We Accidentally Post United Exec’s Cellphone Number


Urbanski Janikowski, Robin [WHQPR]” [redacted]@united.com>
to: tips@consumerist.com
date: Jan 10, 2007 5:37 PM
subject: please call united airlines

Hello –

You have listed Graham Atkinson’s personal cell phone number on your web site. Can you please call me so I can have this corrected?


Robin Urbanski


We have removed Graham’s phone number. Sorry, we thought it was his office number. We got it from an industry contact list posted online. Doesn’t do any one much good to have hordes of customers leaving messages on his personal cellphone, although it did already help Mahesh (to some degree).

Can you imagine the scene in the Atkinson SUV?
“Goddamit, refund my tickets!”
“Who is it honey?”
“Nobody, honey. Just another irate customer trying to call the Executive Vice President and and Chief Customer Officer.”
“What is with these people? The ignominy!”



Edit Your Comment

  1. timmus says:

    Seems they could get the problem fixed a little faster by saying:

    Hello –

    You have listed Graham Atkinson’s personal cell phone number on your web site. Can you please remove xxx-xxx-xxxx and replace it with xxx-xxx-xxxx?


    Just sayin.

  2. MattyMatt says:

    What’s the deal with this industry contact list? I’m just curious why a website exists for airline executives to trade phone numbers. Is it like some kind of CEO Friendster keyparty thing?

  3. TheGoldfishCowboy says:

    What’s not as widely knows is that this wasn’t the first time… Back in 2005 when someone hacked Paris Hilton’s SideKick, he was in her “circle”

    The Atkinson family was just getting over that one. Poor guy.

  4. Dude, he was 847? When they changed us 847ers out of 708, they told us all that 847 stood for “VIP.” There were billboards.

    He lives in the WEALTHY suburbs! (of Chicago, lamers)

  5. Michael says:

    Did you get his number from Spoke.com? ;)

  6. ValkRaider says:

    The Memory Hole lives…

  7. yumyum says:

    Consumerist must have gotten it from this list, as this is the only other place online I can find his number (I wrote it down for safekeeping then googled it).

  8. hanajon says:

    After reading your post, I sent a note to Graham Atkinson saying that my wife and I, as a 1K and Premier, would be happy to speak with him on why United is going downhill. Imagine my surprise when I actually received a phone call from the man himself. He proceeded to describe his role and ask for our comments; he listened, sympathized, and promised to get back to us on one issue my wife raised. I have to say that he won me over just by the fact that he called and listened to us. All else aside, if more execs would have the courage to do what he did and actually have contact with customers, customer service might begin to turn around. It really is about economics, customer choice, and competitive advantage. I hope Mr. Atkinson’s action heralds a change in United’s treatment of customers.

  9. dragonflight says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: Hardly. 630 is as affluent as 847.

  10. shdwsclan says:

    Ha….hes probably getting 100 complaints a minute….probably had to change his cell number…