SmartMoney's 5 Strategies For When Regular Customer Service Fails

At the risk of turning into an echo chamber, we want to point out that SmartMoney has a good list of five ways to escalate your customer service issue when the normal CSR route fails. Sure, we’re all about the executive email bomb here at Consumerist, but there are other viable paths you should consider as well—like turning to your local government, and not just for local businesses: “A problem with your communications provider, for example, may be resolved with a complaint to a common, but little-known town board — the cable access committee, which acts as a liaison between the government and the cable suppliers for that area. “

Aside from taking your issue to the executive level or turning to your local infrastructure, you can consider taking your story to the general public, via consumer advocacy sites like—oh, look! They mention Consumerist! Would you look at that! (We’d also suggest trying to contact local newspapers and TV news stations, like this man in Chicago did.) Rounding out the five strategies: file a credit card dispute or take the business to small-claims court, which is cheaper and easier than you might suspect.

“Extreme Measures for Customer Service Complaints” [SmartMoney]

“The Ultimate Consumerist Guide To Fighting Back (Revised Edition)”
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. BigNutty says:

    Never let a business take advantage of you. If you think real hard you can come up with a lot of creative solutions along with those mentioned above.

    The louder your voice, the better your chances of satisfaction.

  2. BigNutty says:

    A loud voice gets satisfaction. Along with the mentioned solutions, you could be creative and think of even more ways to get attention to your situation.

  3. RichLeyshon says:

    Always keep detailed records of events as they happen – do NOT rely on memory. I use a program call Home-Sec which is simple enough to use (

    If you need to call someone, it is very easy for them to make a claim that you can’t counter unless you have a detailed list in front of you which details EVERYTHING that has happened in past exchanges. Having a pile of 38 letters on your lap as you search for one sentence is not the way!

    The person at the other end is likely to be at least as confused as you are so take the initiative and take control by showing that you have better, more ordered information than they do.

    Finally, when all else fails, do what I did when being pursued for money for a service for which I had to pay in advance – threaten them with press/TV coverage.