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Updated 12/8/2010 - Other Opinion and Rating Organizations

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ABC Loan - See Pacific Funding

Accolade - (Paris Texas Hardware) - 1) Poor quality "Made in China" Curtain holdbacks that don't include instructions on installation drill size. 9/9/07. Typical Chinese junk distributed by Linen's and Things, USA.

Adobe - GoLive Product (Mac) - Must jump through multiple hoops in unsuccessful attempts to keep product from "unexpectedly quitting" on Macs. No correction known at this time Product was not adequately tested. 8/24/01.
"Made in China"

Advanced Internet Technologies, Inc (AIT)- Here's a great example of a company to stay clear of and to never ever allow automatic credit card withdrawals. Poor service, such as 1)numerous downtimes and lost account info extending site downtime for weeks. 2) blaming other components of the web for down times that are really their own fault. 3) slow connections for site visitors. 4) Customer service would leave the customer chasing his tail after their problems. 4) Often Technical Support and Customer Service would not get back to you after being too busy to take calls after one finally gets phone number to call. 5) False billings requiring numerous corrections to statements. 6) Company tries to collect on bogus 6 month contracts that customers and resellers are not aware of until they try to jump the hoops to cancel account and find the exorbitant unwarranted charges on their credit card statements after closing as though it were some kind of retaliation for leaving. 7) holds domains hostage until false bills are paid for . 8) falsifies evidence to credit card companies to justify unwarranted charges . get'em's worst company for 2002. (10/27/02)

Aetna - Says you get a "free" copy of "Navigating your Health Benefits for Dummies" by visiting Then it starts you on a "Click here for free copy..." Then you are required to fill put in a Priority Code, not explained in the letter, which after looking around I found was 66721. 1) Then, it required me to fill out a questionaire, voiding the "free" aspect of the advertisement. 2) As part of the form, the priority code was already filled in and could not be altered, assuming it got it from the prior input. However, the field said it must be filled in and was missing the last digit, and again, it could not be altered, leaving me wondering if this partial number, which I could not alter, would void the free gift. We will wait and see. Do I ever trust Aetna after the fake free ad? Posted 5/11/09.
black paw
black paw

AKAI (Plasma Televisions) - Here's a company that represents all that is going wrong in the corporate world and the fact that Japan is not doing things any better than the USA. 1) Site is incompetent at best with no support option at the root level of 2) calling support, once discovered, gets you an automated voice message that says someone will be right with you. That was a lie. 3) Instead, after 1/2 hour hold time, a message came on asking me to leave a message. This is a fine example of very poor customer service.

SMALL BUSINESSMAN RECOMMENDATION FOR AKAI: 1) Have a support link on the home page. 2) Have downloadable manuals available online from the main support page for all products. 3) get better website and support management.


Allstate (Homeowner's Insurance) (Are you in good hands???) - Insurance is confusing and too many folks are ignorant enough to shop price only. 1) We made a claim for a fence that blew down where after the deductible, Allstate paid out $250. We'd been with them over ten years and that was the first claim. That year, we bought a rental property in Hawaii, and Allstate wouldn't insure it. We were told it was because we had made a claim in the last 3 years. 8/28/06 2) Because we liked our Agent, we stayed with Allstate anyway and insured our Hawaii property with someone else. 2) This year, we bought a new home and having been with Allstate 18 years, asked to have it insured. They refused on the basis that it had a shingle roof in a non-fire hazard area that they defined by city and therefore a fire hazard area. Farmer's Insurance quickly picked up our policy for the new home. Here's yet another company that represents all that is going wrong in the corporate world and shows itself to be perfectly capable of shooting itself in the foot. However, insurance is one industry where "you're in good hands" marketing to confused buyers will pay off. Allstate's stock doesn't seem to reflect its underwriting discriminations. 3) Neighbor's house burned down at 2 a.m. Sunday night with their losing almost all their possessions and barely getting out with their lives. Allstate's response, someone will call you on Monday morning. 8/3/08

(Life Insurance) Of course I have a sense of humor about life insurance because it doesn't insure that you will live. Instead, it ought to be called survivor benefit insurance or post death disbursement plan or something like that. One things for sure; as the economy worsens, some companies will try every "legal" trick in the book to get out of payments. One only has to look at the exclusions for starters. 1) For example, I had my option for monthly payment form with cancelled check faxed to Allstate from the Allstate agents office to put me on a monthly payment plan. Instead, I get a letter from Allstate that says my policy would end on March 16. At first, I assumed the letter crossed the fax and was already addressed. The 16th was a Sunday, so I called on Monday the 17th to be sure my payment plan was in effect. Allstate claimed to have never seen the fax and 2) MADE NO EFFORT whatsoever to contact my agent. They assumed I would. 3) Furthermore, Allstate informed me that my life insurance policy was no longer in force!!! In other words, if I died, it was as though I had no policy (which I had been paying on for over 10 years and my beneficiary would get nothing. I HAVE DROPPED ALL MY OTHER ALLSTATE POLICIES OVER THE YEARS. Unfortuntely, it is not economically feasible to drop a life insurance policy (or I would have dropped Allstate for that too). There ought to be a way to trade a policy over to another company. 4) A message was left in the manger's inbox, which the supervisor discouraged. No call back has been received yet. 5) I went to my agents office only to find that it was closed during normal business hours, (possibly due to lack of insurance sales??)- 3/18/08 (Border's Books) - 1) Site is incapable of listing books by title in search engines in alpha order. For example: you type in "The Greens" and you get 25 or more titles that are not exactly "The Greens" prior to seeing the title. 2) They said they would fix this months ago and didn't. 3) Do not easily offer webist listing of its phone numbers. Since combining, you would think they would have fixed these issues. 4) as part of the new Amerika, Amazon requires you leave your credit card number and other personal information in order to review their movies, etc. Then, they filter the reviews. This is one screwed up company.

America Online (AOL). - 1) Junk mail 11/2/01. 2) Sales wouldn't take no for an answer. 3) When cancelled, they dropped the call. Couldn't find membership to cancel it. 4). Had to go online to cancel therefore causing AOL to claim I used the account and charged me for a month where I never used it other than to cancel. Would recommend against this aggressive company. 5). Difficult to get rid of interfering with operating system. 6) Tendency to get lots of gross junk mail.

American Airlines - 1) Overbooking Flights 2) Lost luggage 9/12/04

American Diversified Insurance Services, Inc. - 1) Junk mail 11/2/01.

American Express - 1) For the first time since this site has opened, American Express finally gets itself listed and it's a biggy. They made numerous changes in card holder agreements where when a holder pays the minimum, their balance may actually get larger!!! That's a big no-no. 2) They send these changes by sending the whole text of the agreement so you have to read all the fine print (3 pages worth) and there is no comparison to the old agreement to show you where the changes were made. That way its too confusing for most people to bother arguing about. I think American Express knows that. Don't you.

American Furniture Galleries (Sacramento, CA Area) - 1) 99 cent pricing 2) Ads show more furniture than included in the obviously displayed price. 3) Junk Mail 4) In fine print, you can discover that prices are for "cash" only. 6/20/08.

AmeriTrade - 1) 99 cent pricing 2) tied with ads that associate the company with American integrity. 5/8/06.

Michael P. Murphy
DBA The Small Businessman -
Technical Site Coordinator and Registrant





A Listings (Cont.)

barApple (Formerly Apple Computer, manufacturer of severely flawed computer systems, electronic gadgets and Software, all with inadequate support, yet some say it's the best in the (planned obsolescence) industry. 3/26/2010 -Click here for FULL APPLE STORY I will post the latest here, though. On 12/08/2012, my system froze and needed a restart. This time it was a locked mouse and keyboard. So much for stability, huh?
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Arby's (restaurants) - 1) Junk Mail 2) 99 cent pricing 4/2/08

Associated Press (AP)- 1) Practice of Exit Polling 2) Sensationalized news.

ATI (Maker of Video cards and other computer products) - 1) 900 tech support which they claim you must turn on with your phone company 2) You pay thru 900 number to cover their issues. 3) Awkward and confusing website 4) designed more to force expensive CD purchases and upgrades while hiding real problem solutions - and the cards present a lot of problems. 5) Can't find and load software drivers easily.6) Box mentions superior support but leaves out $1.25 per minute 900 number to get it. This is a "less than you bargained for" type of company.

AT&T (American Telephone and Telegraph) Also see SBC & Pacific Bell- 1) Cold Calling even after do not call listing, 2) Junk Mail, 3) Check Like content. 4) Fake Credit cards, more than once, they're not stopping this Practice for #12. 5) Repeats can't seem to take no for an answer 6) nor able to remove from lists?? 7) Priority Express, 8) Urgent Dated information 9) Open Immediately! 10) Constant spam via 2nd and 3rd parties 11) Doesn't even spell name right on the junk mail. 12) Uses foreigners outside the country to do cold calling avoiding US laws maybe? 13) 99 cent pricing on CallVantage at $29.99. They quote "quality phone service from the name you trust" hmm! 14) Unnecessary hoop jumping to get to live support 3/16/07 15) extremely slow internet services 3/16/07 16) Excessive hold times 3/16/07. 17) Again dropped a support call after going through the phone prompts to report Northern California drops and slowdowns. We have had months of poor service. 7/11/2007 18) AT&T U-Verse blocks port 25 and 465 SSL Macintosh E-Mail sending. 19) AT&T Tech support can't fix it and recommends that we use the webmail (where AT&T staff can read your mail at will for as long as you store it there???) 4/4/08 20) Email system requires pressing send multiple times before mail is actually sent out because of AT&T's poor server setup. 21) Support basically tells its customers "Good luck! We can't do a thing about it.! -AT&T has one of the worst company name reputations on Getem.Net! This has all become worse since they were bought by SBC. DSL performance has become horrendous. I often wonder since they got all the government contracts how much carnivore and promise software has affected their performance now that AT&T is a CIA/Homeland Security Proxy? 22) Sends "This is not a check checks" Posted on or before 2/13/2009, 23) Sent advertising in envelope without AT&T return address marked "OFFICIAL BUSINESS ENCLOSED" to make sure envelope was opened since folks would have thrown the advertising out. 24) Won't warn if you are about to or into extra minutes because, like banks, they make a lot of money on these extra charges and don't want you to be aware of them until after you owe them the money. 25) AT&T Wireless Sells 3G phones when they don't have a reliable 3G network setup. In my case, the towers near my Sacramento suburban home won't have 3G work started until September 2009 though I've had the phone almost a year. I was told that in order to stop all the dropped calls, I need to turn off the 3G aspects of my iPhone 3G. It took six months for them to finally admit to the problem. Meanwhile, they kept selling these 3G iPhones to unwitting subscibers. Posted 5/12/09
black pawblack pawblack pawRed PawRed Paw - 1) Entices new customers with a credit style promotional card offering a complimentary trial membership. The membership allots so many free credits to purchase books. However, unknown to me and not posted on the trial membership card (possibly in the agreement somewhere), the credits expire in 14 days. After that, they charge your credit card for the membership when you use the so-called free credits for the books rather than expire the free membership. 2) When you complain, they make it seem that the charge is out of their control because they owe for the books to some undisclosed party, which apparently isn't true prior to the fourteen days??? This is a very, very poor business practice. To date, they have not reversed the charge. I recommend staying away from such disreputable companies whenever possible and not rewarding them for bad behavior. 3/2/07

AutoVantage Gold (via Household Bank)- 1) $2.50 enticement check to buy services 2) via junk mail


*Opinions and information is for the sole use of The Small Businessman and is not intended for use by the media or for any other particular use other than by the site owner. Listed companies are in alphabetical order. This is intended to assist companies to improve their business processes and ethics only per subjective opinion of The Small Businessman, not to diminish their sales or sales prospects - simply to improve them.

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