I think it's getting worse in my opinion. If you ever have to call a big company call centre, and you have a major problem you often feel powerless. Recent example, I have 3 Vodafone contracts. One for my iPhone, one for my iPad Mini, and I also have a separate data tariff for my laptop. Oh, I also have 2 business phones with them on top. So I do spend money with them and I have been with them a while. Anyway, a contract which I signed up to accidently almost 2 years, that I am not using, but paying for anyway, to see it though. So it came to an end. So I sent a letter as they said they needed it in writing to cancel. So I sent a letter and cancelled my direct debit. 2 months later, I get a debt collectors letter from Vodafone. They had passed it to an external company. It's only a small amount, so although I know I am in the right, I pay it. Then I call Vodafone and explain what happened. They cancel my contract again. With small apology, paying lip service, no refund. A week later phone, just to make sure. Guess what, I learn that my contract still hasn't been cancelled. This time, I think they finally cancel it. Still no refund. So I paid an extra money, wasted a lot of time for something that was their fault.
This has affected my credit report. I try and keep a pristine credit score, although I don't really loan money. It's just something thats important to me.
Now I have learnt, when I remember to record calls. However, the problem is, if I tell the agent that I am recording the call, they will nearly always end the call. It's OK for them to record the call but not me? I am supposed to legally tell someone before I record a call. However, if I tell them and no one will speak to me then I can really record the call can I?
Coming back to online reviews. Most of them are made up and manipulated. Reviews like mine won't touch a company like Vodafone. There is no independent review site or company. Most of review services are profit driven. Even the Google Places reviews are full of fake reviews. So I don't really trust it. Yes, businesses are more aware of getting bad online reviews or criticisms. But it mainly affects small businesses. However, small businesses are some of the best at giving great service anyway.
I wish someone would create a great site, where you could document and upload these customer service experiences. Most of the ones I have seen aren't that good. Maybe then they will stand up and listen. It needs to get powerful a bit like trip adviser. Then they will stand up and listen.
There is nothing worse then the feeling of powerlessness.