August 19, 2014 |
GEORDETTA Stiles-Middleton didn't like to lose touch with people. And the telephone was her favorite instrument of connection. "She could spend hours on the phone with family and friends, reminiscing, gossiping," said her husband, Wayne Middleton. "She liked to keep in touch with people she knew in school and at work. " Geordetta Stiles-Middleton, a devoted mother and active churchwoman, died Aug. 8. She was 42. She had had some health issues, but the cause of death was not determined.
June 13, 2014 |
It was Memorial Day weekend of 2013, and Michael Bowman, president and chief executive of Valley Forge Casino Resort, was frustrated by recent episodes of less-than-stellar customer service at the King of Prussia casino. In a bout of now obviously overzealous customer service, Bowman helped two young women who were hotel guests and banquet attendees gain access to the casino floor, even waving them through when a security guard held them up to check if they were old enough. Then Bowman left to take a few days off. Bad moves.
June 2, 2014 |
The American Customer Satisfaction Index has pegged Time Warner Cable Inc. as the nation's most unloved company. Based on phone and online surveys, it rated Time Warner Cable's Internet service as 236th out of 236 companies in customer satisfaction - a list that included Coke, Campbell Soup, Nissan, Allstate, and Verizon Communications. Time Warner Cable's TV service rated 235th. Comcast Corp.'s Xfinity Internet service placed at 234 out of 236 and its TV service landed at 232 in the list released in May. Would merging these two cable giants in a megadeal benefit consumers?
May 12, 2014 |
Success is good. But too much success can leave some people grumbling. Take Independence Blue Cross. The region's largest health insurer anticipated enrolling 100,000 new members in Pennsylvania and through AmeriHealth New Jersey when the Affordable Care Act marketplace opened in October. As of April 30, the company had signed up a total of 283,000 members in new plans, almost three times as many as it expected. And 89 percent of them have paid their premiums. Great news, right?
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]