Cosmos’s Customer Disservice Awards

Cosmos’s Customer Disservice Awards

== an occasional series focusing on customer disservice which is rampant in America these days.  More to follow as the mood hits me

Comments welcomed including your customer disservice award nominees.  We have three award winners this week.  Great Clips for the worst online check-in reservation system I have ever seen; Oregon Bottle Drop for creating such a convoluted  system to recycling bottles that discourages recycling because who wants to put up with hassle; and three to the Entire Insurance industry.  Now on to the Disservice awards!,

Great Clips’ unhelpful online non-reservation check-in system

Haircuts for Men, Women, & Kids | Great Clips Hair Salons

update:  I finally figured out how to use this customer unfriendly app.  When you sign in, it puts you in line and gives you about two hours waiting time. When you arrive, there is no wait.  the hair cut was pretty good, but the app needs work.  I noticed all the other barber shops are using the same basic program rather than full on appointment systems which would be much more useful to their busy customers.









Here are my comments which I will post today on Yelp, Trip Adviser, and on-site

Bottom Line –the Great Clips online check system sucks big time.  A total waste of time.  Makes me wonder if their haircuts will suck too.

I tried to get a simple haircut yesterday in Medford, Oregon.  All the barber shops are filled and require a week’s reservation and the cost is 30 dollars.  Drop-in is not welcome.  Several companies claim to have an online reservation system.

Great Clips company wins the award for the worst online application form ever designed. The idea was to let customers sign in before coming.  Promising idea.  Most such sites are 24/7 and allow you to make an appointment up to a week ahead of time allowing customers to schedule when it is convenient to come and providing providers with a schedule of appointments.

It seems that the developers of this system did not have a clue as to how to create an online appointment portal.  It is not that difficult folks, many companies have done so, they all are available 24/7, and offer up to a week’s appointment slots, and the latest ones are multi-lingual to boot!

Nor did the clerk who recommended it have any idea that there is only a 15- minute window when the on-line check in is online accepting same day only check ins.  To be fair, she was pleasant enough but just not that helpful in the end.

But what they set up was a service that is only available during business hours and only allows you to check in.  As soon as you check it, the clock starts ticking.  I wanted to go at 11 am By the time I created the account and signed it it was 10:15 and there was a 90-minute wait.  There was no opportunity to change your reservation other than to cancel, which I did because I forgot to make it for two people.  Nor could I create additional accounts for my family members or friends.

When I created my account and tried to make a reservation, they somehow set me up at two different stores and I had to cancel both and re-submit it to get back in line.  When I tried to log in again at 1020, they closed the online portal .and the estimated wait time was two hours.  If you drop in the wait time is three hours. if you go and come back you will still have to wait as they do not have a sign-in sheet at the door, but you could wait for a no-show, which they said was common.  There were only two customers waiting ahead of us and two getting haircuts.

On the plus side the cost was reasonable – 18 dollars with the senior citizen discount.

They do offer to send you a text message reminder 15 minutes ahead of your time but only if you manage to get on their system in the 15 minutes it is open!

Somehow, I do not believe that their text message reminder will work

Tip to the developers.

Scrap this system and start over with a real appointment system that is available 24/7 in multiple languages.   Or at the very least open it at 8 am for same-day check-in and perhaps allow people to check in for the next day.

If you were to create a system to discourage people from using your services, this would be it.  Who wants to wait three hours for a damn hair cut? and only be allowed to check in during a 15-minute window when the system falsely advertises easy online check-in.  Sadly, just more corporate weasel word BS which is par for the course for most American companies who see workers as “labor units” and customers as troublesome creatures that you have to tolerate.

And of course, there is no way to talk to a human being other than dropping by the store.

This is the worst customer service app I have encountered in my 68 years on Earth.

Kudos or something to the team that came up with this winning application!

sent to Great Clips will add their response if they ever bother to respond.

Bottle drop Oregon

BottleDrop: Oregon’s Bottle & Can Return program

The second-place award goes to Bottle Drop Oregon who has designed such a convoluted difficult to use system that many people will just trash their bottles defeating the whole point of having a program in the first place.

update: when we finally figured it out, it was not too onerous a process.  It took about 20 minutes to load the machines and get a receipt for payment. Made 12 dollars.  Still, it is a needlessly burdensome solution and no doubt fewer people participate than in the old days of curbside pickup or grocery store drop offs.

If you were to design a system to make people not recycling bottles the Oregon Bottle Drop Program would fit the bill.  The old system was based on curb side pickup and voluntary drop off at stores to pick up small amounts of cash deposits.  The new system eliminated curbs pickup and required a lot of bureaucratic hoops to go through including having to buy special bags, and stickers and haul your bottles to specified collection stations and then wait a week to get paid.  The adage, “if it ain’t broke why fix it?” applies here.

You have to create a bottle drop account to use the service.  When you go to the site you cannot easily find the link to create an account, only a login screen.  The Create an account screen is on a different website and I had to google that separately.

It took forty minutes to sign in on the site and if it were properly configuration should take 10 minutes.

Then I discovered that to use the service you have to purchase green bags with stickers and then put your bottles in their green bags. You cannot simply bring the bags to their center in anything other than their bags.    Then you have to haul it to their site where you place it into their machine which counts up the bottles and credits your account within seven days.  You can redeem your account balances at participating stores that have a bottle drop Kiosk.    Costco has one.

So in the name of efficiency, they replaced a simple customer-friendly system with an overly bureaucratic complicated system. The result will be many people will just put their bottles in the trash which will go to the dump.  Because at 10 cents a bottle, it is not worth the hassle of going through their system which is designed to discourage bottle recycling.

In short, Oregon Bottle Drop Company won the second-place award for the most unfriendly customer service product of the year.

Kudos or something.

sent to Oregon Bottle Drop and will add their response if they ever bother to respond.

The entire insurance industry

The third-place award goes to the entire insurance industry.  The entire insurance industry is based on customer disservice.  Here’s my free verse poem on the insurance scam as my nomination form.


Insurance is a scam

They take your premiums

Hoping that you will never

Make a claim


And when you do

They will pay you

Then jack up your rates

Or cancel service


Hoping to make

Filing a claim

As difficult as possible


Discouraging people

From ever filing a claim

Just not worth it

With the high deductibles


They have an army

Of claim adjusters

Whose job is dependent

On denying service


And they deny service

With  impenetrable legalize jargon

In fine print so small

Or rapidly spoken verbal

Disclaimers that

no one can understand


Only a lawyer

Using a magnifying glass

Or taping it and listening

Many times

Can read or understand

the insurance statements.


Medical insurance is denied

By people

Who have no medical background


Auto insurance claims

Denied by people

Who are not mechanics


The latest scam

Bulk denials

Forcing you to resubmit


No human being



To get coverage

You have to wait forever

To reach a customer service AI bot


To reach a human being




How algorithms are being used to deny health insurance …

WebApr 2, 2023 · Federal data shows that health insurance companies denied more than 49 millions claims in 2021, but customers appealed less than 0.2 percent of them. Investigative journalists at ProPublica……

How Cigna Saves Millions by Having Its Doctors Reject …

  • Pxdx
  • Speedy Reviews
  • “A Negative Customer Experience”
  • “It’s Not Good Medicine”
  • Cigna carefully tracks how many patientclaims its medical directors handle each month. Twelve times a year, medical directors receive a scorecard in the form of a spreadsheet that shows just how fast they have cleared PXDX cases. Dopke, the doctor who turned down van Terheyden, rejected 121,000 claims in the first two months of 2022, according to …

See more on

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