It's really not difficult to say, "I\u2019m sorry." But getting companies to say it \u2013 and mean it \u2013 is sometimes akin to turning water into wine.\nI\u2019m really sick of companies that step on consumers' toes, issue non-apology apologies and then act like everything is alright. To me, a real apology sounds like this: "We made a mistake. We\u2019re sorry, and we won\u2019t do it again." Simple. But that\u2019s not what we recently got from Facebook and T-Mobile.\nMaybe I\u2019m na\u00efve, but I believe that consumer-oriented companies will do better in the long run if they fess up to their mistakes and build customer trust, even if it means short-term embarrassment or a temporary hit to the bottom line.\nLet\u2019s start with Facebook, the tech world\u2019s all-time serial apologist. Late last month, we learned that the company was manipulating the news feeds of more than half a million unsuspecting users as part of an experiment. Facebook\u2019s in-house data science team carried out the project, it said, as a way to examine the "emotional impact of Facebook" on its users. Naturally, there was quite a bit of upset, and COO Sheryl Sandberg eventually apologized\u2026sort of.\n"So we clearly communicated really badly about this and that we really regret," she said in an interview aired on India's NDTV. "We are in communication with regulators all over the world, and this will be OK and we will continue to make sure users understand that we care about their privacy."\n rabble.ca \nNote the phrase: \u201cCommunicated really badly.\u201d She didn\u2019t say Facebook is sorry. She didn\u2019t say it was an egregious violation of the trust users have (for some reason) placed in Facebook or that her company won\u2019t do it again. That\u2019s like using a really ugly world to describe someone and then saying you're sorry if you offended anyone \u2013 as opposed to saying, \u201cI shouldn\u2019t have said that, and I\u2019m sorry.\u201d\nYou\u2019d think that by now Facebook execs would know how to apologize, since they do it so often. (This interesting piece in The New York Times recounts a decade of Facebook apologies.)\nNow let\u2019s talk about T-Mobile. Last week the FTC alleged that the wireless carrier made hundreds of millions of dollars from bogus premium text-messaging charges wrongfully billed to customers, a tactic called "cramming."\nHere\u2019s T-Mo CEO John Legere's response, from a blog post title "Doing Right By Customers:\n\n\u201cWe have seen the complaint filed today by the FTC and find it to be unfounded and without merit,\u201d writes Legere. \u201cIn fact T-Mobile stopped billing for these Premium SMS services last year and launched a proactive program to provide full refunds for any customer that feels that they were charged for something they did not want.\u201d\n\nLet\u2019s parse that. Legere says the complaint is unfounded. Fair enough. An allegation doesn\u2019t mean the company is guilty. But then he says, T-Mobile stopped billing for those services last year. Really? If it\u2019s wrong now, wasn\u2019t it wrong last year? But the ever-combative CEO doesn\u2019t say that. Nor does he say that he\u2019ll find a way to refund those charges.\nC\u2019mon, John. You\u2019re acting like a spoiled kid. T-Mobile styles itself the \u201cuncarrier\u201d and says it carries the banner for consumers. It should act like it.