March 14, 2014 |
Philadelphia Gas Works, whose sale to a private buyer is now being considered by City Council, ranked last among 54 natural gas utilities whose business customers were surveyed about customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power. Peco Energy Co. ranked second among 11 eastern utilities, Public Service Electric & Gas Co. ranked fifth and UGI Utilities ranked sixth, according to the rankings released Wednesday by J.D. Power. The firm ranked utilities with at least 25,000 business customers and examined six factors: billing and payment; corporate citizenship; price; communications; customer service; and field service.
March 1, 2014 |
SEPTA is celebrating its 50th birthday this month, marking a major step in the public takeover of the region's once-privately operated buses, trolleys, subways, and trains. Much more than names have changed since the days of the Philadelphia Transportation Co., the Red Arrow Lines, and the Pennsylvania and the Reading Railroads. Fifty years into SEPTA's reign, we have shiny new railcars, clean-running hybrid buses, a rebuilt Market-Frankford Line, some new stations and depots, rising ridership, and electronic schedules available on a cellphone.
February 11, 2014
C ORTNEY COHEN, 27, of Old City, owns the Geisha House, a women's boutique on 3rd Street below Race, in Old City. Cohen, a former nurse, opened the boutique in December 2012, and it quickly attracted a following for its sexy, edgy blouses and boho maxi dresses by mostly Australia- and California-based designers. Q: How did you come up with the idea? A: I have a nursing degree from Thomas Jefferson University and was a nurse for three years, but starting a boutique was always a dream.
December 23, 2013 |
It has been nearly 93 years since Manny Rosenfeld, Moe Strauss, and W. Graham "Jack" Jackson opened the Pep Auto Supply Co. at 7-11 N. 63d St. In the company's first decade, a trip to California in a Ford Model T constituted market research. Things are a bit more complex these days for the threesome's corporate heirs. On Dec. 10, Pep Boys-Manny, Moe and Jack disappointed shareholders with lower-than-expected third-quarter results (two cents per share earnings vs. an anticipated 13 cents)
November 25, 2013 |
The Essent Group Ltd. is among the region's largest 50 public companies, and will be on the Philly 50 list when it is refreshed beginning next quarter. The mortgage insurer, organized in Bermuda but with its headquarters in Radnor, went public Oct. 31, with an initial offering of 19.7 million shares for $13.50 to $15.50. Wall Street immediately declared the shares undervalued, driving the price to $22.00 as of closing Friday. That would give the company a market cap of about $1.84 billion.
August 6, 2013
Nishon and Laura Yaghoobian, both 35, of Claymont, Del., own Wild Flour Bakery, a wholesale commercial bread and pastry bakery whose clients include restaurants, cafes and coffee shops. The Holmesburg company, which began in 2003, also sells breads and pastries at weekend farmers' markets in the city and Collingswood. Nishon oversees baking and Laura handles customer service, sales and payroll. I spoke with Laura. Q: How did you come up with the idea for the bakery? A: Nishon worked in pastry shops at [now closed]
May 27, 2013 |
'Horrible customer service. " That's what the newly fired Internal Revenue Service commissioner averred was the agency's only sin in singling out conservative political groups for discriminatory treatment. In such grim proceedings one should be grateful for unintended humor. Horrible customer service is when every patron in a restaurant finds a fly in his soup. But when the maitre d' screens patrons for their politics and only conservatives find flies paddle-wheeling through their consomme, the problem is not poor service.
May 22, 2013
By George Parry Dear Internal Revenue Service: Regarding your targeting of conservatives before the presidential election, I found last week's testimony by your former commissioner to be very reassuring. As he explained it, what appeared to be your intentional and politically motivated punitive, totalitarian, and chilling measures against conservative groups and individuals in a clandestine effort to affect the outcome of the election were, in fact, simply the inadvertent consequences of "horrible customer service" provided by a bunch of flunkies in Cincinnati.
May 19, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The firestorm buffeting the Internal Revenue Service intensified Friday as lawmakers began what they promised would be an extensive effort to learn whether there was any political motivation or White House involvement in the agency's recently acknowledged misdeeds. Fueling those concerns, J. Russell George, the Treasury Department's top tax watchdog, said Friday that he had informed top Treasury officials last summer about problems related to the special attention the agency was paying some conservative organizations seeking tax-exempt status.
April 15, 2013 |
Last fall, ironically right around the time I wrote about Vernon Hill, the banker whose evangelical emphasis on customer service has utterly disrupted the banking industry, I found myself encountering a string of customer service headaches. First, our newly installed gas heater went out. We'd been paying hundreds of dollars a year to F.C. Haab, the company that installed it, for a service agreement. They came out and told us we had a faulty blower motor. We'd have to wait for days - in the cold - for a replacement part.