“Chad Bradley” likes to write letters to companies. Unlike a normal crank, however, his letters are filled with complaints about surreal or nonsensical things, or they offer useless ideas for product improvements. (To the makers of Connect 4, for example, he suggests a new game called Connect 1.) The letters are entertaining enough on their own, but what’s even better is sometimes the companies write back.
Chris was surprised to find that T-Mobile didn’t cancel his account as promised a few months ago. What’s worse, the note on his account that mentioned his cancellation request was missing, and nobody at customer service would help him. Chri works for a “very large consumer electronics company” that he won’t name (we’re pretty sure it’s Apple) and thinks customer service is important, so he gave up on the CSR angle and instead came to our site to find contact info for T-Mobile executives. One EECB later, Chris is free from T-Mobile and the ETF they tried to apply.
Comcast keeps sending Andrew’s parents letters insisting that “there is a leak of our electronic signal into the air,” and that if it can’t be immediately fixed, their service will be disconnected. Andrew’s parents always immediately call Comcast to schedule a service visit, because nobody wants a signal leaking into the air, especially not one that “could interfere with aircraft and ship communications,” but each time they call, Comcast has no clue why they sent a letter, or how to plug the leaky plane-gobbling signal.
We all know that just because a rep on the phone promises you something, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily true. But in Alan’s case, two different United reps both confirmed, repeatedly—he asked several times before completing the purchase and again before canceling—that he could cancel his tickets within 24 hours of purchase without paying a fee. A week after he canceled, he was hit with a $150 non-refundable fee that one United rep admitted was a new policy that wasn’t in writing—but United still refused to reverse it.
The Black Bear Diner in Colorado Springs twice served Jason the same undercooked steak. When he asked for a new steak, the server returned with the same steak cooked for a third time. When Jason told the server that the steak looked unappetizingly familiar, the server responded with “some story about her eating the old steak, and (unprompted) said that she couldn’t bring out the other steak because she had ate it, and got in trouble with her boss about it.”
A glitch in Delta’s website bumped Jesse’s return date up by a month, which sort of interfered with his travel plans when he showed up at the airport to check in. Here’s the complaint letter he sent to Delta, and their response.
Is your Washington Mutual credit card set to receive automatic payments? If it is, and you pay anything less than the full balance, then come March 6, you’ll be paying only the monthly minimum. Why? Because it’s an easy way for Chase, WaMu’s new corporate overlord, to make money off unsuspecting cardholders…
The man who wrote the long, funny complaint letter to Richard Branson about the level of suck on his recent Virgin Atlantic flight has been asked to “come to the airline’s catering house next month, to help select the food on future Virgin flights.” Yeah, we know that it’s a publicity stunt, but an entertaining one. We hope the customer agrees, and hates the new food just as much. In fact, we wish he’d replace Toby Young on Top Chef; the dead hamster line would be a pretty good put-down on that show.
A disgruntled Virgin Air passenger sent an exhaustive complaint letter to Sir Richard Branson, supported by a series of incriminating photographs. We think it’s safe to say that he did not enjoy the in-flight food—which is surprising, because everybody likes a bit of mustard Richard.
Louisiana seven-year-old Sydney Hotard fixed her broken playground by writing a well-crafted letter to her Parish President. Hotard was concerned that the plastic slide needed to be “more slippery” and that a nearby exposed electrical panel might be “dangerus.” Upon receiving the letter, Terrebonne Parish President Michel Claudet was so charmed that he ordered municipal workers to immediately fix the playground.
Reselling your kid’s used clothing could soon violate federal law. Come February 10, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act will prevent retailers from selling children’s products that haven’t been certified as lead free. Old hand-me-downs, of course, haven’t been certified for anything more than running around the yard. Parents are worried, petitions are being drawn up, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission isn’t doing much to clarify the law.
In this letter (PDF) sent to CPSC chair Nancy Nord, and released to the public, Consumers Union and a bunch of other consumer interest groups ask the CPSC to please do its part to clear up all the confusion over the coming Toy Testing Apocalypse. Don’t want to read the whole thing? Here’s a much shorter summary:
So what exactly is the problem? After 12 online (and phone) disputes to Equifax and 14 calls (and faxes) to the Direct Loan Servicing Center, each party seems to blame the other.
Consumerist reader MunkyBoi had a terrible experience at Tahoe Joe’s, where he and his fiancee held their wedding dinner. He tried to follow up with the manager of the restaurant, both to explain what went wrong and to commend the one waitress who saved the day, but the manager kept brushing him off. Finally he wrote a letter to corporate, and was surprised to receive a very personal response—along with a $250 gift certificate—a few days later. We’d love to know if that $250 came out of the manager’s profits.
Tim enjoyed his unlisted phone number for over thirty years until Charter published it in the local phone book. Now he has two options: ditch his long-time number, or lose his cherished anonymity. Inside, Charter’s apology letter.
Jon was freaked out when flying on Jetblue and his flight came in close proximity to another aircraft. He wonders if he should, and how he might, report such an incident. His story, and advice we got from an Air Force pilot, inside…
If you’re trying to get your mortgage modified or just a question answered but find yourself stymied by your loan servicer’s slow or lack or response, you can write what is termed a qualified written request (QWR) under section 6 of Respa, The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Under federal law, they have to acknowledge the letter within 20 working days and respond in 60. Inside, a template to follow for drafting a QWR…