November 24, 2015 by Never Mind the BE
You know Christmas is coming when the annual bout of “lists” starts to appear in the media, reviewing what’s been good or bad over the bast twelve months or predicting (with varying degrees of realism) the most anticipated trends of the coming year. Always of interest among these never-ending tables is the Consumer Reports “naughty and nice” list, highlighting good and bad practice as well as things to pay particular attention to this festive season.
I suppose VW was always going to figure prominently this year, the emissions scandal will take some time to recover from. It’s up there with a number of other big brands, however, in examples of what consumers at least see as “dubious practice”. CostCo, for instance, have really been winding customers up with their “Tiffany” diamond engagement rings that have nothing to do with Tiffany. In a court case that began on St. Valentine’s Day two years ago, the up-market jewellers finally won the argument that “Tiffany” is a brand, not a generic term for a particular style, and CostCo‘s actions were deemed a trademark infringement. Other “naughty” brands this year include CitiBank, following revelations surrounding “unfair” credit card charges over a three-year period, and both UPS and FedEx who have been levying “fuel surcharges” on customers at a time when prices were actually stable or even falling.
But, we must remember the list includes the “nice” companies too. We really like the free in-flight wifi now provided on JetBlue services, for instance, and we are really impressed by the lengths P&G have gone to to protect children from potentially harmful ingestion of those evil detergent pods, the global giant setting very high new standards across the industry. Personally, I’m delighted to see that British stalwart Dr Marten’s being singled out for special praise this year for almost 115 years of quality and value. Yes, that “lifetime” guarantee really does do what it says on the packaging, with unlimited free repairs for as long as their owners live. Well done, DMs – Britain is proud of you!