This is an awesome new tactic for getting off junk mail lists. I just learned it from Phillip, a Consumerist reader I met at the Consumers Union Activist Summit, who is eating a sandwich next to me. He calls it “Blitz Calling” and he’s used it to successfully get off seven different junk mail lists that initially tried to ignore him.
Consumer action reporter hero Bob Sullivan is doing a neat thing today, it’s called the “Red Tape Fight Pledge!” Just pledge to spend one hour this month standing up for your rights by publicly posting your commitment here. Then do it and come back and tell everyone how you did. The stories will be used in an upcoming MSNBC Red Tape Chronicles story. Cool, I have a few fees that I’ve been meaning to get around to fighting, this could be the perfect little kick in the pants to get me started.
Red Tape Fight Pledge [Facebook]
Craig Cunningham has made $20,000 from 18 lawsuits he’s filed against debt collectors for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). In fact, it’s something a part-time job/hobby for him. To ensnare his first FDCPA-violating collector, with voice recorder running, he called back the number they left on his answering machine, and asked:
Operation Chokehold: AT&T Users To Protest Slow Network By Simultaneously Running Data-Intensive Apps This Friday, 3pm Eastern
Sick of AT&T’s unreliability and dropped calls, participants in this Friday’s “Operation Chokehold” are plotting an act of consumer disobedience to bring the network “to its knees.”
Man Pays Best Buy For Washer/Dryer, It Doesn't Appear, Takes Laundry To Store, Shames Store Into Delivering
After Best Buy blew two delivery dates on the washer/dryer he paid $1,600 for at Best Buy on Black Friday to arrive, a man decided to take his dirty laundry to the store. He had unhooked his washer/dryer at home in anticipation of the new appliances and wanted to know which washer of theirs they wanted him to wash his clothes in while he waited for his. His buddies videotaped the adventure. This plan didn’t go ever so hot with Best Buy management. Let’s roll the clip:
If you can’t find the executive customer service phone number for a company by searching on Consumerist, here’s how to figure it out yourself. All it takes are 7 easy steps!
Pat is our consumer action hero of the week. He writes:
“Praise with faint damn” is the underlying secret to how professional complaint letter writer Bruce Silverman is able to be so successful in getting companies to give him free stuff. First class upgrades, Room upgrades with views of frolicking whales, Checks for hundreds of dollars… all these and more are the fruits of Bruce’s calculated typewriter clacking. Now Bruce has come out with a small book with a big promise: to teach you How To Complaint For Fun And Profit. Here’s a chapter from it, exclusively on The Consumerist, detailing how he was able to turn a disappointing experience at the Ritz-Carlton in Hawaii into a long-term stream of room upgrades, comped meals, and decidedly above and beyond customer service…
“There’s only one leverage any consumer has with a company. And that’s financial.” So says Ron Burley, author of UNSCREWED: The Consumer’s Guide To Getting What You Paid For. I got to interview Ron Burley to plumb his brain about his customer satisfaction hacks, and the current state of affairs of customer service. His techniques are bold and make no apologies. We’re not talking letters, and forms, and complaint departments. These are real methods for real people that work real fast. He also goes into the mindset that you need to develop if you’re going to get results. Bookmark this post, it’s an epic barnburner. Transcript, inside…
A reader tells us how he got a debt collector who kept calling looking for someone else to stop calling, by turning the privacy invasion tables on him and freaking him out.
Taking a big company to small claims court sounds like a big hassle but reader Bill has done it successfully three times. He says the time and effort spent on taking a company to small claims court is far less then how it long it takes to get companies to fix above-average in complexity problems.
This classic article on the art of “turboing,” escalating your problem to the executive’s office, has some great advice about what to say when you get there. Here’s a line Rob Levandowski, himself a former Tier 2 XEROX customer service rep, uses to get his foot in the door once he reaches the CEO’s secretary:
Seagate Issue Resolved After Posting Complaint Along With Executive Email Addresses On Company's Own Site
Shawn has a nice success story with the Seagate company that provides an interesting twist on the EECB (Executive Email Carpet Bomb) technique that we’ve been telling you about for months:
I bought a Seagate FreeAgent Pro 750GB external harddrive about two or three months ago, and backed up several harddrives to it. Everything was going awesome on every computer I had, but then it had an issue on my desktop. “Delayed Write Failure” WHAT? I try to read the information on the drive, it won’t allow me.