23 February 2013


We often complain about companies that perform poorly, but seldom give credit when they consistently perform well. Here are a few that I think are deserving of some plaudits.

The Eastman Kodak corporation has fallen on hard times since the advent of digital photography, but I can’t say enough good things about the products they are producing currently. They are also continues to be one of the most consumer-friendly companies around. I recently bought a printer from the Office Hero series that does just about anything one might want, notably duplex printing, network wireless connection (easily set up unlike some others), and faxing, along with beautiful color prints. When the printer I purchased had a problem with slightly skewed pages they promptly sent me a replacement. The printer also uses the special inks that Kodak developed that are significantly cheaper than other brands. They continue to make the finest grade of photographic paper in the world, as well as film, of course. I also bought an inexpensive Kodak waterproof video camera that takes remarkably good images, above or below the pool surface. I’ve always found everything they produce to be completely reliable and of good quality, and choose their products whenever possible.

Some might be surprised to hear me say good things about an airline, given how miserable air travel can be these days, but personally I have always gotten good service from American Airlines. They make good on frequent flyer miles, and when things go awry they are pretty generous with compensation. They have also put us up a couple of times with a hotel and meals due to Caribbean flights that had to be canceled because the island destination airport was unexpectedly closed. They’ve never turned down a reasonable request, and although they are technically bankrupt you’d never know it from the level of service. They also have a really good worldwide network with other airlines, so if they don’t fly somewhere they’ll put you on an airline that does and still give you mileage credit. They have an excellent website where you can book the cheapest fare directly, as well as rent a car or book a hotel at a good price. Now that they are merging with US Air the network will be even more extensive. I just hope the merger doesn’t change American from the way it operates now. 

When it comes to another form of transportation, the cruise ship, I am very enthusiastic about the Holland America line. The disasters that always seem to happen on cruise lines beginning with a “C” never occur on Holland America. Unlike other lines that keep making bigger and bigger ships that become cattle boats, their ships are mid-sized and optimum for a pleasant voyage. There is a great consistency from one ship to another so you feel right at home in a familiar setting. I know something of ships from when I was in the shipping business many years ago, and find the design of their vessels to be excellent. The dining experience and crew performance are consistently good, and you don’t get charged for a lot of onboard extras. They are generous to repeat customers, which they continue to get because the experience is so positive. Overall they are a step up from the other, larger cruise lines, but still have voyages all over the world, so that you can almost always find a ship going to destinations you want to visit. 

There are some others, but as I prepare for another trip these readily come to mind because I’m using them and think they deserve a shout out. 

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