I just love The Consumerist blog. It’s snarky, fun and to-the-point. But it worried me no end when Consumer Reports bought it. You know, the people who have the temerity to “accept no advertising” but who continue to sell useless “car price information.” These are the people who hawk their magazine shamelessly while being among the very few magazines or newspapers left in the world that do not publish their editorial contacts’ email addresses. CR is happy to tell you what to do. Just don’t bother trying to contact them or, perish the thought, criticize them in any way. (Just ask Bose about that.)
So, when they bought a blog that actually understood the concept of community, I was scared that we’d start seeing the monthly preaching and supercilious editorial content (right next to ads for CR‘s overpriced “gift annuity”) that I’ve loved-hated in the magazine since I was 12. After all, their blogs on consumerreports.org mirror perfectly the printed book’s preachy, holier-than-thou tone. If this was their idea of gettin’ jiggy with the ‘Net, I wasn’t buying it. I thought The Consumerist would instantly become The Bloviatist.
But I was wrong.
Proof? You say you want proof? Just follow this link. The Consumerist is holding a public vote for the worst company in America. And the two contestants are Citibank and Ticketmaster. No question for me there. Ticketmaster is the extortionist of the entertainment industry. Their business practices should be legal only in Tehran.
It’s not like it wasn’t close. Tomorrow — April 27, 2009 — is “Alex’s Freedom from Citibank Day.” It’s the day my last CD matures with these…uh…”bankers.” It’s the day that, if my 15 written and phoned requests, blood and DNA samples do the trick, Citibank will cut me a check for my money and mail it to me because that’s the only way they can get it to me. That, despite the fact they were able to transfer the money into the account to buy the CD. It’s the Bank of Kafka — your money goes in…government money goes in…and Gregor Samsa comes out.
But, given that Tickermaster charges a “convenience fee” for what can only be convenient for their bottom line, it’s nolo contendere for my vote. As I wrote this, it was Ticketmaster taking the “prize” 70% to 30%. Go vote…for Ticketmaster. Then, tomorrow, call Citibank and close your accounts there (if you can).
Good on, ya, Consumerist. I hope CR continues to let you live.