Brands We Hate But Have To Use

Whenever I’m heading to Hoboken or New York City, the transportation to get the mile or two there is limited and unreliable. I can stand at the bus stop where two options are available and wait what seems like forever. New Jersey Transit’s No. 85 bus only runs once an hour, so if I miss it, forget it. Their No. 87 buses don’t hold to their schedule of 2-3 per hour, and sometimes I wait 45 minutes only to see three 87s coming all together in a row, like buddies.

snow filled bus stop in NJ

Snow filled bus stop in New Jersey from CBS New York

In the winter, this is especially annoying. After a snowstorm last winter, I waited 90 minutes and not one bus showed. I was forced to cancel my business meeting and go home, frozen solid.

There is Light Rail service, and I do sometimes walk down an extra block and take that instead. It is more reliable. Unfortunately, on weekends it doesn’t go to Hoboken directly and one has to take it to Newport Station and switch to go backward. In the time I could do this, I always feel I might as well wait for the bus.

So, the other day, with the wind whipping me in the face, and waiting on the snow-covered bus stop, I was thinking about how much I hate NJ Transit and what other options I have. In the nice weather, of course, I walk or ride my bicycle to Hoboken or around the area, but in winter when it’s frigid and snowy, you’d think NJ Transit would improve service, rather than continue to be the worst system I’ve ever seen.

If this brand would pay attention to the social media discussions about their failed system – buses filled past capacity and rejecting passengers is a common complaint – and actually put us first, we might think of them in a more favorable light.

From NJ Transit’s website, here’s a link showing their >> customer satisfaction survey results.
“We want our customers to know that their feedback really does matter and drives NJ TRANSIT’s ongoing efforts to improve their overall experience on our system,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim. “Customer participation in these regular surveys is vital to helping us know where we need to improve. In fact, some significant changes have already been made as a result.”

So, thinking about other brands we hate but have no choice but to use…

brands we hate but have to useWhen I first moved to Jersey City Heights more than 10 years ago, my only option for TV was DirecTV. The phone and Internet provider was Verizon, but they had never connected our side of Central Avenue for TV, only the opposite side. How ridiculous. After a few years, Verizon must have received a ton of complaints and also realized these weren’t single residences but multiple-unit apartment dwellings. So, they finally connected our side of Central Avenue and most of us switched. Then, of course, after that initial special deal of two years ran out, the price skyrocketed. Now we have a few different brands trying to win us away for that connection.

I’ve previously written about why I hate my Dell and love my Mac. Since writing that post, my Dell has had to be repaired for the third  time. Hundreds spent on a piece of junk, whereas my Apple computers have worked perfectly since the first day I turned them on, never needing any repairs. Of course, it’s soon time for a new Mac, only because I’ll want to update my software, etc.

Check out this article from Nichole Kelly on Social Media Explorer: The Most Loved and Hated Brands of 2012. Although it’s a few years old, the content and graphics are worth the read.

In almost every industry you can think of, there is a leader who is dominating the rest. Sometimes we have a choice, and sometimes not. But what can we do when the only service option is one that fails us so often that we actively dislike it?

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