Introducing Above And Beyond

Corporations don’t work for us. They work for their shareholders, and even if you own a share, you can still get screwed.

To you, corporations are not about shareholders. They are about individuals. They are the person making sure you get the best price; the one reaching for an item on the top shelf; the voice on the phone trying one extra thing to resolve your complaint.

Occasionally, corporations do something right. Not all the time. Not most of the time. Occasionally. When they do, we want to give credit where credit is due.

Starting today, The Consumerist will acknowledge these rare and extraordinary acts in posts we’re calling “Above and Beyond.”

Has a CSR unshackled the bonds of corporate rules to make your day easier? Did a manager manage to bring a smile to your face? We want to know. Send your stories to tips at consumerist dot com. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

[Photo: plumbum]

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  1. homerjay says:

    I hope my DirecTV story I emailed you weeks ago makes it in there! :)

  2. Deryn says:

    Hooray! Story after story of relentless corporate obdurateness can wear a consumer down. Somewhere, somehow, some cog in a corporate wheel must remember what it’s like to be a human. I’m looking forward to these stories.

  3. loreshdw says:

    I know first-hand stories are prefered, but my Mom is not much of an internet user and she had a great story. (She called me as soon as she got home, she was so happy.) On Saturday my parents went to the local Bennigan’s for dinner on their anniversary. (no, they aren’t cheap, they just love certain menu items.) The manager was doing his stroll, asking each table if everything was good. They said yes, they are here for their anniversary. Predictably, a free dessert appears. The manager chats a little longer, I don’t know what they talked about. He asks if they would like coffee or drinks with the dessert, Dad orders coffee. The bill had already been brought to the table, so the manager takes it with to the bar. Drinks and the bill are brought back, but they aren’t in a hurry and don’t put out their credit card yet. When Dad picks it up, the manager has comped the meal. The free dinner is a suprise, but the manager’s attention is not.

    I have never had problems at this location, so I don’t think it is a “comp any problem” sort of place. The manager keeps a personal touch at anytime of day, lunch or dinner. Someone is always checking on the customers. If more managers were aware of the little problems ahead of time and didn’t just appear for complaints, every restaurant (even cheesy chains) could have great service.

  4. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Fair is fair. Besides kicking the bad guys when they’re not doing it right, I think it’s only fair to keep track of the other side of the coin. If somebody already has excellent customer service or if there’s a really good CSR out there who’s gone above and beyond, that should make the news too.

  5. jwissick says:

    Let’s see how many flies ya catch with honey…..

  6. Scazza says:

    I got one for you. Its not really “above and beyond” though.

    On Friday I went to pick up my little sister from school and decided to bring my dog Cujo (big 85lb bordercollie/german shepard crossbreed). So she just started school up here in the new area we moved to and shes pretty “depressed” about the whole thing. So I decided to treat her to McDs.

    We get to the drive through and order and pull up to pay at window #1. The girl looks over and says “would you like some dog treats for your big guy there too?”

    I’m thinking shes kidding and she reinforces shes serious. So she grabs a little packet of dog treats and I am just floored. Its not that big of a deal, but it was pretty damn cool, and nice of them.

  7. BeachBumBill says:

    This cool story takes place at a Safeway store in Torrance, CA.

    I had dropped by my local Safeway for a very late night bottle of ice cream topping. While searching for the topping, I noticed that the ice cream case (one of the low ones) had a very dusty and dirty counter top and all of the toppings were coated with the dust/grime.

    Refusing to buy such dreck, I went home and wrote a letter to the Chairman of Safeway. Imagine my surprise a few days later when the store manager called to thank me for the letter. Apparently the Corp office was instructed to completely renovate the freezer section of my Safeway and the store manager said that their pleas for new equipent had gone nowhere until I sent my letter.

    A day or two later, I dropped by the store and identified myself to the store manager who thanked me profusely gave me several hundred dollars in store scrip. Label me a happy guy.

  8. beaners123 says:

    I don’t know if this is one of those “National Chain Consumer Power” stories, but my boyfriend will always remember the day when he went to get flowers from our local Flowerama. It had snowed quite heavily the day before, and when he walked in at 10 AM and picked out his flowers, the owner said to him, “You’re my first customer today.” Then my boyfriend pulled out his “frequent buyer card,” and the owner said, “Your flowers are going to be free,” and proceeded to stamp the entire card. Then he said, “Free!” again while my boyfriend stood there in shock. Needless to say, he’s a lifetime customer. He’s in Iraq and he *still* makes the call over there, even though using the internet to order flowers is easier.

    My other story has to do with flowers as well, and I posted it in response to the FTD story. I received a gift of flowers awhile back from 1-800-flowers, and when I opened it, I found that the little bear with the plush heart had a broken clasp on the heart. So I called the 1-800-flowers people and they said, “No problem, we’ll send another bear.” And I kid you not, by the next day, they sent an entirely new bouquet AND another bear. I was awed. That was around 4-5 years ago, and I still remember it. They earned my lifetime admiration for that.

    I guess the final moral of my story is that I like flowers. And that flower companies can be simply awesome.

  9. acambras says:

    I like this idea.

  10. factotum says:

    Now you can post that Price Pfister story I sent you.

  11. SkipJenkins says:

    Quick note, I’ve spent a week or so trying to get a port-forwarding/IP loopback issue solved with AT&T U-Verse and today got through to a supervisor named Beverly who not only setup an appointment with with their for-pay “outside of scope” tech support but because it was a feature I specifically asked about prior to signup and was assured was available, she had the charges waived. With the waves of anti-AT&T sentiment we see lately, I just wanted to share my positive experience.

    Skip