Round 44: US Air vs Microsoft

This is Round 44 in our Worst Company in America contest, US Air vs Microsoft!Here’s what readers said in previous rounds about why they hate these two companies…

US Air:

“They are the worst of the worst among one of the worst industries in America.”

“US Airways is just sad. I have a friend who had been with America West since its inception, who is deeply unhappy at how bad things are now. He can’t understand how, in the merger, US Airways’ business model and policies prevailed over those of AW. Supposedly AW was doing well financially at the time, and customers were pretty happy with the airline.”

“Airlines seem to have been waging a war of attrition on the whole idea of customer service for the last 20 or 30 years. When it gets to the point that it’s less painful to take two days to drive across the country with all of horrors of inflated gas prices, fast food, nothing on the radio but Rush Limbaugh and country music, and the state of Nebraska, you know something is terribly, terribly wrong.”

“I would rather have a colonoscopy than deal with US Airlines!
Oh wait its about the same only worse! Maybe a colonoscopy and a root canal at the same time…..???!!!”

“I can’t use my miles.”

“Thanks for turning my 7 day vacation into 2 and lying about it every step of the way. I hate you. And I hope your drunk of a president crashes his car with his kids in it.”

“US Airways is still the worst airline in world history (and I flew Aeroflot in the Soviet era!)”

“US Airways has the worst customer service of any airline, and thus the worst customer service in the world. I was told by a ticketing agent, “We have the power to accommodate you, and we have accommodated others in the same situation as you are, but it’s too hard in this situation, so we won’t do it.””

“My recent experience of horrible customer service by a USAirways rep at the airport counter – and that I got no response to the complaint email I sent – wins out here. You can tell some of the USAirways employees hate their jobs – but please don’t take it out on the traveler. And management needs to be more responsive.”

“The only time my luggage was ever lost, it was flying US Scareways. I was flying to Maryland for my aunt’s funeral last March. I was in a terrible state of mind to begin with (my aunt died in a car accident), and after nearly missing my connecting flight in DFW because we were running late, got into BWI three hours late to discover my baggage was missing. The staff was unbelievably rude. They told me I would just have to wait until they delivered it (their exact words). I left my sister’s address in Laurel and they said it’d be there in the morning. Next day, nada, not even a phone call. Meanwhile the funeral was the next day and I had nothing, not even a toothbrush.

I ended up borrowing a dress from my sister. To add insult to injury, they had the nerve to finally deliver my luggage the morning I was supposed to fly back to Phoenix (apparently they couldn’t find my sister’s house in Laurel). That was the last time I flew US Scareways.”

“My now-husband’s aunt flew me out to the East Coast for his college graduation using her massive stash of frequent flyer miles. My flights ended and began at a small airport in Connecticut (Hartford-Bradley, I believe), which was about an hour away from the college and two away from his house. The way in, we had no problems. There was a massive storm on the way out, though, so I was stuck at the airport for over three hours.

When I got to Philadelphia to connect, I was sent to about five different ticket counters to find my flight which I thought I had missed. After two hours of counter-tag, I found out that not only had I missed my flight, but it didn’t even exist anymore.

At first, they tried to pin it on me, telling me that they sent me an email regarding the change and that I’d need to rebook. There was no email in my box or his aunt’s. Even so, why did the ticketing ladies put a tag with that flight number on my luggage at Bradley? Why didn’t they tell me I’d be stranded in PA?

They wouldn’t give me a free room, only an $80 voucher. I had no money to my name, so my guy drove another three hours down to PA, then drove another hour and change to the closest hotel with vacancies. When I got back to the airport the next day, I tried to use my free food voucher at the food court. Nobody accepted it.

I will never fly US Airways again. “

“My fun with US Airways: I was scheduled to fly from Rochester NY to Burlington VT for my parents’ 25th anniversary, with a stopover in Philly for a few hours. It was intended to be a surprise, and my brother was going to pick me up from the airport and bring me to the party.

So the plane in Philly gets delayed because of snow. There is another one scheduled to leave later, but obviously, not everyone can get on it, so I talk to a person at the desk about being put on standby for the next plane, because the issue is time sensitive. I am informed that I am the only person on the standby list! Yay!

Later, from a different person, I was told that by being put on the standby list, I had queued myself to be last priority, after the people who were scheduled by -didn’t- request to be put on standby. I was now absolutely last on the list. When I asked them why I wasn’t informed of this when requesting to be on the next flight, I was told that I should’ve had an understanding of how the standby list works. I thought I did. I was wrong it seems. The next flight was leaving entirely too late for me to have any chance of making it to my parents’ anniversary party.

So I tried to call my brother in VT, and couldn’t get ahold of him. I next called my parents’ house and explained what happened, and she called US Airways right then and put them through on a three way call and reamed them out. Eventually, they conceded that they had pulled a dick move on me, and suggested I fly to Manchester NH, and have someone from VT drive there and pick me up.

So I ended up sleeping in the Philly airport, flying to NH, and my brother drove up from VT to pick me up, then drove all the way back down again.

So much wasted time. Thanks, US Airways. “

“USAir is probably the poster child for the sorry state of affairs in American-run airlines. They’re essentially a rush-hour subway car that flies.”

Microsoft:

“MS’s proprietary formats and poor OS are why I voted.”

“since everytime I play a videogame in the back of my head is a “please don’t die”, I vote Microsoft.”

“M!cros0ft’s complete detachment from reality…”

“have you SEEN Vista? The only reason I can tolerate it at all is because of Lifehacker.”

“I voted for MS because they didn’t integrate the HD players into the 360, like how Sony had BR built into the PS3. “

“Microsoft is the evil empire of software. I hate them with a passion. Forcing Vista on consumers is unforgivable. Then, instead of extending XP until Vista is fixed, they tuck tail and run to Windows 7–which will likely have a couple of year’s worth of glitches after it is released.

And umm…I guess that means Vista isn’t going to get any better because all R&D will be reserved for Windows 7. Gee thanks Microsoft for making people buy a product even its own company doesn’t stand behind.

I am sick of the Microsoft merry-go-round of operating systems and I am not playing anymore. We didn’t need a whole new rickety operating system for pretty Aero icons. Sell that crap as a add-on package and leave the rest of us the hell alone. When the time comes when I can no longer use XP, I am buying a MAC. I never had an interest in MACs until Vista. But Microsoft can only anal probe a consumer for so long. Enough is enough.

Microsoft is king of the pointless upgrades in order to turn a buck. But forcing a substandard product on people for a buck…well, they have now gone too far.

Microsoft can kiss my ass.”

“Microsoft and not only their forced obsolescence of operating systems but trying to force you to buy new peripherals on top of it.

MS trying to force people into using Vista is really the last straw. If they succeed on pushing XP out of use I will go back to using Mac. “

“the xobx 360 is the worst console ever. Some of the best games, but worst console. I’m including the sega 32x in this also!”

“Aside from hawking their latest steaming pile of crap known as Vista, I have another reason for hating Microsoft: buying up all my favorite game developers and ruining my favorite game IPs. I was pissed off when they bought FASA Corporation (ruining the Shadowrun IP in video game format and eventually killing off MechWarrior). I was very pissed off when they bought out Bungie (thus killing the Myth series, one of my favorite RTS IPs ever, now that Bungie no longer owns the IP).

Now they want to buy Yahoo, buy a stake in Facebook… I even found an article amusingly declaring that “Microsoft Buys Evil From Satan”. Whenever Microsoft sees money in a niche they haven’t dominated yet, their knee-jerk reaction is to simply buy the company that currently holds the leader spot. It may make good business sense, in truth, but that’s what makes Microsoft the company we love to hate. “

“Dirty little secret: the overwhelming majority of the spam generated, sent and received on the Internet today comes from compromised Windows systems. Anyone who knows how to enable passive OS fingerprinting on their mail servers has been aware of this for years.”

“My Xbox 360 console won’t see/share files with my two Windows XP (SP2) machines. No way in hell I’m paying money for Windows Media Center. Knock on wood, I haven’t yet experienced the RRoD on my Costco-purchased Xbox 360. $500 in upgrade parts to make my primary gaming box (which I thought was smoking-fast for my needs already) Vista compatible. Meh!”

“Tra la la, I love my Macintosh and its nifty OS.”

“Microsoft – created an operating system that is inferior to their own, “outdated” operating system.
They released a console that they have publicly stated will not support the blu-ray standard, only the outmoded HD-DVD standard. In addition, this console has major design flaws such as RROD. To make this worse, the unit costs in the 300-400 dollar range, is hard to get repaired and can even be DoA.”

“Has Microsoft ever released a product that wasn’t still in the beta stage of development? They’ve used the general public as a cash-cow for 25 years while constantly releasing products unready for use. They’ve become a fabulously wealthy monopoly doing this and have absolutely no motive to change (either sales-wise or legally). If they had invented (er stolen) HD-DVD, it would have won and then wouldn’t have worked right for 5 years. And they would have made a gazillion dollars off it.”

“dont forget that when microsoft first launched the 360, that every one of their systems could not pass the hardware test enabled to prevent defective 360s from leaving the plant…
What did MS do, they decided to not do the tests that gave off failure warnings… which was all of them, and instead pop a game inside the system and if it booted, box the thing and ship it to stores…
now thats what i call quality!”

“I had a computer built recently and the tech was smart enough to get me XP so I don’t have to deal with Vista which I hear is horrible.”

“Microsoft. For prolonging the HD DVD wars by supporting Toshiba.”

“Broken XBoxes; prolonging/supporting the HD disc war so they could get more time to let their digital download service mature; releasing Vista prematurely; multiple/confusing and overpriced Vista SKUs; removing XP from the market because people weren’t buying Vista; Zune not supporting Microsoft’s own Plays for Sure standard; DRM and Activation schemes that treat paying customers like criminals. I could go on, but I think thats enough to make my case.”

This is a post in our Worst Company In America 2008 series. The companies nominated for this honor were chosen by you, the readers. Keep track of all the goings on at consumerist.com/tag/worst-company-in-america

STILL OPEN FOR VOTING: Time Warner Cable vs American Airlines, Time Warner Cable vs American Airlines, Home Depot vs Wellpoint, Wal-Mart vs Citibank, Capital One vs ATT, Sallie Mae vs eBay/Paypal, TransUnion vs Diebold, Best Buy vs CompUSA, DeBeers vs Verizon, Exxon vs United Airlines, Sony vs Ticketmaster, Comcast vs The American Arbitration Association