Moi, vigilante


Business Week has printed a Special Report on Consumer Vigilantes.

In the annals of customer service, 2007 will go down as the year fed-up consumers finally dropped the hammer….

Meet today’s consumer vigilantes. Even if they’re not all wielding hammers, many are arming themselves with video cameras, computer keyboards, and mobile devices to launch their own personal forms of insurrection. Frustrated by the usual fix-it options—obediently waiting on hold with Bangalore, gamely chatting online with a scripted robot—more consumers are rebelling against company-prescribed service channels.

mad.jpgOnce again, I’m glad to find myself ahead of the trend. The web gives the consumer a voice. When companies cheat the public, I enjoy shouting out into the blogosphere, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” Having received satisfaction from misbehaving airlines, banks, computer mail order firms, my DSL provider, a former ISP, and others, I now enjoy uncovering their foibles. When a company cheats me, I relish taking them to task for it.

A Letter of Complaint Sent to Air India has generated three dozen comments from irate customers. No one who reads this stuff will ever fly with them. Enter “air india complaint” on Google and I pop up at #15.

Sixteen people have commented on – a cautionary tail, everyone of them outraged by the company’s outrageous demands.

British Air doesn’t apologize for waylaying suitcases. Perhaps that’s because it happens so often.

Unclued discusses failings of Virgin Atlantic, Radisson Heathrow, and First Internet Bank. All three were well aware of my dissatisfaction. I haven’t heard back from any of the three.