When the first Samsung Galaxy Note 7 battery exploded, it signaled more than a product failure, it set the stage for a series of mis-steps that has earned the company the inaugural award for bad corporate behavior given monthly by Vox Populi Registry, the company bringing dotSucks domain names to the internet.
In our view, the award for the month of October was well-earned.
There were quite a few nominees for the October award. T-Mobile limited its unlimited data plans, Comcast overcharged consumers, Deutsche Bank paid fines for its handling of mortgage securities and Booz Allen had another NSA leak, but Samsung achieved special status as it couldn’t figure out what really caused the batteries to ignite.
Though first reports of the product failure surfaced in September, the failed recall, multiple replacement cycles, inability to isolate the cause and extending the problem to Samsung washing machines made October special.
If Vox Populi had chosen to begin this program earlier in the year, other companies might have earned the title of “First.” If the program started in August, it could have been Mylan Pharmaceuticals, based on the “what the market will bear” pricing for its lifesaving EpiPen; in September it might have been Wells Fargo on the strength of its phantom account scheme.
The award is based on search traffic activity at its web site, www.get.sucks, and social media attention.
In the case of Samsung, the award even had a personal aspect. It was clinched while I was on a recent flight and the attendant added to the take-off list off “to-dos” to make sure we did not turn on or power up our Samsung Galaxy Note 7, I knew then the company had made its mark.
Vox Populi Registry and its dotSucks internet domain name platform is designed to help consumers find their voices and allow companies to find the value in criticism. Each dotSucks domain has the potential to become an essential part of every organization’s customer relationship management program.
There is no physical award or certificate for the honor, just the pain in knowing it was a job badly done.
I wonder who will win in November?