The Ultimate Consumerist Guide To Fighting Back

If you have a legitimate grievance with a company that they’re not helping you solve, here are 15 hand-picked articles of ours that will be your blueprint to kicking ass. They’re arranged in 3 escalating tiers, depending on how far you want-to/have-to take it. If you’re ready to stop getting mad and start getting results, check out the posts inside…

How To Complain
How To Write A Complaint Letter (Remember that if you can find the appropriate bodies that oversee the company’s industry, CCing your complaint letter to them can help)
How To Record Customer Service Calls
How To Never Get In Trouble For Recording Customer Service Calls
How To Escalate To The Most Powerful Levels Of Customer Service

The Underlying Principle For Forcing An Uncaring And Adversarial Company Fix Your Problem
How To Launch An Executive Email Carpet Bomb
Unlawfully Billed? Threaten To Report Them For Mail Fraud
How To Fax A Company To Death That’s Ignoring You
How To Get Your Problem Solved By Posting It To A Company’s Stock Forums
How To Start An Online Campaign Against A Company To Shame Them Into Fixing Your Problem
How To Get Unscrewed By Threatening To Stand Outside The Store Passing Out Flyers About Your Experience
(several of these are based on material from Ron Burley’s excellent book, “Unscrewed: The Consumer’s Guide To Fighting Back,” which everyone should read.)

How To Take A Case To Small Claims Court
How To Win A Case In Small Claims Court Against A Big Company By Delivering Your Small Claims Court Papers To Their Mall Kiosk
How To Find A Lawyer

(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. joeblevins says:

    This should be a sticky on the front page. Big bold link on the left. These articles help form the core of this whole website.

  2. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    That guy in the photo is pissed because Southwest Airlines took away his Master Baiter t-shirt.

  3. JPropaganda says:

    I agree JOEBLEVINS – this is a great guide and ill be coming back to it often

  4. amoeba says:

    Thanks Ben for posting such useful links, I agree with the guys above, you guys (consumerist) should have it handy in a side link or so. Nice picture, does it come in wallpaper? I want it for my desktop.

  5. alk509 says:

    @Consumerist Moderator – ACAMBRAS: I imagined him punching a giant corporation right in the sack o’ nuts.

  6. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:


    Or in the case of the airline industry, an infinitesimally small bag of pretzels. ;-)

  7. Womblebug says:

    Can someone please get righteous consumer man a belt?

  8. amoeba says:

    maybe he is angry at wal-mart because he couldn’t get a totenkopf tee to show off how crappy is wal-mart :)

  9. Damn I need to follow his diet!

  10. clickertrainer says:

    @Womblebug: Agreed. I’m so worried about his pants falling down I can’t read the article.

  11. Buran says:

    @Consumerist Moderator – ACAMBRAS: Or maybe because his pants are falling off.

  12. SVreader says:

    Can I send an EECB to the Consumerist to have Brad Pitt be angry shirtless guy?

  13. mrmysterious says:

    Thanks, I’ll be filing in small claims court soon if a company doesn’t come through. If you (Consumerist) want to follow what is going on just contact me.

  14. DrTweeker says:

    WOW- NICE…oh, and a great article, too :)

  15. humorbot says:

    Yeah… step 1: How To Put On A Shirt

  16. Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget about contacting a company’s distributors: that’s their lifeline. I wrote an email to a salad dressing company complaining about the use of partially hydrogenated oils, but never received a reply. Even more upset, I wrote the headquarters of Publix supermarkets (where I bought the product) and CC’d it to the salad dressing company. Surprise! I received a reply immediately.

  17. bonzombiekitty says:

    I really think the “How to never get in trouble for recording customer service calls” should be removed. The legality of that one is questionable. As much as I like the Consumerist, its writers/editors have to stop making absolute statements about things that are not only a gray area, but not written by or based on information from experts in that area when it comes to legal matters.

  18. Pope John Peeps II says:

    I’m fighting back against the shirtless treasure-trail look.


  19. King of the Wild Frontier says:

    Dude shaves his pits, but leaves the treasure trail? Weird.

  20. Ben Popken says:

    @bonzombiekitty: Another chirp from the Fearful Anklebiters Club of North America.

  21. jbchiu1018 says:

    In an attempt to resolve a billing dispute I’m having with T-Mobile. I have contacted Customer Service, been yelled at by a Executive Customer rep in response to my BBB complaint. Attempted an EECB where the guy did a nicer version of what the other exec rep said to me via email. I have posted my complaint on several complaint boards and even stock discussion boards.

    And oh yes, my blog… []

    A consumer advocate viewed my complaint on one site and is assisting me on the matter. But what the heck is up with corporate America right now and trying to screw customers over during a recession?

    Does anyone have any tips on what else to try that diverges from the legal route?