June 22, 2007

What An Ugly Way to Use Email

What An Ugly Way to Use Email From our friend Andy Sernovitz comes this tale of horror about how Vonage is using viral email.  Talk about creating NEGATIVE word of mouth.  Yikes!  This qualifies Vonage for my customer service Hall of Shame with Verizon, United Airlines, WebEx, and FedEx/Kinko’s. Thanks to my colleague Margaret Farmakis for the inspired headline.


May 1, 2007

The Very Unfriendly Skies of United

The Very Unfriendly Skies of United The 6 a.m. flight from LaGuardia to Denver is unpleasant to begin with, but the idiots who set customer-facing policies at United seem to have found a new way of making it even less pleasant. I’ve long-hated United’s “Economy Plus” seating, which gives the first 5-10 rows of coach a huge amount of leg room at the expense of all the other rows in coach.  American, by contrast, has more leg room in all rows of coach, so I can actually work in any seat on an American plane, laptop and all.  On United, […]


March 26, 2007

Book Short: Crazy Eights

Book Short:  Crazy Eights In honor of Return Path being in the midst of its eighth year, I recently read a pair of books with 8 in the title (ok, I would have read them anyway, but that made for a convenient criterion when selecting out of my very large “to read” pile). Ram Charan’s latest, Know-How:  The 8 Skills That Separate People People Who Perform From Those Who Don’t, was pretty good and classic Charan.  Quick, easy to skim and still get the main points.  The book lost a little credibility with me when Charan lionized Verizon (perhaps he […]


January 7, 2007

They’ve Destroyed Both Companies

They’ve Destroyed Both Companies Just when you thought Verizon was in fact the worst company in the world to do business with (see my post here if for some reason you’re not on that page), along comes FedEx/Kinkos. I used to be a huge fan of both companies.  I was even a fan of the merger and felt like it particularly made sense in light of UPS purchasing Mailboxes Etc.  And I don’t know if our experiences are representative, but Mariquita and I have had nothing but bad experiences with both FedEx and Kinkos for the past couple of years. […]


January 4, 2007

Book (Not So) Short: Raise Your Hand If You’re Sure

Book (Not So) Short:  Raise Your Hand If You’re Sure I couldn’t get the catchy jingle from the 80’s commercial for Sure deodorant (you remember, the one with the Statue of Liberty at the end of it – thanks, YouTube) out of my head while I was reading the relatively new book, Confidence: How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End.  Written by HBS professor Rosabeth Moss Kantor, Confidence is one of the few business books I’ve read that’s both long and worth reading in full. The book has scores of examples of both winning and losing streaks, from […]


October 4, 2006

It’s a Little Weird When Your Best Customer Experience of the Week is with the Government

It’s a Little Weird When Your Best Customer Experience of the Week is with the Government Mariquita has been doing a lot of personal admin lately for us.  This week had a little surprise in it. Verizon continues to be one of the most awful, painful vendors in the history of the universe. At least their phone network is solid, since any interaction with the people at the company is so bad.  We came to the conclusion this week that they actually do some things which aren’t just the usual bad customer service or outrageous pricing — they have some […]


May 16, 2006

Sticking it to United, Just a Little Bit

Sticking it to United, Just a Little Bit I am sitting in the Red Carpet Club waiting for yet another delayed United flight, and there’s a small thing bringing me a little extra joy. I recently started using Verizon’s Broadband Wireless service, which is expensive at $60/month, but awesome since it basically works anywhere and eliminates the need for hotel, Starbucks, and other Wi Fi hot spot fees (and for a great tutorial on how to use the service to power two computers at once, read Brad’s post here). I’ve long been annoyed at United — and American as well […]


April 5, 2006

At What Price False Positives?

At What Price False Positives? As has been covered in many places, including Direct and The Wall Street Journal, Verizon settled a lawsuit yesterday over “too aggressive” spam filtering, or what we in the business call false positives — filtering out legitimate, non-spam emails as spam.  This is a huge problem that part of our business at Return Path, our Delivery Assurance Solutions group, has been fighting for years. The gist of the settlement is that Verizon is changing the way it filters spam to make sure more legitimate mail gets through, and that it is refunding various small amounts […]