instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads


Five Dubious Distinction awards will be made to corporations during March 2011 on this blog. A certificate, suitable for framing, will be sent to the CEOs of the winners. Inspiration is the Golden Fleece Award, invented by former Senator William Proxmire (D-Wisconsin). He annually gave it to government officials who squandered the public’s money. The DDAs will recognize corporate breakthroughs in abuses of consumer time and money. (Because of the recent abuse surge, competition is sharper than ever.)

NEXT UPDATE: November 1

OVERCOME BY COMPLEXITY For a system that successfully combines the complicated with the complex to defeat the perplexed consumer.
Current contenders: AT&T DSL, Federal Express,. New Entry: ADT

DONE IN BY DIY For the most extensive transfer from corporate customer service to Do It Yourself customer service. NEWS: Covad Communications has pulled in front by virtue of its abandonment of consumer service for the DSL business it took over from AT&T in March.
Current contenders: Comcast, Covad Communications, Chubb Insurance. NEW ENTRY: Apple Computer is in the race with its withdrawal of live support for iTunes

OUTSTANDING DEFECT ON DELIVERY For delivery of a product or service with a serious defect known in advance by management or that should have been.
Current contenders: Toyota, Whole Foods, AT&T 3G, the Shubert Organization (theatres), China (the country).
New Entry:

OVERCOME BY TECHNOLOGY For a product or service with a technological breakthrough that turns out to be a technological pothole.
Current contenders: Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Sierra AirCard3G.

FLY THE FLAG PROUDLY To be given to the American company that has outsourced a significant part of its business to a foreign country and has thereby earned the right to proudly fly that country’s flag next to the American flag at its corporate HQ in the USA.
Current contenders: Federated Department Stores, WalMart