James almost got cheated out of CS4, the suite of graphics software sold by Adobe, when he bought a new Macbook Pro recently. He kept pressing the issue though, and his persistence and level-headedness finally, after several near misses, convinced Apple to do the right thing and send him what he paid for. Congrats to James!
Paul now has 30 free pairs of sneakers from J.Crew for calling them out on some bullshit.
R wanted to get started paying off her Capital One credit card but after missing one month’s payment she started a fee pigpile. She got overlimit fees, and then so many extra fees started piling on that she wasn’t ever able to pay them off enough to bring her balance back under her credit limit. R wanted to get started on debt reduction snowball method but could never get that first ball started because the fees were too high. Tugs at the regular customer service line to try to get some fees waived were fruitless. To untangle this Gordian Knot R had to pull out her mighty sword of executive customer service. Her story, inside…
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.”
Josh chopped down Duke Energy‘s thicket of phone trees by launching the mighty Executive Email Carpet Bomb. He had a simple request: turn on the power to his construction site. Calling the main customer support number led to a series of thirty-minute waits while listening to Duke’s cheerful computer voice promise that he would hold “for no longer than one minute.” He also sent six emails to Duke’s customer service inbox, all of which were ignored. Finally, after three weeks without power, Josh tracked down executive contact info for Duke’s executives and fired off an EECB. Five minutes later, his problem was solved.
The boy whose HP was running 200°F and was told by tech support to “buy a cooling mat” used some of the higher-up phone numbers readers posted in the comment on the original post to get in touch with a Senior Case Manager. Despite being out of warranty, they reopened the case and had him send in his laptop. Lo and behold, they fixed it! “It is running great now,” writes Travis. Huzzah!
Martin discovered he was able to get Citibank to extend his grace period from 20 to 25 days. It seems all you have to do is ask! Here’s how he found out.
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.
Two weeks ago I wrote that Woot! hadn’t replaced a shirt stolen by the U.S. Post Office. Well, I was wrong. Unbeknownst to me, Woot! shipped out a brand new replacement shirt, just as I had requested.
Stop the presses! Brian was able to get Chase to reinstate his promotional APR even though he accidentally set up in the auto-payment system in a way that incurred late fees. His secret? Asking politely and making a cogent argument that positioned his request in a manner any business would understand. His strange-but-true tale, inside.
Reader Michael wants to know why it’s taking UPS almost a month to ship his daughter’s Christmas gift from Los Angeles to Seattle. Michael thinks his package might have been eaten by the snowstorm that broke Seattle a few weeks back, but UPS swears that they have the gift and that this is all a simple matter of “the driver forgot to put it on the truck.” Worried that it that it might have been faster for a messenger to walk between Los Angeles and Seattle with his daughter’s present, Michael decided to launch an Executive Email Carpet Bomb at UPS executives.
Reader Jesse was having an awful time explaining a simple problem to DirecTV. Thankfully, the EECB (Executive Email Carpet Bomb) was just the thing.
Aaron has gotten a busy signal from the Pennsylvania unemployment office call center for a month. He started filing his claim online, which was fine, until he started getting automated emails saying there were problems with the online system, and instructed him to call the toll-free call center number. That’s right, the one that’s a constant busy signal. So, he got in touch with his local state representative, and got results!
Marc is happy to report that Aliph really came through for him after he complained about Jawbone smoking and melting after he plugged it into his computer:
After umpteen attempts to have his multiple MacBook Pro problems fixed, only to be told each time the laptop was working perfectly fine, Jordan wrote a polite email to Steve Jobs. He affirmed his Apple loyalty, laid out what happened to him, and asked for help. A couple of emails later and he was able to walk into an Apple store and swap his jalopy for one of the brand new MacBook Pros that just came out. You might analyze how the letter was written for clues to his success but really what it came down to was that he had gone in for repairs of the same problem more than three times, qualifying him for a refund or replacement under what is known as “lemon law,” and he got his issue under the nose of the guy at the top. Or at least the assistant who opens his email. Same difference. Jordan’s success story, inside…
Virg’s Xbox360 got the dread Red Ring of Death. He bought it in Feb ’07, and it started failing this Nov ’08. He figured it would be months before he would get it back and expected to have to pay somewhere. Much to his surprise, Sam’s Club let him swap it out for a new one for free.
Nicole was hit with a surprise 6 point interest rate increase on her Citicard, so she fought back. Her story is a good reminder that you should look at all of your options and be prepared to argue on your behalf, even if you’re not in a position where you can just pay off the entire balance and walk away.
Enterprise Car Rental charged Mike $560 for a scratch on the bumper he felt was unfair, but after he followed The Consumerist’s instructions on sending an Executive Email Carpet Bomb (EECB), all that changed. “Long story short,” he writes, “Within ONE DAY, that email was forward with highlights , such as URGENT -PLEASE RESOLVE, and ultimately reached the northeast manager, who called me and apologized profusely for their poor handling of the situation, and WAIVED ALL charges ($560 for repairs). done..all wiped… GONE!!! THANK you for publishing that thread.. it absolutely positively works!!!”