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CNN AMERICAN MORNING WITH PAULA ZAHN

Minding Your Business: Getting Online R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Aired October 29, 2002 - 08:49   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Let's talk about some other companies. Customer service, always been a big issue for those people, a lot of us that buy things online and deal with companies that pretty much turn all their customer services over to online functions.
ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: Right. Right.

HARRIS: You have a survey you checked out this morning?

SERWER: New survey. And the point here, Leon, is more and more companies are putting their service online, instead of having call centers or, God forbid, a person you can actually talk to, a human being, it's all on the Web now. And a new survey is out by an outfit called customer respect, R-E-S-P-E-C-T, definitely Aretha stuff here. Anyway, They surveyed the fortune 100 companies.

The good news is that 41 percent of the Fortune 100 responded within 48 hours. The bad news, 37 percent, more than a third of them, never responded at all, and then you can the a balance of them took days and days and days to do so.

HARRIS: It's not that big of a difference, 37 to 41 percent. Let's start off with the good once. Who are the best?

SERWER: The good guys, Freddie Mac, the loan company, Costco, good to hear that's a company that all of us go to all of the time. Allstate, the insurance company, you can see there, Verizon, the phone people, Wal-Mart, not a surprise there. Wal-Mart just seems to do all kinds of things, right, don't they?

HARRIS: That's why they're at the top of the list.

SERWER: Here are the bad guys. Had now this is not a surprise to me, you have got PG & E, Pacific Gas & Electric, the giant California utility, which is in bankruptcy, Ford Motor, in a lot of trouble. Interestingly, the story said that Ford never responded to responses, but GM, the Ford people will not like this, but GM responded right away. So we have a little battle here of the giant car companies.

HARRIS: That's interesting, because Ford had been getting a lot of other things right.

SERWER: Right. But lately thing his been messed up. One more thing I want to talk about.

Right, from a consumer standpoint, a story in "The New York Times" today, more and more companies will be charging consumers to get paper bills. Again, all of these companies want to push everything online -- Leon.

HARRIS: That's another topic for another day. Thanks, Andy.

SERWER: Okay.

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