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On With the Show!

All too often, being a customer is like living out a bad joke. But the winners of our third-annual Customers First Awards turn the humdrum into entertaining experiences.

The cable guy who falls asleep on your couch. The Internet provider that won't let you drop your service. The big-box retailer that's... a big box. Is it just us, or does being a customer really suck more than ever? Cue the heroes: This year's winners of our Customers First Awards transform ordinary transactions into entertaining experiences—delighting customers and showing everyone else the way.

With Special Guest Stars Sir Richard Branson as the godfather of customer experience and Lewis Black, as the voice of customer rage.

A version of this article appeared in the September 2006 issue of Fast Company magazine.