How To Launch An Executive Email Carpet Bomb

complaintyeah

(Getty)

Here’s a classic tactic for rattling the corporate monkey tree to make sure your complaint gets shoved under the nose of someone with decision-making powers. Let’s call it the “EECB,” or Executive Email Carpet Bomb…


1. Exhaust normal channels

Have you called customer service? Asked for a supervisor? Hung up and tried again? Give regular customer service a chance to fix the problem before you go nuclear.

2. Write a really good complaint letter.

Be clear, concise, polite, and professional. State exactly what you want. See this post for complaint letter writing tips. Pitch your issue in a way that affects their bottom line. Spellcheck and include contact information.

3. Determine the corporate email address format.

Look through their website or Google for press releases. Examine the PR flack’s email address. What’s the format? Is it firstname.lastname@company.com? FirstletteroffirstnameLastname@companyname.com? Figure it out and write it down.

4. Compile a list of the company’s top executives

This is often available on the company website, under sections like “corporate officers” or “corporate governance.” You can also look the company up on Google Finance and look under management, although this list tends to only be partial.

5. Combine the names from step 4 with the format from step 3 to create an email list

6. Send your complaint to the list from step 5.

7. Sit back and wait.

Reader Marc has launched EECBs to great effect. He writes, “In every instance that I’ve put together a big list of email addresses and sent it out, I’ve received some sort of immediate reply and eventual resolution.”

Have you ever launched an EECB? Did you get a direct hit or was it a dud? Let us know in the comments. � BEN POPKEN

(Photo: Getty Images)

Comments

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  1. Buran says:

    I wrote to the guy in charge of the St. Louis cable market for Charter Communications asking yet again for my CBS HD service to be restored. The reply I got basically said “it’s not our fault but we’re working on it” for a problem THEY caused and could have fixed a long time ago.

    This was after they got sick of the bad press in the local paper (some of which has been published here) and said “if there is anything we can do contact blahblahblah…”

    Apparently, they just meant “we’ll throw you this so you THINK you’ll get something done, then we’ll just excuse away our problems and do nothing. Just like we’ve been doing.”

    • Anonymous says:

      @Buran: I am interested to know if you have had any luck with Charter. We moved into a new home and transferred our service with Charter and it basically never worked correctly. We complained, they said it was fixed, the sent someone out that was naturally outsourced who said that the wiring was crap and it would never work. I sent about a bazillion letters to Charter and they blew me off. I canceled the service and went with another provider and have had much better service all the way around. Last week I heard a ton of noise in our back yard and there were men everywhere digging large holes in our yard. Charter’s lines were deemed no good and they were replacing them. I failed to mention that I paid my bill on time every time – even though the service was not working because I was getting false promises from Charter. This went on for months. The last invoice I received I called them and told them the whol story and stated that I did not think I should have to pay. Charter disagreed and they put it on my credit report. What irony that they came out and dug up my yard but they remain steadfast that they did nothing wrong. I would love to know if you have an effective email address or if anyone does PLEASE help!

  2. ReverseCarpetbagging says:

    Yup…I sent one in regard to my nightmare of an experience with WishList from American Express. After the nightmare, I canceled a card and sent an EECB letting them know about it. The next day, I received a phone call begging me to reinstate my account. They offered a statement credit. Also, they honored their wishlist screw up. Good times.

  3. scoobydoo says:

    I’m getting close to pulling one of these if Comcast can’t get my TV working. The words “incompetence” and “useless” will be part of the email.

    • Sollus says:

      @scoobydoo:

      They will just give you the excuse of 1.”It’s that station, their equipment is terrible.” or 2.”You have too many splitters,degrading the signal.” Even if you are only using two TVs. They are asses and refuse to admit their network sucks. BUT my service has been practically perfect for about two weeks now. That’s after 3 months of constant pixelation and sound cutting out of my feed. 20 minute intervals it would happen.

  4. Kornkob says:

    One more thing I’d add to the list at the start: Make sure you’ve exhausted the existing support structure for the company first.

    Increased use of Executive Carpet Bombs will degrade the effectiveness of the technique.

  5. Hackoff says:

    I did once to Apple when they denied my warranty based on a slight gap between the top case and bottom case on my 12″ Powerbook.

    I sent it to Steve Jobs, Jeanne Tolouse and another person. It got resolved several days later although there was a bit of teeth pulling.

    • Scully says:

      Keep in mind that Jeanne Toulouse doesn’t work at Apple anymore. In fact, all the contacts on the Consumerist web site are invalid, as I”ve pointed out to Ben Popken several times, but he’s done nothing to update them with the correct info I provided.

      What does that say about the staff there?

  6. Ben Popken says:

    @Kornkob: Good call.

  7. inthepit says:

    funny. me and a co-worker were just talking about this with the local school district. its like you are reading our thoughts…

    • PaniLisi says:

      Please make sure to contact the instructor first if you have something you want to discuss. After 10 years in public education, this has to be one of my biggest pet peeves.

  8. Greeper says:

    When one of these gets routed to me at a the very big company I work out, I put it in the Crazy File and move on with my day. FWIW.

    • etla says:

      @Greeper: Yep. That’s why it’s important to send it to as many addresses as possible in hope of reaching someone willing to help a customer.

  9. ryanprice says:

    I recently launched an EECB with Cubana Airlines. On a flight from Toronto to Cuba they lost 8 of 11 suitcases from my family going to celebrate Christmas down south. Our gifts and clothes showed up 3 full days after we arrived. I sent a letter that the travel agent dubbed “the best he’s ever read” and sent it to all the Canadian email addresses on their site. Within minutes all but one of the email addresses bounced back. And I still haven’t heard from the successful email. I find I tend to have much more success starting at the bottom and crawling my way up the ladder via the customer service phone line rather than email.

  10. xkaluv says:

    I sent a resignation bomb when I quit my job in 2000.

  11. playdoh says:

    When someone writes a letter to my company’s executives (I work at a BIG telecom ISP), my supervisors JUMP all over it. They are completely scared of anything that comes down from the upper execs. So it is very effective for getting a response in my department. It’s almost comical.

  12. G says:

    @greeper – I have a hard time believing that someone with your lack of spelling and grammar skills would hold a position high enough to receive many “executive” level emails.

  13. AuntNi says:

    This worked the one time I tried it. When my neighbor moved out, the phone company turned off my phone instead of the neighbor’s. After days of frustrating CS calls, I looked up the phone company CEO’s name. I called the switchboard and asked for his Exec. Assistant’s email. I emailed her in the morning, and my phone was back on when I got home from work.

    I went the Exec. Asst. route because I figured she’d be more likely to actually read and act on my letter. I also knew the switchboard would give me her contact info, which saved me some snooping time.

  14. geofffox says:

    when the company is obviously keeping the addresses close to the chest.

    Almost as important is keeping your letter short. You might even have to lose some of the tiny details and nuances of your claim in order to do so.

    Finally, don’t be an ass. They’ll be more like to help you if they think you’re nice. They’ll want to screw you if they think you’re a jerk.

  15. Greeper says:

    @Geoffrey: Geoffrey, it’s fun to attack people on here, isn’t it? Especially over really petty/stupid things like typos? (Not sure what you found offensive gramatically in my post). I’m a frequent commenter on consumerist, and what I said was my point of view and adds to the substantive diversity of the site. Unlike a personal attack on another commenter, which adds nothing. Regardless of whether I’m an executive (which I happen to be despite the inordinate amount of time I spend surfing online), in my experience emails sent to an inappropriate number of people or levels within the comapny are not taken seriously. Sending the CEO and ten other people a letter about your stale potato chips doesn’t rate (here).

  16. Canadian Impostor says:

    @Greeper: If you work for a potato chip manufacturer can I have some potato chips?

  17. njtrout says:

    I always copy the PR department. The last thing they want is a complaint going public. PR is a fast track to the executive suite.

  18. Homer says:

    I did this with Sprint once: cc’d their entire executive board, plus the FCC, and anyone else I could think of. They fell all over themselves and rolled out the red carpet for me the next day. Problem fixed, immediately.

  19. mredraider says:

    Tried this with Saturn over a POS Ion. Car has been in the shop 6 times in under a year… with less than 4000 miles on it. Everything from near single digit gas mileage to violent shakeing and knocking to a dead window motor (Twice)
    Response was “bring it back in and let us try again”.
    When I pursued it with the regional service manager he basically said, “Sure it is a horrible car… but we aren’t replacing it”…
    what do you do after a this email tacktic? Sue?… not a chance, already wasted enough of my time with them.

  20. davere says:

    It worked for me several years ago with a cell phone company.

    I recently had problems with my cable company and I filed a complain at the city’s cable franchising office. Not quite the same, but it was so effective that I am now paying less than I was when I first signed up under their new customer promotion.

    So yes, exhaust the normal channels but don’t give up. If you’ve given it a fair effort and you know you are in the right, escalate.

  21. anamika says:

    I did this with Overstock.com when I got a defective product.

    After several rounds of emails with the Exec and his underlings, they gave me a full refund for the item.

  22. getjustin says:

    @Kornkob:

    In theory, yes. But in practice, no. I t makes sense that if this technique gets out then it will become useless. However, considering how few people know about doing this combined with the amount of time, effort, and skill required to do it effectively, I don’t think this is something that will be rendered useless anytime soon.

  23. MrWashy says:

    An important point here is to go through the lower levels of hell first. Where I work if someone emails the execs the exec ask to see waht we’ve done already. If there’s no record of the person contacting us, then it’s automatically left to us as to what happens and the upper office don’t want to hear fromthe person again. However, if the person has gone through the proepr procedures and gotten nowhere and the record shows this (and believe me, it will) then the problem is corrected, even if we have to backpedal, break a policy rule, apologize, etc… so, definielt go through the proper channels. The email carpet bomb is an atom bomd. Use it after all other avenues are exhausted.

  24. suckonthat says:

    @mredraider: I IMed Ben about a completely different problem and he mentioned that there are Lemon Laws on pretty much all products. I don’t know if it only applies to brand new items, but if something needs to be fixed more than 3 times, it is considered a lemon and you are entitled to a replacement or refund. Definitely something to look into.

  25. phildeaux says:

    @Geoffrey: I find an inverse correlation between the position/power of an emailer and correct usage of little things like grammar and spelling. At least that is how it is at my work — the top dogs send out emails that most high school grads would be ashamed to send.

  26. jpp123 says:

    I always found that the three magic words “public utilities commission” worked wonders with Pac Bell/ SBC / AT&T.

    With virgin wireless I got resolution of a complaint after escalating to two levels of supervisor and pointing out that it was going to cost them more to talk to me than to just resolve the issue.

    My ISP (sonic.net) the CEO reads and responds in the sonic.* newsgroups but there service is so amazingly good I’ve never had to bug him.

  27. ViviKat says:

    The EECB worked for me with Verizon. At the end of my latest 2-year contract, I purchased a new phone on their website (a Motorola Q–big mistake). Instead of giving me a new phone for my existing number like I ordered, they gave me a new phone number. When I asked them to fix the mistake, they said that the phone was in their inventory as a new line, and they wouldn’t switch it. Their solution was that I had to ship back that phone, and purchase the phone again. One more trip to the website to look up the CEO, Customer Service VP, and head of PR’s email addresses and it was fixed the next day.

  28. Hamm Beerger says:

    I work for a cable company (oddly enough, the CEO of this cable company recently had his contact info posted on this very blog) and this morning one of my co-workers fixed a very strange and intermittent HSD problem for a subscriber in the Boston area. Evidently the dude had been complaining through the usual customer service chain since February, but just Thursday sent an email to 6 or 7 top execs.

    Shit rolled downhill and the issue (which, in our defense, was very hard to diagnose) was fixed within hours.

    I’m finding it hard to believe that it’s a coincidence that you posted that CEO’s contact info just a week before he got an email that lead to results exactly like you described in this post.

  29. mhii says:

    @mredraider – Check your local “lemon law.” In many states a car dealer can be forced to replace a car that is deemed to be a “lemon.” Generally this requires a substantial defect that the dealer has been unable to repair after a reasonable opportunity (usually after 3 attempts). Most states have a consumer affairs bureau. You might check with that agency to get more specific information on the requirements to qualify under the “lemon” law. Or, you could hire a rapacious attorney ;)

  30. mobbo says:

    I did the EECB to Grande Communications last month in order to get Houston Astros games broadcast on their system (in DFW we fall into the local market for both the Astros and Rangers). Within 3 hours of the emails, I received a phone call from one of the exec’s interns saying they were talking to Fox Sports Net to setup Astros broadcasts. 3 days later, this Press Release was made:

    http://www.grandecom.net/news_offers/?cat=1

    I, of course, wrote a great review of them on DSLReports.com but, unfortunately, I had to move to a different town and got Charter Communications: TERRIBLE!

  31. SkippyKilimanjaro says:

    @phildeaux: We were just talking about this at work on Friday. My boss had busted me for misspelling a word in an email that in actuality wasn’t misspelled given the context. Not 5 minutes later I got an email from one of the Executive VPs. She had misspelled the words by (bl), security (secruty) and access (acess)…all in a 2 sentence email. I won’t even mention there was no punctuation dividing those 2 sentences.

  32. chefmitch says:

    I did this EXACT thing several years ago when I was having getting my Sony TV fixed under an Extended warranty.

    I went through the normal channels and wasn’t satisfied.

    I figured out the company’s email address scheme & found the list of executives.

    I sent an email to all the head honchos and was quickly contacted with someone who clearly was ordered to do what was necessary to make me happy.

    This is a great way to fix a problem when a company won’t listen.

  33. breny says:

    I used this technique on the New York Times a couple of years ago. I live and Florida and ordered NYT Sunday home delivery. It was supposed to start the following week. It didn’t so I called customer service. I was assured it would start the following week. This same song and dance went on for a month with emails and multiple phone calls. The CS rep apologized many times but still couldn’t fix the problem.

    After seeing yet another “Get the New York Times delivered to your home” commercial on tv, I decided to do an EECB. I used the technique described to figure out the likely email configuration for several key executives. Amazingly, I received a prompt reply from two executives. The corrected the issue and my NYT showed up the following Sunday.

  34. asherchang says:

    That sounds like an awesome plan, but would executives really check the email thats sent to the adresses that their companies assign them? And what if an exeption is made because of some one else with the same name?

  35. toddkravos says:

    asher’s touching on a point i wanted to make

    My company publishes email addresses of all the board members and execs. However those emails do not make their way to those people. They are sent to a collective mailbox managed by tenured CSRs.

    The syntax is not even close to the real email address syntax.

    Essentially, to get email to an exec you need to know the *real* email address.

  36. MikeWas says:

    Even better than e-mail: spend a few dimes on a bona fide, honest-to-goodness LETTER to five or six of the top execs. That will really get your problem flowing to the right people.

  37. bnissan97 says:

    I can testify that the Executive Email Carpet Bomb works.

    I just read about the Executive Email Carpet Bomb on your site. I did not know there was a name for this but I used this tactic successfully many times at a job I had. I worked for a company that did accounts payables via direct deposit. I would have to call and say I am calling on behalf of company A and they are changing their payments away from sending a paper check to electronic. Many times, I would get a “snotty Suzie Q” who said, “We don’t do that etc.” I would ask for Suzie’s supervisor etc and of course she would not give it out. I did have the luxury of already having an email address or two so I would search their website, find the executives names and email the mass emailing. I would also mention the dates we talked to Suzie Q and her tone etc. I can not count how many times within hours of emailing the company would A) not call us back but had gone to the our site and filled out the registration to be paid electronically. B) An exec would call and apologize and say they have no issues with getting paid electronically etc.

  38. HappyNow says:

    I’d just like to thank your wonderful sight for getting my situation in an extremely timely manner. I had called the company in question 6 times to get my problem resolved and I was met with rudeness and no solution. So I took your suggestion and wrote to everyone I could find in the executive office and finally got a response from a woman who went out of her way to help me. Had I not been shown this sight I’d be up a creek with no paddle so thank you for helping the little guy against the corporate world!

  39. jwm68 says:

    I had to launch an EECB with Sprint PCS a few years ago. I did not know back then that it was called EECB…in fact, I figured it out myself and though I was pretty darn clever at the time.

    My clamshell-style phone was not working…the screen was not getting power, and the two pieces were not securely attached, but still attached.

    I brought it into the Sprint store in my neighborhood, and the guy there told me that I could purchase another phone, since it was one week after the warranty period…which was fine. Then, he was playing around with the phone, and the two pieces came apart…he handed me back the two pieces, said ‘sorry’ and asked which phone I wanted to buy.

    I ended up coming in there with a phone in one piece and leaving in a huff with a phone in two pieces after the manager offered me the same deal…phone was past warranty, but it had not been 2 years since my last phone, so I could buy any phone in the store for full price.

    I called Customer Service and ended up with a guy that could waive the 2-year requirement, so I could get a $150 discount on the phone. I chose a phone, and he told me it would be at my house in the morning. Two days later, I called customer service again, and asked what the problem was…I was told that they guy who offered me that discount was not allowed to do so, and my order had been cancelled. I asked how I was supposed to know that, and they told me that they left me a message…on my bleepin’ cell phone number, if you can believe that. Even though it was clearly annotated in my account that my phone was destroyed.

    I asked to talk to a supervisor and asked if he could help me out with the discount…he said no. I informed him that I had given Sprint PCS approximately $5K over the years, but he did not seem to care. I asked to talk to his boss, and he told me it would not help, because no one was able to give me that discount. I assured him that someone in the Sprint corporate structure would be able to give me the discount, and I would make sure that person also knew the name of the customer service supervisor that would not help me.

    I got the e-mail format from the press releases section of the sprint web site, and I got the list of executives from Yahoo finance. I sent an e-mail, and got a phone call in less than 2 minutes, from the secretary of the CEO, telling me that they would take care of me. I then received a phone call and incredible service from a lady who is in charge of the Sprint PCS accounts for Sprint executives…that is her only job. I got a free phone with accessories and became a happy Sprint customer once again.

    While I find it sad that we must resort to tactics like this to get satisfaction, I am here to tell you that it works.

  40. jefino says:

    I work for a mortgage servicing company. A customer had a complaint and the amount of time it was taking for us to issue him a refund. Somehow, he got a hold of our president’s HOME phone number. Of course the president called one of the managers at the office, the manager screamed at a supervisor and the issue was resolved right there and then. Getting to the executives definitly works.

  41. bugsplatt says:

    I used the EECB concept in a very small way, sending a single email to what I hoped was the email address of the Centurytel CEO. For those that don’t know, Centurytel is a small-ish telephone company based in Louisiana that has been buying up fringe area systems, like mine in the outer ‘burbs of St Louis, for the last several years.

    Anyhow, my business line in my home was working intermittently. After five useless services calls, five different stories about what was wrong, and finally one guy blaming it on inside wiring (when I pay for inside wiring service), I was pissed. I crafted a strong but polite email titled “Why I’m switching my business to VOIP” and then fired it off to what I hoped was the CEO. I did this on Thursday night then promptly left town on Friday for a two week business trip.

    My first response actually came on Thursday night: a “read receipt” from the CEOs email system. I guess the CEO had a Blackberry. :-)

    The next day I had voicemails from the president of Centurytel Missouri, the statewide head of service, the local zone head of service, and two other guys I can’t remember. As I was traveling (and still pissed but beginning to enjoy this), I ignored them. More calls came in on Saturday. By Monday, the voicemails were sounding desparate (“PLEASE call us back!”). I finally called the service guys back on Tuesday, and by the time I returned from my trip, the problem was solved. :-)

    Geez, if they’d only done that sometime during those first five calls…

  42. greg2112 says:

    I have another method for getting fair and just results from retail establishments. You will either disapprove or applaud my strategy… one thing for sure, it works EVERY time!
    Disclaimer – MAKE SURE YOUR CLAIM IS JUSTIFIED!
    Abusing this tactic could get you into trouble.

    Below is the “short” story of my favorite and most successful use of the “Lawn chair strategy”

    Years ago I had my home phone “ported” over to my cell phone by cingular. I was told that it would be no problem at all. (they lied). In summary, they set up a second account for the new number but left both accounts active. Soon I started getting two identical bills. At first I didn’t realize that they were separate accounts and only paid one each month. Then the disconnect notices began to arrive! After countless calls to cust. serv. and 3 visits to the retail store, it was still NOT resolved. The last straw occurred when my service was cut off while out of town. (after being ASSURED that all was straight).
    When I returned, I was livid and knew that another call or polite visit would continue to resolve nothing….. then I had a brain storm!

    I loaded into my truck the following items:
    - Folding lawn chair & table
    - Cooler filled with soft drinks
    - Bag of chips
    - A 1000+ page novel

    (you probably see where this is going already)
    Yes, I set this all up just inside the door of the Cingular store. I just wish I had a camera phone at the time so I could attach photos of the bewildered faces of the employees and customers HE HE HE…
    Within minutes a lowly rep cautiously approached me and asked if he could be of assistance. I replied that I doubted anyone but the general manager could resolve my issue. He quickly scampered to the back room. seconds later the GM approached me and with crumbs on her lips asked in a sickening sweet voice if she could assist me. I replied :
    “I hope so, because there are only 2 ways I will leave here…
    1) With my issue resolved BEYOND my expectations
    once and for all.
    or….
    2) Forcibly by 4 police officers carrying me by each of my limbs kicking and screaming!

    Needless to say, she invited me to her private office and I ended up leaving peacefully with my bill(s) straightened out, a new phone and a $250 credit towards future service!

    I have used this technique a few times, once at a large Hospital billing department and once at a Bank

    Again, it is very important to use this ONLY as a LAST resort and ONLY if you are 110% confident that your issue is valid and the resolution you seek is fair.

  43. MandM813 says:

    @SkippyKilimanjaro:
    People, there is a difference between not knowing how to spell, and typos. Most of what you see on here are people who are typing too fast. The execs at my company send out misspelled emails all the time, because most of them are using their Blackberries, and are doing a million things at once. I find it hard to believe that it is them not knowing how to spell. If it’s an internal email, they really don’t care. I don’t understand why I’m the only one who seems to realize this.

  44. Weyrlady says:

    I have been using tactics of this sort for years, mainly using telephone services. However, people need to note that these tactics work not only on corporations, but also on government agencies (cities, counties, school boards, state govt, medical providers of all sorts, etc.).

    Just be sure you have your ducks in a row and if you are arguing with a government or medical entity that you have checked for current and future requirements in ALL applicable areas (perfect example: if you think that your child needs to be tested for ADD/ADHD or other learning problem, you need to know that the laws governing the steps you have to take to get this done are not only local, but state and federal).

    The last and best thing to do when talking to any sort of entity about anything is to maintain a written record that includes dates, times, names, phone numbers called, and notes on each stage of the conversation with names and ID numbers. As long as you have the notes to back up the phone calls – or recordings if you have that capability – with persistence you have over a 95% success rate.

    This has worked for me with Verizon Wireless, Charter, EMC Mortgage, Benson, MN School District/Police Department/City Council/Human & Family Services, the state of Minnesota, several juvenile drug treatment centers and rehab units (for my daughter who is a recovering meth addict – 3 yrs clean) and too many others to list.

  45. maines19 says:

    It’s often said in business seminars and publications that a happy customer will tell three people, but a dissatisfied customer will tell ten. I don’t know if that’s accurate, but I wouldn’t be surprised: a transaction that goes smoothly is unworthy of remark but one that’s a disaster is worth talking about. And whether the figures are accurate or not, most top executives have heard this or some variation on it, and so they feel that if the customer is irate enough to bother to track down the CEO’s contact info (and doesn’t sound like a nutjob) it is good PR to make him or her happy–not just no longer dissatisfied, but happy enough to tell people. I’ve worked in several corporations where this was the SOP in top management, and I’ve used that fact as a customer.

    My favorite response: After numerous frustrating calls up the line about a brand-new water heater that broke down 24 hours after purchase, I tracked down and left a message for an executive. I wasn’t home when he called back, but he told my husband that “it is as if your wife bought a chicken and we handed her a serpent.” Which exactly captured my dissatisfaction. He had the guys out to solve the problem that day.

  46. Caroofikus says:

    I had a problem similar to this with Bresnan once(owned by Comcast). I signed up for their digital phone service when it first came out, and for three months my phone and internet would hardly work. I called their customer service at least five times each week. I finally got fed up and looked up their corporate offices. I spoke with their exec over all of their customer service. The problem was fixed the next day, but came back about two weeks later. I called and told them I wanted somebody out immediately because the service was unacceptable. After they said they couldn’t do it, I asked if Maureen Huff (exec’s name) could get them to my house. I had three techs at my home within an hour, at night, in the snow, on a holiday weekend. The problem never came back, and I got two free months of their best cable, internet, phone, and dvr as their apology.

    On a side note, there are still a few excellent cable techs out there. One of them gave me his personal cell # to call if I had any problems, and periodically called me for the next two months to be sure I wasn’t having anymore problems. I now ask for him by name regardless of the circumstances, and when they say they can’t guarantee he’ll come, I just tell them they’re wasting their time because I won’t let anybody else in my house.

    Bresnan’s corporate contact info is on their website if anybody needs it.

  47. Caroofikus says:

    @Caroofikus: I forgot to add that they asked me “what was that name again?” and I said “Maureen Huff”. They put me on hold for a moment and then came back and said they were on their way.

  48. nord117 says:

    This works in reverse also…

    I actually used this technique to have the last word with the Executive VP of a venture capitol firm who was sleeping with my (then) wife. His site had lists of their executives, clients, and potential customers (most WITH email addresses).

    Last I heard, he lost his job, is going through a messy divorce, and is now a teller at a credit union.

    Life is good.

  49. ThePopOversAreDone says:

    I’ve never ever had a problem resolved.

    Maybe just bad luck?

  50. ThePopOversAreDone says:

    These are all very good ideas.

    I will use them in the future.

    Thank you so much.

  51. kalilhasa says:

    I have absolutely no patience when it comes to bad service. I
    learned years ago, when in the travel industry, to “go to the top”. My
    most recent success was over a $25 “Finance Charge” that I could not
    successfully get refunded by Bank of America’s credit card. After
    dealing with the 800# folks I wrote a polite but very firm letter to
    the president of BOA. I included copies of bills and a clear and
    concise outline of what had gone wrong (entirely their fault). Sure
    enough, I got a PHONE CALL, from his executive secretary, a PROFUSE
    apology, and a CHECK was in the mail for my $25. When you stop and
    think about all the unnoticed or unargued “finance charges” that banks
    and credit cards collect, it’s in the millions (per month). Don’t let
    them get away with this, it’s your money.

  52. steve54 says:

    Another way that works great…

    A friend of mine was trying to buy a house that was bank owned. His real estate agent told him up front that it was going to be a major pain and that all agents in the are avoided any properties owned by that bank. Seems that bank subcontracted out the management and sale of bank owned properties and the company they subcontracted to was impossible to deal with (taking multiple weeks to respond to offers, and then responding incoherently etc.).

    My friend liked the house and had the time (corporate relo so he was being compensated) so he submitted a very reasonable offer. Sure enough, the agent was right and the subcontractor responded as expected.

    The bank in question was a public company. My friend bought 100 shares in the company and then called investor relations. He stated that “I’m a stockholder and I’m also trying to do business with you guys. Why are you making it so difficult?”. The next day he was on a conference call with the CEO and a few key execs.

    All public companies have an investor relations department. The contact info is usually quite public. Their job is to deal with stockholders. You might need some magic to convince them you’re a stockholder but once that’s done, you’re in — these departments have a direct line to the CEO.

    In this case, it helped that he was telling them something that would save them buckets of money (they were sitting on lots of inventory and were getting the runaround as to why it wasn’t moving).

  53. Raiden47 says:

    The “Step 1″, “Step 2″, “Step 3″ part is written very badly.. nowhere does it say “Step 1″, “Step 2″, or “Step 3″ before that point..

  54. swtrekker says:

    Just wanted to say thanks — EECB worked wonders with Circuit City! I purchased a Thanksgiving day bundle (laptop, printer, router). Only the laptop arrived.

    Spent 50 minutes on the phone with the CC “escalation team”. They claimed it was a limited quantity promotion. Nothing they could do, etc. Funny how the rep who took the order over the toll-free line hadn’t mentioned that…

    Filed a BBB complaint. Disputed the charge with my MasterCard bank. No action.

    Then I stumbled on your EECB article. Had a response within 48 hours of sending the email. After a few questions and answers I received a credit for the difference.

    All’s well. Thanks again :-)

  55. irishdaze says:

    I’ve been a on-and-off Consumerist reader for a long time, but I’d not registered until just today to post this particular question:

    How does one EECB (or postal-equivalent) when the company that is trying to rip you off does everything it can to be incognito? The company is TVMax, a privately-owned cable-television firm that has a horrid reputation, and with which I was forced to do business due to an exclusive contract with an apartment complex.

    In short, they’re trying to rip me off for almost $500 for equipment they picked up and said they didn’t. Their story is that it’s my word against theirs.

    The CSR people have refused to transfer me to supervisors “Because we don’t have any supervisors” and because “We’re all supervisors,” and have said over and over that I have no claim/case.

    This is all the info I can find on them:

         From their website, tvmax.com:
         ——————————————–
         1-866-TIME-4TV (1-866-846-3488)
         10300 Westoffice Dr., Suite 200
         Houston, TX 77042-5329

         From a WhoIs Lookup:
         ——————————-
         TVMAX Holdings, Inc.
         Mikell, Ted
         ted.mikell@tvmax.com
         1111 West Mockingbird Lane, Suite 1000
         Dallas, TX 75247
         214-634-3800
         Fax: 214-634-3838

    Literally, all I can find after hours of searching every which way I can think of is just this little bit of information. No press releases, no Board of Directors (private company and all), no nothing but lots of bad reviews.

    I’m at a loss and really concerned that this is effectively a criminal enterprise existing only to rob a captive audience.

    Do y’all have any suggestions on anything I can do besides filing a complaint with the city cable franchise office, the Better Business Bureau, and contacting the “consumer protection” departments of local television news outlets?

  56. malfean says:

    @IrishDaze

    David J. Curtin is their EVP, and based on the format of the email used for their domain registration, it looks like it would be david.curtin@tvmax.com

  57. kimberlyb1983 says:

    I’m about to launch an entire arsenal of carpet bombs to every level of Time Warner Cable. I’m sure this won’t go very well. But I’ll keep ya updated!

  58. Trackback says:

    Consumer activism is in vogue these days. BusinessWeek just ran a story called “Consumer Vigilantes” about consumers who skip the scripted customer service in Bangalore and instead use the web to put their complaint in front of the people who matter.

  59. Buran says:

    @malfean: How did you find that out? I need to know the name of the highest-up name I can find at fastmac.com but I can’t find anything on them beyond their webmaster’s name and their PR flack’s name. I need more names.

  60. teejaystudio says:

    I sent a nine page letter with lifetime earning projections for my wife and I and excerpts from the IRS code to H&R Block’s CEO, Board of Directors, President of Customer Service and Clark Howard (Local Consumer Advocate) when an H&R Block manager told me I could not open an IRA and get a deduction when I claimed it on my income taxes. I got a personal phone call from the CEO’s executive assistant 5 days later and they told me they fired the manager. My business went elsewhere.

  61. FootAJ says:

    I’m in the process of writing a formal letter to Ticketmaster. I purchased tickets in the 9th row of the venue and this is what I paid for. However, the email I received was for seats in the 39th row. I have tried using the CSRs several times and they are extremely unhelpful.

    I plan on sending my letter to several of the CEOs and Executives at Ticketmaster, as well as the North American CEO for the ticket promoter, Live Nation. I will also try and forward the letter to the band booking agent and possibly the band management. TM said that even if they could give me my real seat that they’d need to contact all these people to make sure it’d go through.

    Any advice? A lot of you seem to have good experiences with these, so I’m hoping some of you can pass on some words of wisdom. I used the “Complaint Letter” article as a basis, aswell.

  62. @greg2112: I once offered my services as an IT professional to assist the CSR (who was local, and I knew where the local Time/Warner (formerly Adelphia) Cable office was) who played the “we just took over Company X and we don’t know how to operate their computer system” card. I told them I could be there in about twenty minutes. They suddenly became VERY competent.

  63. @kimberlyb1983: If that doesn’t work, letters to your local elected officials might, especially if lots of your neighbors are in the same boat. Congresscritters love to do things to fill time like hold hearings about how certain monopolistic industries screw customers, and nobody likes to get a personal invitation from a member of Congress to visit Washington.

  64. C-Emptor-esq says:

    Hi, My advice is to use this approach with care. I have used it mysef on 2 or 3 cases and it had a great effect. Landrover for example not only resolved the problem I had, but also included a bunch of flowers for my wife as way of apology.

    These days though I am more often on the receiving end and I see an increasing number come across my desk where the consumer has not even tried to resolve the issue with customer services. One case last week was mailed to me before even trying to contact the service desk! Our Customer Service team have a great first time call resolution record, so I get irritated when they are not given a chance to help. Always very keen to hear from customers whn we have failed to meet expectations, so my advice again carpet bomb away, but only after trying the common portal first. Crying wolf too often will result in customers who need help being ignored in the white noise.

  65. mmmmna says:

    Walk softly – and carry a big stick. This is that ‘big stick’, there aren’t bigger sticks out there, so lets not waste this on trivial stuff.

    We have this remarkable tool called email, there are no security guards at the entrance, no secretaries screening the calls or reading the letters; this is rare, direct access to the head honchos.

    As always, follow the steps, then think twice before using EECB. We all appreciate that it shouldn’t get wasted.

  66. RodericaNekromantix says:

    I didn’t use email but snailmail, and didn’t know it was named carpet
    bombing :-)

    There was a serious issue with the Firefox web browser that had been
    identified for three YEARS, with hundreds of users requesting a
    fix… to no avail.

    I sent letters to each of the Board of Directors of Mozilla Corp.
    asking their assistance: “Since there is no information regarding bug
    escalation, I believe I am taking the only possible route to its
    timely resolution. Please pass this problem along to the top-most
    architect, that the right minds may indeed fix this problem!”

    Very soon thereafter, one of the Board members who is also a High
    Priest of Software (my title for his valid credentials in that
    community), ramrodded a solution. It was amusing to note his online
    comments about “don’t send mail spam again, ever” – I wondered
    whether he considered utility bills, love notes from the IRS, and
    other bad news as “spam” mail…

    At any rate, the problem was resolved in short order.

  67. @RodericaNekromantix:

    Just out of curiosity, you did start with [bugzilla.mozilla.org] before contacting the Mozilla Corp Board of Directors, correct?

  68. GraysonPhyleus says:

    @Greeper:
    & @ anyone else; In my experience, being nice, professional and/or
    reasonable typically resolves most issues.

    It is likely not the company but someone’s bad day. If you take the time to
    help reconcile someone’s problem and not add to it you’re likely only to run
    into a serious problem less than 5% of the time.

    Being a consumer isn’t about nitpicking those that are working while your
    not; I see that it is about selecting the best deal for what your goals for
    the product and services are and going with what you know to be the best
    pick despite what might seem like the better deal.

    Kronah Wood, K.C.M.G.

  69. chrispr0 says:

    Remember: Execs can be as vain as we all like to imagine. Try their first name, or nickname. I have worked on the email infrastructure/design teams for three Fortune “50″ companies, and I am always surprised how many of the execs use their first name as their main personal email. Sure, that email will sometimes go through an assistant, but more times than I like to remember – it’s their email.

  70. somethingamusing says:

    I did this a few years ago when Apple sold me a 17-inch powerbook without a working wi-fi card. They sent me a replacement card and talked me through (over the phone) opening the computer and installing the card.

    Only when I had (following the instructions!) inadvertently destroyed the computer, did the person at the other end of phone realise that my model was the only one that can’t be opened to replace the card! But they insisted that I caused the damage, so no replacement. Bizarre.

    Anyway, I went the EECB route and got an email back a day later from someone who said ‘Steve Jobs has asked me to contact you’. I doubt that was true, but it got the job done. They not only replaced the Mac, they also fixed the broken one and accidentally returned it to me. Sadly, they realised their mistake a week later and came back for the fixed one.

    So EECB does work but you MUST be polite. If you call them every nasty name under the sun, then forget it.

  71. amaron says:

    I spent 15 years in management at two of the largest banks in the country, B of A and Wells Fargo and I can state with certainty that when these things hit the top of the food chain they are acted upon immediately.

    The unmitigated terror of executive displeasure in organizations like these is off-the-charts. The execs get these unhappy customer emails (which, by the way, are still exceedingly rare**), they shoot them to their admins with a “get this taken care of” message, and the admins call whichever division manager is appropriate.

    And when you run, say, the Credit Card Processing Center and the head of Global Retail Banking gets an email from an upset customer… That would be from your manager’s manager’s manager’s boss… trust me, you move fast. BTW: at both banks, whenever one of these came down from On High, they were always CC’d to your manager as well and they always included a followup commitment. As in: “please email me with the problem resolution status by 2:00pm tomorrow.”

    **In those two organizations at least, there are so many layers of insulation between executive management and the customer that it is truly rare for a problem to get that high.

  72. 138webster says:

    First of all the list is a great compilation and all but one critique would be that some organizations are formed in a way that there are several layers of management you have to go through before you can eve think of speaking with a high level official. Your problem must be really really important for them to even consider…

    Rapid NYC – Brooklyn Apartments / Brooklyn Apartments for Rent

  73. MedwinHelen says:

    I’ve tried going through the “chain of command” so to speak, but that was not getting me any where just longer delays of using my computer. I have had the same issue for over a year and the same extremely poor Techinical Support so called resolutions from Dell, Co. I have called and spoke to what they tell me are supervisors. And had Tech guys come to my place to try to fix the problem even they tell me this is only a bandaid solution. Was sent a refurbished computer of the same type which of course is going to have the same problem and getting the same results-not getting results of finally after the hundredth or so time total I had to restore my laptop to manufacturing condition and calling Tech and getting no help I sent a EECB to every single name on the Executive list of Dell including the Board of Directors with a copy to the so called Tech Support person I have been in contact with with a little message at the end which stated I will be contacting the BBB, the attorney general, every single type of news media and spreading my story to every single blog I can find if my issue does not get resolved to my complete satisfaction and they should take Technical Support lessons from AT&T Wireless Technical Support. Okay I vented I fill only 5% better thanks

  74. jokerista says:

    I work for a big MNC. In our office, whenever a polite consumer complaint comes in, it get resolved pretty fast.

    Whenever the consumer threatens, name drop, try to weasel out a new product out of us than trying to get the problem solved, our managers can be pretty tough.

    I guess any good company will try to resolve genuine customer complaints, but also wont let the customer abuse their employees and get away with it.

  75. rng72 says:

    I had an issue with Microsoft I was on my 4th 360 in less than two years and my 3rd 360 lasted 3 hours before it died. Thanks to the Consumerist I found the email for the SVP Interactive Entertainment, emailed him and within 2 days got a customer service rep callback. Now I have a personal service rep and I dont have to call the 1800 number. I have a secondary hard drive on the way and 2 controllers. Small victory but it feels good!

  76. Anonymous says:

    Used against Microsoft and Best Buy Canada, both successfully. Microsoft sent me a copy of Microsoft Office 2007 from EVERY distribution centre they have to get one to me as fast as possible. Ended up with 7 copies total.

    Best Buy upgraded the GPS unit I had bought for my dad (sold with out of date maps on it) to one of approximately twice the value.

  77. Anonymous says:

    DO NOT OVER USE / ABUSE THIS METHOD.
    follow the normal steps of CS !!!!!!!!!!!

    …then when your helio doesn’t work as advertised and the ceo doesnt listen, emailing his wife (the book author) does work.

  78. Anonymous says:

    I’ve never done this for consumer products or services, but I’ve seen it work from the inside where I used to work. If you’re able to figure out the email addresses of those at the top and send them your message, you have a good chance of getting what you want. These executives typically forward your message to their minions with “take care of this ASAP”. And the minions who just got a directive for the head honcho will bend over backwards to make you, and therefore their bosses happy.

    A couple of things could go wrong though. If the minion you are delegated to gets these alot, he might delegate back to customer service, or if your case is shaky he might maintain what customer service told you as “policy”. I’ve also had bigger companies respond with a heartfelt apology form letter- and thats it. Of course, the worst case is if the company doesn’t have a clear naming scheme for emails, or if they do something different for the top execs. For example where I worked everyone’s email was firstinitiallastname@company.com, but the president was firstinitialmiddleinitiallastname1@company.com. Most of the employees didn’t know how to email him!

  79. Anonymous says:

    I had a terrible experience with Verizon DSL — my internet was out for 2 weeks and I work from my home office — and no one in their support chain could help me out (hours and hours were spent on the phone). One women even told me “yeah, unfortunately we outsource that part of support and they don’t know what they’re doing”.

    I emailed the COO and got a call back from an assistant within 20 minutes of sending the email. Internet was up and running by the next day.

  80. Anonymous says:

    I went right to the top when a Major Credit Card Company kept offering my late Mother credit cards. Polite requests by snailmail and phone had failed so I sent out an EECB backed up with a web page that asked them to “stop offering cards to dead people”: it got a very high rating in Google and the problem stopped..

  81. Anonymous says:

    but will this work with AT&T?
    I was promised 1.7 Mbps downloads from the AT&T 3G wireless modem. I told them ahead of time I was always on the road, and how would that affect my coverage. they assured me speeds above dial up and near DSL or above.
    from texas to Missouri I haven’t seen a 3G network signal but once and it kept disconnecting.
    I am in Warsaw MO right now and only get 218 Kbps down.
    I was at a AT&T wifi hotspot last night and it took 3 hours to download one episode of Monk, thats 512 MB.
    I play WOW and can’t stay connected long enough to enjoy the game.
    it sometimes shows 4 bars but drops to 2 bars as soon as i connect.
    just like my 2g iPhone, 5 bars but when I hit send it drops to no bars, I mean like WTF? UK is 512000 KBPS, i thought we were the top producers.
    I was with Nextel for 7 years and had 3 phone account. got tired of the no bars in my neighborhood, and ask for a solution, 10 different upgrades in 7 years and still the same BS, when I switch to at&t it fix it, but now I am on road again. Nextel wants me to pay a grand for contract termination. wait they don’t fulfill their contract, I terminate and they charge me. WTF?

  82. Anonymous says:

    It has definitely become tiresome hearing customer service agents respond in a, “so whaddya want me to do” tone of voice. That’s their job, yet they are either not empowered to do it or hate their job. Either way, one does have to be persistent and vigilant. I know, it takes time but I think it’s worth it…if no satisfaction is gained, usually there is a competitor that would love to gain your business. Don’t forget to let them know that. Unfortunately, the cable industry is a monopoly and has to be broken up.

  83. minka says:

    This October I launched an EECB at Circuit City after patiently exhausting all the regular channels, and despite the fact that I did this only weeks before they filed for bankruptcy, I was contacted the next day by the CC president’s assistant, Scott Harris, who did clear up, in a matter of weeks, what had taken me two months, unsuccessfully, up to that point–the replacement of my non-working laptop which was still under CC warranty.

    I followed the tips from this article and used the sample letter as a model, though personalized it so that it didn’t seem like a form letter. About half the emails bounced back but half made it through (I sent 11 in total), and that was enough to see results. I used the *scott.harris* form of email addy–all with an underscore bounced back–and compiled my e-list by looking under the “corporate governance” page on the CC website as well as a CC complaints article on the Consumerist.

    It still took a bit of wrangling with Scott Harris to see my laptop issue to a satisfacory conclusion, but I encourage people to try this method if you’ve exhausted all the regular channels and have gotten nowhere speaking to store managers and supervisors. It worked for me, even with a corporation on the verge of bankruptcy, and was well worth the time and effort it took to launch an EECB.

    Thank you Consumerist for providing such great information! I don’t think I would have gotten my problem resolved without my EECB, especially as the particular CC store in NYC where I was having all my troubles announced it was closing, just as my issue was cleared up.

  84. bananaboat says:

    I attempted one with a jewlrey chain. They were good about hiding addresses but I also found their legal department address (the issue was unethical too). I received a call within 24 hours. Then nothing. Another call from corporate a week later seeming to be concerned and asking if the DM had followed up. Still haven’t heard anything. I got my money back but I don’t think it concerned the corporate machine.

  85. guestwriter says:

    I am now going through the same situation with Best Buy as the woman who ” Bought a back up plan, failed to back up data, replaced the hard drive”. I have almost exhausted all normal channels. I am being informed that now they have a new policy “one for one”. When they take out your old hard drive they immediately “drill it” and replace it with a new one. I have requested customer service to please make an effort to insure that there is absolutely no way of retrieving my hard drive. I have pretty much been told by all channels that my data is gone! I can never get it back. The only relief I have been offered, “We can refund you your money for the back up”.

  86. Anonymous says:

    I am considering sending an email similar to this. It is regarding a claim with Best Buy for flooding my house and not paying to replace my ruined floors. I have Best Buy, the adjustment company and Best Buy’s insurance company to deal with. Where is the best place to address this issue? The insurance company?

  87. Anonymous says:

    When I transferred from Verizon to T-Mobile, they hit me with a $175 Early Termination Fee despite there only being 3 days left on my contract. The first rep I talked to said he would reverse the fee, then said someone would call me to confirm. I asked why this was necessary, and he dodged the question. I never received a call, and the fee remained on my bill.

    I called again, and the second rep said he didn’t know what the first rep was talking about, I had to pay the fee. I asked to speak with his manager, and put me on hold and disconnected me.

    I called a third time and asked for a manager immediately, and was told that none were available but one could call me back within 24 hours. They never did. So I took a page from the Consumerist guide and sent an EECB to everyone from the CEO down. Most of the higher level ones bounced back, but at least a few hit their targets.

    Early the next morning, I received an email from the head of the Verizon Customer Care division in Elgin, asking me for a number where I could be reached. By the afternoon, she had emailed me again trying to get in touch. I sent her my number and received a call within the hour, in which she apologized for my unpleasant customer service experience and waived the ETF on my account.

  88. Anonymous says:

    A variation that worked for us. We were having trouble getting a mortgage because there was an old, inaccurate collection item on our credit report from a local department. store. We wrote the president of the dept. store about out problem and copied 100 of our local friends & family on the letter. Someone got back to us right away and it got resolved.

  89. pab says:

    I had issues with Dell with my 5150, and my XPS M1710…first time after 4 motherboards in 2 years..what worked for me was contacting my state attorney generals office (wrote to them via email) and two days later got a call from Dell Corporate who refunded the full price of my 5150 (4 years old at the time) and we applied that towards an XPS laptop. Not again.EVER.

    The XPS has overheating issues (to the temp of 170F)..they took it back gave me a refurb and it still does it.

    Dells desktops are pretty good but their laptops and portables(as they call my xps) suck :)

  90. Thyme for an edit button says:

    I got a direct hit last month with UPS. I had a time sensitive package that, oopsie poopsie, UPS didn’t actually put out for delivery and said they would not deliver until after the event the package was needed for. After being told by customer service that there was nothing they could do, that the hub where the package was was open until 9:30 pm when it closed at 6:00 pm (I discovered this after driving 20 miles to the location), that I should “throw rocks” at the gate and fence of the hub to try and get someone’s attention, and that UPS would call me if they could maybe get a hold of someone at the facility.

    I was completely frazzled. I came here and follow the steps in this article and launched my EECB. Got a call from corporate customer service early the next morning. A facility supervisor was rousted to deliver the package. Package received that morning. Received calls of apology from the corporate customer service, a hub facility manager, a call center manager from where I got the wrong info on the hours of the hub, and a call center manager from the call center where the rep told me to throw rocks (and who may also have hung up on me as my call was dropped when I wanted a supervisor.)

  91. rochar3 says:

    need EECB e-mail for Comcast-
    Having terrible problem with them

  92. DsmGuy says:

    I e-mailed Home Depot about an experience I had at a local store. Sent the e-mail at 10:00 p.m. Asked for free home delivery of a drill press to replace one that was defective. Next morning I received a phone call from the brand manager at the Atlanta HQ. He apologized and sent me a free drill press (not just free delivery).

  93. Scully says:

    If you want action from Sony, email Howard Stringer here: StringerOfficeNY@sonyusa.com. You will get an answer from his executive secretary and she will motivate people to do whatever is necessary.

  94. debbiechk says:

    I have on two occasions written to top executives about grieveances I have had with their companies. In both instances I received a phone call within two minutes of sending the emails. Both resolved my grievances to my satisfaction immediately. I highly recommend contacting the “bigwigs” as they don’t like to receive these type of emails. And thanks to consumerist.com it makes it very easy to find those in the upper echelon of the business to contact.

  95. nescafe says:

    I followed the methods in this article today with Delta Airlines, pursuing a refund for an international flight for June 8. After months (months!) of getting nowhere with telephone customer service, i emailed every executive officer I could google this morning with a polite explanation of my predicament, and asked for my refund. Most of the emails I sent bounced back immediately.

    I didn’t think I’d ever get a good response, but given that I had about 24 hours to either get the refund or take a cancellation penalty, I tried it out. Anyway, the CEO’s office (really.. the CEO!) called my cell within one hour of sending these emails. I received an apology for my troubles with customer service, and a FULL refund, which was processed within a couple of hours of the phone call.

    Thanks for the advice, consumerist!

  96. dg092163 says:

    My daughter’s cell phone got stolen and international calls totalling $7,320.00 got charged on my Verizon account in 20 days before we looked online at our statement. After getting no where with customer service and the fraud department of Verizon, I found this website and did the EECB to the Verizon executives and used many of the names and phone numbers, etc. listed in your website. I was contacted by several executives fairly quickly and they credited the entire amount! I am so glad I found this site.

  97. Lily says:

    Discover wanted to hold me liable to fraudulent charges on my card, despite the fact that my passport showed I was out of the country and that the signature looked nothing like mine. I wrote both their executives and their public accounting company, pointing out the Sarbanes-Oxley violations inherent in having such poor internal controls. They caved, but I shouldn’t have had to waste my time on them.

  98. educated says:

    DirectTV – CANNOT even get a letter to the president.

    They must have so many complaints that they have hired an office to take complaints.

    I called customer service – numerous times, called numerous times and talked to a manager – while each representative was nice, they could not help me.

    The last representative finally told me to write to the office of the president. I did, and received this “letter” back from them that could not have been from a real person – a real person could not have written something so stupid.

    I called back and spoke to another manager, and was informed that the president of DirectTV does not even see any complaints – even letters written directly to him!

    Of course, even though I like DirectTV, I will have no choice but to change carriers once my contract is up.

  99. lullu58 says:

    I contacted the CEO of Virgin Atlantic over a $500 charge for canceling an upper class flight in December. It was due to illness and the doctor wrote a letter saying I couldn’t fly. They said unless I was hospitalized they couldn’t help me. They sent a nice email but they still kept $500 of my money which under the circumstances was appalling. I won’t fly Virgin again unless it’s free or I have no other choice.

    Another disgraceful issue was with American Signature Furniture and Uniters which is a fabric protection insurance. In that case I should have gone to the small claims court.