Customers can't seem to “get no satisfaction” from department and discount stores, according to a University of Michigan survey taken during the fourth quarter of 2004. With 100 points being “completely satisfied,” the highest any store got was 77 (Dillard's Inc.).

Department store chains fared best when it came to improving service from the same quarter a year earlier. Federated Department Stores Inc. was No. 1, with service perking up 4.2 percent. Discount stores trailed the list, with Kmart Corp., which is merging with Sears, Roebuck & Co., at the bottom — with a 4.2 percent drop in satisfaction.