Brands to avoid and Brands to use

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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.

Adidas – Uses Chinas slave labor

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.

Blue Apron – Overpriced, dangerous, and tasteless food. I can’t think of anyone who would benefit from this food delivery service.

Bose Electronics – Overpriced, short warranty, and doesn’t work well. I bought headphones for $80 that worked far better.

Calvin Klein – uses Chinas slave labor

Carters – Using China slave labor

Cell phones – Problems with Sprint Kyocera, Sony-Erricson, and 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/Toshiba/Lenovo – Lots of problems with these brands. Much more reliable is Apple.

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

CVS – Disabled credit card reader because it wanted to promote a 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.

Evato Marketplace – Junk products and terrible refund policy.

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.

Fila – Using China slave labor

Forbes – Mr. Forbes loves and supports Trump. Not supporting ignorance.

GAP – Using forced China slave labor

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GE – I bought a power extension cord with six outlets, and less than 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, potentially wasted on advertising focus.

Goya – Supports Trump and tastes terrible. Also poor quality.

Grubhub/Seamless – Terrible customer support. Terrible restaurant choices. You will waste your money if you use this service.

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.

H&M – Uses China slave labor

Herbalife – This is a company that loses money for almost everyone who gets involved in it. When a company knows it is losing money for the majority of its customers and gets fined by the FTC it’s time to shut it down.

Hobby Lobby – This company is wrong about everything. They supported Trump and hate LGBTQ.

Home Depot – Supported Trump. How stupid to support someone who insulted many of its own employees.

Hooters – Who would believe that they discriminate against women who don’t fit their idealized view of women? In 2010 a lawsuit alleged discrimination due to weight.

HSBA – I took out a loan from them for a business I worked for. Turns out that they don’t do their job to limit criminals using their financial institutions. Avoid.

Hulu – Running ads in shows is bad enough, but running ads when the show is paused? You expect us to be paid to be advertised to? I canceled my account when this was public.

Huawei – Forced labor in China.

Hyundai – Child labor in Alabama factory.

Kellogs – Founder believed in racial purity/company uses racist imagery. Avoid.

Kia – Cars that catch on fire.

Kitchen-Aid – Uses forced labor in China.

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.

Johnson & Johnson – Knowingly sold baby powder with asbestos. 

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.

Lexus – Piece of junk. Terrible service. Avoid at all costs.

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?

LogMeIn – $250 a year for community support, no security training on the support desk and not listening to customers? No, thank you.

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

Microsoft – Supported forced labor from China

Music/Apps purchasing – I avoid the iTunes/Apps store because of their terrible practice of handling Apple IDs 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. Now I use Tidal 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 it’s silly. How hard is it to make a reliable water bottle?

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

Netgear – All of the networking equipment I have bought has had issues and failures.

New Balance – They supported Trump. You don’t help people who are ignorant.

Nike – Uses Chinas slave labor

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 counterfeit.

Quaker – Racist Aunt Jemima. After removing AJ they still value profits over equality.

Paddle – This is a marketplace for Mac apps that are sold on the Apple App store. Avoid fiplab, auslogics, macpaw, flixel, Rogue ameba, nolobe, mseven, realmac, planyway, bjango.

Paypal – So many reasons to avoid them. Terrible customer service, Peter Thiel supporting Trump.

Pepsi – Donated money to Trump and owns Quaker.

Phillips – Heavy Republican donor and corruptly wasted millions of taxpayers’ dollars with ventilators during the Trump period.

Pluggable – Tried a computer docking station that was very expensive and didn’t work for either product although it was listed that it supported it. Returned.

Polo Ralph Lauren – Using China slave labor

Puma – Uses China’s slave labor

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.

Ramada by Wyndham – Dirty, poor customer service, ignored valid membership.

Remington  – Bought a shaver that was dead on arrival. Amazon forced me to go to Khols to return it to get credit. Never again.

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.

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

Sharp – Forced Labor in China

Sketchers – Using Chinas slave labor

Sony – Supported forced labor in China.

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.

Tesla – Elon Musk’s support and defense of Trump and his immigration and other unconstitutional policies is curious. To quote They Might be Giants “You don’t shake the devil’s hand and say you’re only kidding.”

TD Bank – Supported Trump. No one should support unethical banks. No person is worth supporting who hates others.

Thememattic – Buggy products and nonexistent customer service.

The North Face – Uses China slave labor

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

Tommy Hilfiger – Slave labor from China.

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.

Unilever – They take advantage of ignorant poor women in Brazil and other developing nations.

Verizon – Really? Do 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. 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 was 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. Avoid all of these cars.

Victorias Secret – Uses Chinas slave labor

Walmart – Anti-union, treats workers badly, cheap products, donated to Trump.

Web.com/Network Solutions – Non-existent customer service. I tried them and it was painful. Avoid.

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 a competitor.

WindStream – This phone/Internet provider in NYC is terrible. Avoid.

Wilson – Wilson bakeware bends when you try to bake with it. This happened with every bakeware I ever bought from them. Avoid.

WordPress hosting – Problems with Fatcow, Bluehost, Godaddy, 1and1, and iPage. Excellent service and reliability with inMotion hosting(great value). My Favorite is Rocket.net.

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

Yuengling – They supported Trump. I don’t support ignorance.

Zara – Using China slave labor

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.