“We at MAD were shocked and confused by this entire incident — mainly because we had no idea that Circuit City even sells magazines. Nonetheless, we accept their apology but hold out hope that their gesture of a $20 gift card is only an opening offer.”
After a thin-skinned Circuit City exec ordered stores carrying Mad Magazine to search and destroy all copies of a recent issue featuring a 4-page parody of “Sucker City,” someone with a brain stopped the madness. Here’s the surprisingly classy message we just got from corporate:
Circuit City headquarters has ordered their stores to “destroy all copies” of the latest issue of Mad Magazine, according to an anonymous tipster. The retailer apparently isn’t amused by the 4-page spoof of “Sucker City.” Inside, Mad’s 1-page preview and headquarters’ response.
Remember Nick? UPS smashed up his insured computer and then refused to provide any compensation, even after mysteriously shipping it to a stranger. UPS’ public relations folks reached out to us after we posted his story and recently sent us an update: “…after a search of all UPS’s facilities we were not able to recover his computer.” Bummer, but all is not lost.
When personal finance magazine Kiplinger asked the Geek Squad about our video that caught one of their technicians stealing porn from our harddrive (peeping tomism, hardly limited to Geek Squad, is just as rampant in the computer repair industry as the photo developing industry), an unidentified Geek Squad spokeswoman ingenuously responded, “We have been the target of a blog that prefers to focus on the exceptions to our service and not the overall, vast majority of successful services we provide to clients.” That’s like saying dirt is unfairly targeted by a broom. Where there’s a valid complaint, we’ll post. Where there’s a consumer whose rights aren’t respected, we will defend. We don’t have a vendetta against the Geek Squad, or any other company. We have a vendetta against bad customer service. That’s our bottom line. After the jump, the original undercover video…
THE QUOTE: “Members of the clinical team involved in these cases have been deeply affected, and as a hospital we take this very seriously and regret that it happened,” [Dr. Raymond Casciari, St. Joseph's chief medical officer] said.
THE QUOTE: “The owner of the go-cart track says… this was an extremely unfortunate accident that he feels horrible about…He also said the company takes safety of its customers very seriously.”
An astroturfing group started by chemical supergiant Monsanto is trying to stop the spread of milk that’s free of bovine synthetic growth hormone. They say they’re trying to defend farmer’s rights but they can’t fool us, we know they really just want to make the future safe for large breasts. [NYT]
THE QUOTE: “While some viewers may be displeased with this tactic, we have found that a number of our subscribers appreciate learning about the premiere of a series in such a manner. Nevertheless, please note that we take your comments very seriously and have forwarded your concerns to the appropriate people. Thank you for writing to us.”
Tiny Details is a work-at-home company that pays hobbyists to make little dollhousey things. You buy the materials from Tiny Details for $55, make the assigned object(s), and Tiny Details buys them back. Unfortunately, many customers have complained about problems getting payments or refunds from the company over the years—here’s their less-than-stellar BBB entry. Yesterday Kristopher Buchan, the owner of Tiny Details, emailed one former customer/client to tell him his complaints amounted to libel. Buchan demanded the customer remove them from teh interweb, and threatened him repeatedly with a lawsuit. And now we’re posting about it on The Consumerist! See how that works, Tiny Details?
Comcast admitted to paying its employees to sit in at a F.C.C. hearing on net neutrality at the Harvard Law School today, depriving angry protesters from their right to sit in those folding chairs. Despite the venue being filled to over capacity, keeping some people from entering, not everyone inside seemed appreciative of their privilege. One Comcast employee admitted on tape, “I’m just getting paid to hold someone’s seat, I don’t even know what’s going on.” According to SaveTheInternet.com, the Comcast employees, “arrived en masse some 90 minutes before the hearing began and occupied almost every available seat, upon which many promptly fell asleep.” The stacked audience’s behavior was limited to wearing a yellow highlighter, sleeping during the proceedings, and loudly applauding when Comcast VP David Cohen got on the mic.
The Monster Cables Public Relations department sent in a two-page response to our post, “Monster Cables, Monster Ripoff. Without a shadow of a doubt, this is one issue that they are definitely taking seriously. Read their official company rebuttal statement, inside…
Dell has promised to stop shipping individual CDs in 10x19x10 boxes after Christian over at Technologist for Hire posted a rant about Dell’s growing love for wasteful packaging.
THE QUOTE: “The situation is of utmost concern for WestJet and we are taking this matter very seriously. We have apologized to the parents of the child and are doing all that we can to ensure that this does not happen in the future.”
When storms force your cruise to skip ports of call, don’t sit idly in your cabin watching the whitecaps break menacingly against the ship. Go find your fellow passengers and stage a mutiny! At least that is what passengers onboard the Sapphire Princess did when two typhoons kept the ship from planned port calls in Vietnam, Japan, and Taiwan.
At one point, with passengers assembled in the ship’s theater, she said, “the attorney jumped up and grabbed the microphone away from the assistant cruise director and said: ‘We’re taking over the stage! We have a petition!’”
Van Miguel Hartless is suing the owner of a Rutland Burger King after biting into a Southwestern Whopper that contained a used condom. When Hartless complained to the manager, he “laughed off the incident.”
Again and again, apologetic public statements by company spokespeople feature the phrase, “taking it seriously,” or a variant thereof. Are all these companies really taking things as seriously as they say? Or is “taking it seriously” seen as an all-purpose incantation from the PR grimoire that magically erases away wrongdoing? A sort of “disaster ketchup?” Since we always like to see the good in humanity, we’ll refrain from passing judgment, and instead offer up eight recent iterations of the phrase so you can decide for yourselves.
New York state law requires that requires that the energy company ConEd accept the lowest bids possible for its manhole covers, which probably explains why they’re made by nearly naked men in India paid only a handful of dollars a day. When ConEd officials were shown images of the shirtless workers toiling with molten metal, they said (emphasis added):
We were disturbed by the photos…We take worker safety very seriously.
This is as good a time as any to introduce you folks to the phrase, “taking it seriously.” You will note, as we have, that in statements by company spokesmen made to newspapers regarding their employer’s wrongdoing, the phrase, “taking it seriously” appears again and again, so often, in fact, that we have trouble taking seriously that all these companies are really taking their ne’er-do-welling as seriously as they would have us think. To this end, The Consumerist has begun documenting the utterances of the phrase with eye towards a roundup post some day cataloging sightings of this well-polished piece of public relation glibbery. Keep an eye out.