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…
Hey! Krystal! Are you there?! Reader Josh sent two letter complaining about his local burger franchise and hasn’t heard a peep in response. Not even “we’re taking it seriously” or “your opinion is important to us.” Nothing!
The excellent blog, Passive Aggressive Notes has a submission from a reader who rejected his chiropractor. Clay decided not to go back after the doctor refused to show him his x-rays unless Clay attended a seminar about payment plans and treatment options. A few days later he got a note that said:
Everyone likes to help the less fortunate—at least, that’s what we’re going to go with publicly for the sake of this argument. That said, is it really appropriate to be asked to pony up donation money when you’re sitting in a theater waiting for your movie to begin? You’ve already paid more than you probably wanted to for the tickets, not to mention any refreshments—shouldn’t that ticket price also include an implied guarantee that you won’t be asked to tithe?
Michael launched an Executive Email Carpet Bomb after Home Depot twice failed to deliver an undamaged washer and dryer. Home Depot’s CEO Frank Blake quickly thanked Michael for his even-handed letter, and promised that the local store manager would make him a happy customer…
Jesse sent us a copy of the letter he recently sent to CarSoup.com about the treatment his mother received at the K2 Auto Group car lot in Bloomington, Minneapolis.The salesmen who “greeted” them employed a novel sales technique whereby you treat the customer like she’s not rich or smart enough to even own a car, much less one of your beauties. Oddly, it didn’t work, and they left without buying anything. Read on for the salesman’s amazing technique in action.
Jenn’s checking account with Bank of America recently had a policy change designed to increase overdraft fees, and it worked: sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning she was hit with 6 NSF charges going back the previous 48 hours, because she was about 15 minutes late transferring funds into her account the day before. Technically she had broken the new policy, but Jenn hadn’t realized or remembered that there was a policy change and she was taken by surprise. She decided to try to reason with BoA’s corporate office about the fees, and explain why she thought they were unfair.
Matt has a 1-year-old Macbook that was having some serious issues which included a dead power supply, overheating and some strange burn marks on the computer itself which, incidentally, was out of warranty. Matt’s roommate David decided to draft a nicely written letter and fire it off to Steve Jobs at email@example.com. To David’s delight, Steve Jobs took the letter on his iPhone and forwarded it to one of his assistants. Acute customer satisfaction ensued. David’s letter inside…
Update: Cablevision responds.
The workers at the FedEx Kinkos in Astor Place didn’t know how to react when reader Eric asked to overnight a letter. They were apparently trained to handle only the Kinkos side of the store, and weren’t sure how to ship Eric’s parcel—a school board election ballot—to Hackensack, New Jersey. Their solution was both innovative and idiotic: they told Eric to write his credit card info on a slip of paper, and promised to take care of everything the next morning.