Thursday, February 26, 2009

Shameful conduct of shameful American companies

Jay Leno said on the 12th, forget Merrill Lynch lets "lynch Merrill" in reference to reports that 4 company executives paid themselves $121 million in bonuses just as the company was writing down billions due to CDS related losses and at the same time being acquired (with US Government's help) by BofA due to liquidity problems. Liquidity problems were bad enough and the company was so concerned about projecting the right image to its clients that it canceled branch office Christmas parties (Seattle office party was scheduled for December 5), yet it paid executives $121 million? Forget lynching, how about taking a stand for truth, honesty and justice and firing your Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor? There still are decent, honest firms and Financial Advisors out there, including the honest folks of Merrill Lynch who left the company when the extent of corruption became evident.

And who would think Dell would join the ranks of shameful companies? I bought a Dell XPS-13" computer in January. Within a week of arrival the computer did not work right, so I called customer service. After about 3 hours of being shuttled between customer service centers in the Philippines and India staffed by the most inept, though earnest and polite people, who asked me the same questions, made me turn off and on the machine, I demanded to speak to someone in the USA since I'd bought an American computer in America from an American firm. Finally I got to speak to Tim in Florida who said the only way I could demand to speak to and receive service from a US based support group was by signing up for "YTT Premium Support" for $149 per year. Despite the fact that my computer was less that a week old Tim would not help until I signed up for the service so I did - and one of the reasons was that I want to do my bit to help keep some jobs in America. The promise of the service was: a dedicated phone number and a guarantee that the phones would be answered in 2 minutes. That promise hasn't been kept. Today - the 14th - I was on hold for 45 minutes this morning, and when my computer could not connect to the Internet I was told that I was in trouble since Dell needed to do an online diagnostic and until that was done there would be no on site service, so if my computer is dead therefore not connectible what do I do? May I get a refund for the non existing premium support and better still return my computer to get Dell the hell out of life?

So how many Americans like me have been cheated by Merrill Lynch and Dell? And what are we doing about it?

Practice vigilante justice and buy Apple and invest with an Independent Advisor.

No comments: