to know that you and your passengers are safe. Unfortunately we are living in a time of auto recalls, which makes it hard to trust car manufacturers when it comes to the quality of their vehicles and parts. That is, unless the staggering number of car recalls is less about serious defects and more about brand image.

30 Million Recalled Vehicles

In 2013, 30.8 million vehicles were recalled. This is the single highest number of recalled vehicles in the industry’s history, but recalls certainly haven’t stopped since then. Vehicles are recalled for one reason or another almost every day.

Companies recall their automobiles when they acknowledge that their product has a safety related feature. The problem is then resolved on the company’s dime so that customers can be assured that they are driving a safe vehicle from a company that cares about its customers’ safety.

In 2009 Ford recalled 14 million vehicles. By 2010, Toyota had recalled 10 million Toyotas and Lexus vehicles. By 2014 more than 50 million vehicles had been affected by recalls, making it unusual to own a vehicle that was not recalled.

But is it about true safety concerns or the company’s image?

The Power Behind Recalls

In some cases vehicle recalls are primarily about safety. The ten million cars recalled by Toyota in 2010, for example, also led to a $1.5 billion fine to the Department of Justice. In other cases, the massive number of recalls are considered by many industry experts to be more about showing customers how safe companies are trying to be.

Are there defective parts? It would seem so. But when a car is recalled after more than a decade on the road, it does make drivers wonder why the company chose to recall the issue now – not 8 or 10 years ago if the problem has existed for that long. In fact, many believe recalls will continue in high numbers simply because so many parts are being shared between manufacturers. One bad part leads to recalls by many.

The Results of Auto Recalls

When millions of vehicles are recalled, the companies who sold and distributed these vehicles are in for a significant undertaking. Customers must make appointments to bring in their affected cars. In some cases loaners might be issued. The replacement parts must be ordered and stocked in bulk and then repairs made as quickly as possible to make room for the next customer. And the next. And the next.

As you might imagine not all of these repairs go as smoothly as the company or the customers might like. It’s a challenge to keep the replacement parts in stock. Customers get frustrated trying to make appointments for part replacement. In some cases, customers and dealers disagree about how severe issue might be.

One customer insisted on a loaner vehicle while he waited for a part, but the dealership wasn’t in agreement as they said the vehicle was still safe to drive while they waited. That incident left the customer rather upset.

In other cases, customers had other companies resolve issues and then wait for reimbursement from the company, only to be denied for what appear to be evasive reasons.

Ultimately the best choice for car owners is to register their vehicles to stay on top of any recalls, have any recall work done in a timely manner to ensure safety and to keep their vehicles – from wipers to wheels – in excellent condition.


Car Recalls on Pissed Consumer:

Ah, the adorable little yellow minions. They are cute, funny and apparently serious pottymouths. In a recent cross promotion with the Minions movie, McDonalds included talking minion toys in their Happy Meals for children. Unfortunately one of the minions appears to be saying a bit more than parents bargained for.

Parents React to Profanity

The little caveman minion says something that sounds like rather extreme profanity. When the toy is activated he repeats a few phrases. One of those phrases sounds something like “what the f–k.” Of course, with the extremely cheap “voice” recording that is included in a free Happy Meal toy, the recording is a bit garbled, but parents are absolutely convinced that the minions are teaching their children to swear.

One parent complained on our site about the toy, claiming that her young daughter screamed “what the f—!” in church one day and actually caused the entire family to be removed from the service. The family blames McDonalds for allowing toys to teach her daughter profanity.

This is by far not the only complaint. There are videos all over YouTube showing others what the little minions are capable of. There are articles, reviews, complaints and stories all over social media. In fact, Detroit Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer said she “died a little inside” after hearing the phrase repeated by her preschool-age son.

Overly dramatic reactions aside, there is a real question here – what exactly is the minion saying?

Minionese versus Profanity

With the onslaught of complaints, McDonalds issued a statement about the toy. Apparently all of the minions in the children’s Happy Meals are speaking “Minionese”. This is an imaginary language that all of the Minions speak in the Despicable Me movies and the new Minions movie. While there are a few words that may be recognizable in the language, most are just garbled sounds and expressions.

A few examples offered by McDonalds include “para la bukay”, “hahahaha” and “eh eh”. Of course none of those sound much like the F word, but we can only imagine what the original phrase was supposed to be.

Meanwhile, the bigger news at McDonalds isn’t the drama surrounding a children’s toy – it’s the market share that the fast food company is losing to other, more innovative restaurants. Of course, with the new potentially swearing toys, there may very well be a run on Happy Meals by amused patrons anxious to own their own despicable minion toy.

Source Article:

McDonald’s Reviews:

Reviews about Starbucks

Starbucks is very much a household name, and soon it may be contributing the household incomes of more than 10,000 teenagers. Starbucks, along with other retailers like Macy’s and Microsoft are announcing their new jobs program this week designed to offer training and jobs to 100,000 individuals between the ages of 16 and 19.

Putting Teens to Work

While the overall unemployment rate is dropping in the United States, the unemployment rate for teens has been holding steady at around 18 percent. This is a huge number of teens who are actively seeking employment but simply can’t find any.

Macy’s, CVS, ChaseMorgan, Microsoft and Starbucks are planning to step into that void and help 100,000 teens gain valuable skills through specialized training and then employment.

“It’s not just about writing a check,” says Starbucks founder and CEO Howard Schultz. “Rather, our approach is focused on creating a coalition of like minds with local knowledge, expertise on-the-ground and the ability to scale the social impact of an initiative like this to create pathways of opportunity for the literally millions of young people who can benefit from this program.”

Starbucks has only a portion of the much larger 100,000 Opportunities Initiative. The company plans to hire, train and put to work 10,000 teenagers by 2018. The other companies in the partnership will be using their own goals and strategies, but the group plan to share tactics and some training as they work together.

100,000 Opportunities Initiative

The program will begin officially in Chicago in August. The combined companies plan to recruit and hire roughly 200 employees at the Chicago Opportunity Fair & Forum. After this initial move, the program will continue to spread across the United States, with plans to change lives as it spreads. We can hope that the program will spur other companies to look at these teens as potentially valuable employees and boost hiring across all sectors.

We can also hope that the training at Starbucks will be solid. After all, a company can’t be that bad if the vast majority of complaints about the company here on this site are things like an employee making a “frapuccino too liquidy and put caramel at the bottom. not on the sides.”

Of course when customers spend money they want the item they have paid for and they would like their name spelled correctly as well. Surely Starbucks will include basic name spelling courses as well to please the masses with hard-to-spell names who enjoy complaining about mistakes.


Starbucks Reviews:

Reviews about sandwich on Pissed Consumer

According to the Huffington Post, Subway is in big trouble. First Jared, one of the most recognizable faces in fast food, was involved in child pornography searches at his home. Subway dropped its spokesman of fifteen years immediately. Now Subway is back in the news, but this time the problem isn’t with the spokesman – it’s an issue with the stores.

Staying Competitive

When Subway was first introduced to the fast food marketplace in 1965, the fast food marketplace was in its infancy. Subway provided an alternative to hamburgers by offering fresh vegetables, deli meats and the opportunity to build your own sandwich.

Fast forward fifty years and things aren’t looking quite so new and innovative anymore.

The concepts started in our grandparents’ day are still identical in modern stores. Pick a size, pick a bread, choose your toppings and enjoy! Sometimes simplicity works well for companies, but in this case the lack of innovation is actually hurting Subway. Consider its competition.

Chipotle is one of the fastest growing food stores in the United States and it offers a similar style of service. Walk the line, pick up the items you want, put them into a bowl or burrito and enjoy. So why is Chipotle soaring which Subway is falling behind?

While the analysts at Huffington Post have their answers, the actual Subway consumers have shared their own version of events here on PissedConsumer. Sadly the stories are almost identical.

Subway’s Fall from Grace

Subway has long billed itself as being a healthy alternative to fast food. But overtime the health factors have digressed a bit. Subway was one of the last fast food companies to remove artificial ingredients from its menu – but not until Taco Bell and McDonalds did. Subway has also lost some customers over how the food is prepared and shown in the store.

In Chipotle, the meat is cooked in front of you on large grills before being used in meals. In Subway, the meat is pre-chopped and sorted into little packages. In one case, the little meat packages were stacked too high and allowed to warm up to room temperature. After eating the meat, a customer got food poisoning and brought in the Board of Health to investigate.

The pre-packaged portions of meat are also making many customers feel like they aren’t getting what they have paid for – especially when they pay for double-meat. A few slices of thinly sliced deli meat over a foot of bread isn’t much to work with when you’re paying for a custom sandwich.

While Subway has tried to innovate a bit in the last few years – by adding guacamole, primarily – the sandwich chain is perpetually in misstep with customers. And if almost 600 complaints here on this website are accurate, Huffington Post is right to say that Subway is in Big Trouble.


Subway Reviews:

Jewelry reviews on Pissedconsumer

Michael Kors is on the way out, or at least that’s what some analysts are saying after a disappointing earnings report. The designer of high-end handbags and watches was the darling of fashion just one year ago, but now the interest in the designer goods is starting to wane.

The brand has become diluted.

Like many other aspirational brands, Michael Kors tried to reach too many customers too quickly and essentially ate up its own profits by selling goods at multiple price levels through outlets and other discount malls. Other luxury brands like Coach, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and even Jordache have experienced similar falls from grace.

Losing Market Share

Retail is always a bit of a rough ride for most brands. Customer preferences change like the wind, and staying on top of the industry’s wishes and desires can be a challenge. It’s hard to blame Michael Kors for trying to market its product so aggressively, but ultimately their short-term selling strategy affected their long-term profits.

An aspirational brand like Michael Kors is only impressive because not everyone has a Michael Kors. The bags and accessories were originally sold in finer department stores and in brand stores. Then the company expanded into three different price points: the original high-end department store brand, a middle-market brand and a brand sold through heavily discounted outlet stores.

And that is the problem.

Falling Out of Grace

Why would a budget-savvy customer pay $300 for a bag when she can head a few miles down the road and buy what amounts to the same bag for half the price, or even less? With those inexpensive bags so readily available, how would the fashion-minded show off an expensive luxury purchase that no longer seems quite so luxury?

To add to their problems, this site has been getting numerous complaints about the quality of the merchandise and the quality of the Michael Kors staff. Expensive handbags are falling apart and customer service doesn’t care. $340 watches are fading and tarnishing and the sales representative literally turns her back on the customer and walks away. One reviewer even had security called on her after asking about the price of a bag and being insulted by the sales clerk.

This is a company that might survive if it creates and sells quality products that customers will still want after the trendy popularity they are experiencing has faded. But things aren’t looking very good right now.

In essence, too many people can afford the Michael Kors brand now, the flaws in the merchandise are starting to show, and soon nobody will want it.

Well, perhaps not nobody. After all, Jordache and Tommy Hilfiger are still sold in department stores. Their merchandise is still being sold to someone, and Michael Kors will likely follow the same pattern of shuttering stores, losing profits before stabilizing and eventually finding a new place in the market many, many rungs down the luxury ladder.

Michael Kors Reviews:


Whole Foods is in the news, and it’s not for good reasons this time around. It turns out that after much denial, Whole Foods has acknowledged that perhaps it might have been overcharging customers in New York – but not by much!

In a public apology over YouTube, the two joint CEOs of Whole Foods told the world that the rumors (that they had previously denied vehemently) were, in fact, true. John Mackey and Walter Robb admitted that there were “certain pricing issues in [their] New York stores.”

Very, Very Small Whoops!

As it turns out, those pricing issues we’re really their fault. The video apology admits that “a very, very small percentage of mis-weighing” occurred for things like sandwiches and fresh fruit. But we can all breathe a sigh of relief because the price gouging is in the past, claims the CEOs.

Apparently mistakes are just bound to occur when you’re dealing with a “hands-in approach to bringing you fresh food.” Granted there are plenty of industries and stores – including other grocery store chains – where produce and items are weighed constantly without issue or complaint. Apparently the whole of the New York division of Whole Foods just couldn’t manage to get their food scales properly calibrated (unlike the rest of the grocers in the city.)

Honest Policies Moving Forward

Whole Foods claims to be making changes to avoid issues like this in the future. Cashiers will be better trained to weigh food correctly and a third party auditor will oversee the training. Additionally customers have been encouraged to ask cashiers to “check on” the prices of any weighed food that doesn’t seem exactly right.

It’s a shame that customers have thought to do that previously! If only they had asked about the cashier’s thumb on the scale before now we could have avoided the whole mess!

As it is, Whole Foods has made what appears to be an earnest apology, although it does have something of a discordant ring to it. Cashiers will learn to put food on a scale properly! Customers will need to ask if they think there was a mistake! Take ownership of your food, people!

Whole Foods is sorry. (But not too sorry).

Whole Foods Reviews:


In 1861 the United States was at war with itself. The South had succeeded and become the Confederate States of America where the government was more limited and slavery was legal. Today, the flag that flew on the battle field for the Confederate Army is very much a hot topic. Is the Confederate Battle Flag, or “Stars and Bars” a symbol of a Southern Heritage of a symbol of hate?

Many, including the retailer Walmart, feel the Confederate flag is a symbol of oppression, and the corporation has made the very public decision to remove all Confederate merchandise from its stores.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are many Southerners who feel the Confederate flag is just that – a flag. To these individuals, the flag isn’t a call for racism or oppression, it’s a symbol of the South. One man went to Walmart feeling just this way and asked for a custom cake. The cake was to be decorated with the Confederate Flag and feature the text “Heritage Not Hate”.

Walmart denied the order.

While we might praise Walmart for being conscientious and sticking to their guns about what they do and don’t allow, the same bakery made a rather stunning mistake immediately after denying one cake. The same bakery that held issue with making a cake decorated with a battle flag from 1861 had no problem at all decorating a cake with a battle flag from 2015.

Which battle flag? The symbol of ISIS in the Middle East. The same ISIS the United States is currently fighting as battles rage on and casualties mount. The same Walmart bakery who denied a Confederate flag cake made one depicting the flag of our country’s current enemy for the same customer.


After the customer brought his beautifully decorate war cake home, he immediately took some pictures and videos and started an online campaign asking, “Walmart, can you please explain why you are alienating southern Americans with this trash that you allow to be sold in your store, while at the same point Confederate flag memorabilia is not allowed?”

After the store took hold and started going viral – including reviews on this website – Walmart issued an apology. According to Walmart, the associate who made the cake didn’t recognize the flag. Apparently, according to a Walmart spokesman, the ““talented bakery associates take pride in what they create for our customers. It’s unfortunate that one customer sought to take advantage of an associate who did not know the flag or its meaning. This cake should not have been made, and we apologize for the mistake.”

Despite the public apology, it’s very likely the ISIS cake story will continue to make waves in the social media networks for some time.

Walmart Reviews


Accusations of Racism Persist for Retailer Zara

Accusations of racism are sadly nothing new for the fashion retailer Zara. First the clothing items the retailer made and sold were “culturally insensitive”. Now the brand is just plain racist.

The Center for Popular Democracy recently conducted a survey and found that Zara not only shows racial bias toward customers, but toward its own employees as well. More than 250 Zara employees were given the survey during their scheduled breaks at stores across New York City. The results of the survey revealed that not all things are equal between the whites, blacks and Hispanic employees.

It should be noted that Zara claims they were not contacted in regards to the survey. Apparently the surveys were given to store employees in the stores on a regularly scheduled work break -all without the company realizing it was happening.

Racism in Zara

“Findings reveal that both race and skin color play a role in the treatment of employees and customers.” The report summarizes the results of the survey rather succinctly but goes on to explain, “Lighter-skinned workers of color and white employees tend to have higher status assignments, more work hours, and a stronger likelihood of being promoted.”

It’s not just employees who are allegedly targeted in a negative way in Zara. Apparently store personnel are also trained to target “suspicious-looking” customers. A special code is used for these “suspicious” individuals and apparently most “special order” customers are black.

One darker-skinned employee showed up in a hoodie to grab his paycheck and other employees labeled him as “suspicious.” In fact, he was labeled “special order” and even detained in the store as he walked through on his way to the back office where he was to pick-up his check.

Denials from Zara

Understandably Zara has fought back against the label of racism, pointing out that roughly half of their recently promoted employees were minorities and that half of the scheduled store hours are allocated to minorities as well.

In fact, Zara went as far as to release an official statement “vehemently refuting” the survey, which they claim was done with “ulterior motives and not because of any actual discrimination or mistreatment.” They go on to say that Zara is an equal opportunity employer with “multiple avenues” for employees to raise concerns or dissatisfaction. Apparently Zara is a “global multicultural company serving valued customers across 88 countries, and do not tolerate discrimination of any form.”

The Real Customer Experiences

While Zara may be right about the lack of racism in their company, we have seen plenty of negative reviews from real customers on PissedConsumer about the quality of the merchandise as well as the customer service they have experienced in the store. Neither has been impressive according to the reviews left on this site. In fact, one PissedConsumer reviewer went so far as to claim, “I think Zara is pretty much known for poor customer service. Not only are the store employees typically rude and dismissive, but the corporate customer service is just as bad.”


Zara Reviews:


Nintendo has been a household name for generations. Just a few years ago, the latest Nintendo platform, the Wii U looked ready to dominate the market – fans were enthusiastic, the ideas were novel, and the rest of the market was jealous.

Not anymore.

In just a short six years, the Wii U has not just run out of gas, but crashed and burned. The Wii U, which looked so promising initially, has stagnated and sold a total of only 9.5 million units world-wide. This gives the Wii U the sad distinction of being the worst-selling Nintendo system of all time.

It begs the question: What in the world happened?

The Death of the Wii

There appear to be many causes of death for this particular platform. Some feel that the jump from the Wii to the Wii U wasn’t very innovative after all. Why pay more for the same system, revamped?

Others claim there simply aren’t enough Wii U games to keep the players interested and active. This may be very true as most game developers aren’t interested in creating for the Wii. They would rather create something new and novel for the Sony or Microsoft systems instead.

But one of the individuals closely involved in the original creation of the Wii U claims it’s not a simple answer as to what went wrong, but rather a fundamental flaw-in-the-universe sort of issue. Shigeru Miyamoto, the designer responsible for the Mario, Donkey Kong and Legend of Zelda franchises is more than a bit convinced that customers simply never understood the Wii U.

We just didn’t get it.

What the Wii U Was All About

When the Wii U was designed and released it was wasn’t created to be a game machine and tablet, according to Miyamoto. Instead, it’s really “a game system that game you tablet-like functionality for controlling that system and give you two screens that would allow different people in the living room to play in different ways.”

Unfortunately, that explanation doesn’t particularly clear the matter up – especially as we use similar technology that “speaks” between tablets, phones and the television almost daily in many households.

It’s just this emerging tablet and phone technology that put the digs in the Wii U. Miyamoto explained that “unfortunately, because tablets, at the time, were adding more and more functionality and becoming more and more prominent, this system and this approach didn’t mesh well with the period in which we released it.”

So, in short, iPads killed the Wii U.

But Nintendo does have a chance to rise again from the ashes of a failed game system. The Nintendo NX is going to “catch the attention of a large number of players and get them excited again.”

Unfortunately we’ll have to wait more than a year to see just what Nintendo is planning next.

Nintendo Reviews: