Brands to avoid and Brands to use

The purpose of this post is to share that some brands fail in their experience of how they treat the customer, employee or earth. I have a list of companies that I will no longer do business with due to their poor business practices. I wanted to share to see if I could help others avoid the cost and frustration I faced. I will never buy any of the brands below again or recommend them to others.

In Alphabetical order.

AVG – They are selling your information but nicely tell you they are doing so. Avoid.

Belkin – Same as Netgear. Problems and poor quality control. Buy anything else but this.

Best Buy – I bought a TV and the remote never worked well. It would fail to turn on the channels or power. When I called to get a replacement, the representative wanted me to produce the receipt from the purchase. Who keeps every receipt? I am not going to spend time looking for a code on the receipt. I gave him a valid model and serial number. Why wasn’t that enough? So I will never buy anything from Best Buy or any related companies it does business with.

Cell phones – Problems with Sprint Kyocera, Sony-Erricson, Motorola phones. No problems with Nokia, and some problems with iPhone which Apple fixed.

Chocolate companies – Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland Mars, Hershey’s, Nestlé, Barry Callebaut, Saf-Cacao. You can read more in this post but they use or have used child labor. That is not acceptable. So Hershey’s is doing something about this. I can support a company that recognizes its part in the problem.

Citibank – They finance 50% of mountaintop removal companies and the dirty coal industry. They also have high fees and were a terrible bank for me and many others.

Comcast – They abuse customers that many examples routinely show. Any company that gets too big forgets why they got big and that is good customer service.

Computer companies: Compaq/Gateway/Dell/HP/MSI/Toshiba/Lenovo – Lots of problems with these brands. Much more reliable is Apple. MSI doesn’t offer rebates as promised.

Cordless phones – Terrible experience with anything from Radio Shack, Bearcat phones. Great experience with Uniden phones.

CVSDisabled credit card reader because it wanted to promote rival system available in 9 months. Fine show us the system in 9 months but keep the functionality!

Disney – For creating unrealistic expectations for children, for treatment of its workers, for killing lemmings during a film to make it more dramatic, for hiding greed behind “family values”.

Epson/Lexmark/Brother – Poor equipment. It works for a while, but not a good long-term value. HP/Canon I have had great experiences with and very good values.

Farberware – I bought a kitchen tool at the store that cost $5 and it didn’t work at all. Normally I like to buy Oxo, I just didn’t want to go to BBB. Avoid.

GE – I bought a power extension cord with six outlets, and less then 2 years later it stopped working. It was lightly used and treated very well. No more GE/GE branded items.

GM – 120 deaths due to a cover up for a part that cost 57 cents to replace. This is worse than Ford with the Pinto.

Google – No support for products, quickly discontinued products like Reader, creepy use of data for sales, lack of quality in Android products, constantly changing interfaces, potential wasted on advertising focus.

Hallmark – How silly it is to take the word gay out of christmas gear and put in “fun”. For catering to people who care too much about others private business.

Headphones – Problems with Apple earbuds, Monster iCar Play FM modulators to connect an iPhone to an FM station, Sony/Phillips headphones. Good experience with wireless Dr. Dre Beats/Bose headphones.

Ikea – Bought a bed frame for $90 that broke six months later. It was not abused. Turns out that Ikea only has a 90 day warranty. Never doing business with them again.

Lenscrafters – I bought a six dollar glass cleaning cloth and it fell apart and didn’t clean. Great experience with Pearl Vision who not only gave me a cleaning cloth for free but also adjusted my glasses.

LG – LG crossed the line when its smart tvs collected private information and sold it to advertisers and scanned and transmitted the file names of connected usb devices.

Logitech – I bought a Logitech Harmony remote for $80 and it never worked right. I followed their instructions and reprogrammed it three times but it never was reliable. I finally had to go back to using the regular tv remote and game remote. Logitech used to be reliable. What happened?

Micheal Kors – I bought a cleaning mop/bucket and it broke from MK. Also a brush that broke as well. Everything I have ever bought from this brand has broken. Avoid.

Music/Apps purchasing – I avoid the iTunes/Apps store because of their terrible practice of handling Apple ID’s and when you switch email names, it causes lots of issues. In addition when i closed my old @mac email name, I closed my account and I could not download any of the thousands of dollars that I had spent on music. A month later they allowed you to download music. Unfortunately since I had closed my account, I could not take advantage of that. I buy music/apps at Amazon which is often cheaper. Now I use Rdio and love it.

Nathan Water Bottles – I bought one and so did a friend and they both broke within a month of very light usage. They were the most expensive water bottle in the store. The store took it back and refunded the money but its silly. How hard is is to made a reliable water bottle?

NEC – Incompatibilities with Mac OS 10.8, and high failure rate in the past.

Netgear – All of their networking equipment I have bought have had issues and failures. I like Apple and Cisco instead.

Otterbox – I had a friend who bought this and it broke in the first month. She bought another one and that broke. She bought it from the Apple store so it probably wasn’t a counterfeit.

Radio Shack – I used to shop there because there wasn’t any other place to get the stuff where I used to live. I don’t shop there anymore. I will not do business with a company that forces you to give personal information when you don’t wish to.

Rent-to-own /payday loan places – I will never do business with any of these places. First, they were found to spy on their users. But even more fundamentally, if you can’t afford to get something through conventional means, it might mean that you need to change your life. I have been poor, and probably many people still might consider me poor, but I have never had to do that. I understand that things happen, but you also have to make hard choices in your life. If that means that you skip the Lexus this year to have a better financial future, then so be it.

Samsung – They were found using child labor in their factories. No cheap products are worth that price.

TellTale Games – I bought The Walking Dead game and it ran terribly and didn’t function correctly on the mac. They didn’t have a fix for it, and I couldn’t get a refund. I will never buy anything from this company again.

The Salvation Army – Their anti-LGBT position is historic. Use Goodwill instead. Here is a list of companies that you should boycott.

Quaker Oats – I don’t like their racist advertising and I wrote a letter to them and received a canned response. I don’t support any company that promotes stereotypes.

Verizon – Really? You have to spy on your customers in order to squeeze the last penny from them?

Volvo/Mercedes/Ford/Lincoln/Hyundai/Kia/Pontiac/GMC/Cadillac/VW/Audi – Bought an 850 which was just one problem after another. I couldn’t afford to keep the car running. Turned it in and bought a Camry. Excellent experience with Toyota vehicles. Mercedes also has arrogant dealers and turn people away with great credit. Avoiding luxury brands in general has been a helpful financial decision. I liked the MKZ but now it can catch on fire with a ton of other Ford cars. Didn’t learn from the Pinto lawsuit did you? Hyundai/Kia were found guilty of lying about mpg just like Ford was. VW/Audi lied when being tested for auto emissions. This results in acid rain and various other dangerous conditions. Environmental terrorist.

Whirlpool – Bought an Air Conditioner that you put in a window. It broke just out of warranty and the repair cost as much as a new unit. Are you crazy? Who would do that? I bought an LG that worked perfectly. Avoid LG see entry above.

WordPress hosting – Problems with Fatcow, Bluehost, Godaddy, 1and1, iPage. Excellent service and reliability with inMotion hosting(great value), Rackspace(great service).

XM – They had tons of issues related to quality, selection, reliability, customer service, price vs features, ultimately Rdio was a better option.

Ultimately, what brands you do business with shape the marketplace for goods and services. I want to exercise the only power that a consumer has, and that is in how I spend my money.

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