We were happy to hear that Verizon Wireless decided to let customers who were able to upgrade their phones at a subsidized price while keeping their unlimited data plans keep those data plans. What happened, though, if someone thought that they were able to exploit that glitch and Verizon downgraded their data plan anyway? [More]
In contrast to the post from earlier today about Time Warner Cable refusing to acknowledge that they’re giving a customer free cable, here’s a story about the cable giant that will makes them look much more warm, cuddly, and competent. LJ’s Tivo got stolen during her move, and Time Warner Cable charged her for the missing cable card, which she thought she had turned in with her TWC tuner. Of course, it was only after tracking down higher powers within Time Warner that she was able to actually get anything done.
We’ve written before about the perils of authoring angry, profane rants at the companies that do nothing but disappoint. But we didn’t really say anything about tongue-in-cheek, purple prose that treats one’s relationship with his DSL provider like it’s a Harlequin romance novel (minus the steamy parts). [More]
For the first time in thirteen months, Andrea can do something that seemed impossible only a few weeks ago. She can surf over to YouTube, select a video, and have it play.For most people, this wouldn’t be all that amazing, but Andrea has been fighting with Comcast to get the fast data speeds that she was promised and that she needs to do her job. After a yearlong saga, how did she finally catch the attention of someone at Kabletown? Lots of blogging, a mention on Consumerist, and the heroic efforts of the Comcast Cares team. [More]
Tom had a problem with Sprint: an authorized retailer had broken a promise and/or set up his phone upgrade incorrectly. He set out to remedy it by deploying an exquisitely crafted executive e-mail carpet bomb. Now, when you deploy an EECB, we recommend that you provide relevant details, but also that you open with a short executive summary so that the busy people you’re emailing (or their busy underlings) can get a quick idea of what you’re complaining about, and route it to the correct person instead of immediately trashing your missive.
If you spend a lot of time online, think of an executive summary as a “tl;dr” summary that you put first, instead of at the end. Combine that with a clear letter and spelling out his (quite reasonable) expectations, and it’s no wonder that Sprint whipped a response and a resolution to him within the hour. [More]
Yesterday, we asked you for your tales of big-box stores with items on the sales floor that weren’t actually for sale. A decade ago, Jan scored a consumer victory against Best Buy with the help of her state attorney general. Big Blue and Yellow had a case full of portable DVD players that they wouldn’t sell her, claiming that they were on hold for customers with rain checks. Guess who had a rain check? Jan. [More]
When Justin’s phone failed, Verizon Wireless insisted that there was water damage to it, and billed him $299 after initially sending a warranty replacement with no fuss. Then, a month later, Verizon sent the administrator of the account, his mother, a bill for the replacement phone. It had water damage, they insisted, even though the moisture sensors remained un-tripped. Justin babied that phone, and resented the “abuse.zip” file name that Verizon gave the compressed set of pictures that they sent him as proof. So he employed the executive e-mail carpet bomb. [More]
JC had been limping along with the same smartphone since 2008. The same smartphone, but with an unlimited data plan at Verizon. He had the horrible choice when picking out a new phone: accept a limited data plan, or pay full price for his phone. He chose to send a sarcastic letter to Verizon instead. [More]
Lenora isn’t a regular reader of this site, but somehow stumbled across it while trying to sort out a problem with Time Warner Cable. Her service had been shut off after she and her husband spent five months with no income. We were able to help her by providing an executive customer service contact at the company where she could send an e-mail, then call the president’s office directly. She made her case and provided proof to someone with power, and her service was back on later that day.
Dariush was pretty happy with his Verizon FiOS Internet service. He wanted to become even happier, and add voice phone service to his plan. But Verizon’s site and customer service reps weren’t about to let him talk on the phone at the advertised “new customer” price, which he should get, as a new voice customer. Did he whimper, walk away, and keep the subpar VoIP service that he had been using? No. He took his complaint to the very top, e-mailing the Verizon CEO. And he got results.
Bree was really frustrated with the way Lowe’s was treating her parents after they purchased a new screen door and installation service from their local store. She decided that it was time to fight back on her parents’ behalf, arming herself with contact information for chain executives. She e-mailed them a clear, concise recounting of events, and waited. She didn’t have to wait long: Lowe’s executive customer service team were on the phone to her mom within twelve hours, and a day and a half later someone was at her home, measuring for a new custom screen door.
Josh reached the data cap for his T-Mobile account, and his mobile Internet shut down entirely. Some customers might appreciate being unable to run up data overages, but Josh was annoyed. So he took on T-Mobile’s customer service bureaucracy and ultimately emerged victorious, with a 5GB data cap at a discounted price. Here’s how he did it.
A few years ago, Justin had workers from Lowe’s come install carpet in his house. After the warranty on the work had expired, the carpet began to stretch out in high-traffic areas. Even though he’s not a professional carpet installer, Justin does have extensive experience with walking on floors, and knows that’s not how it’s supposed to work. He researched possible causes, learned that it was due to an installation error, and tried to get Lowe’s to admit their mistake and fix the problem. Here is the exciting plot twist: they did.
Patricia’s refurbished laptop from Lenovo could have used more refurbishment. It had a scratched webcam and an unbearably rattly disc drive, and she didn’t find this acceptable for a device that she had just purchased. So she tackled the issue using a time-honored consumer technique: the executive e-mail carpet bomb. Lenovo’s Executive Relations team heard her plea, and sent her a new computer to replace her refurbished one.
When Jeffrey received his replacement smartphone from T-Mobile, he packed up his old one, used the enclosed prepaid UPS label, and dispatched it using a UPS drop box. From there, the phone disappeared. One customer service rep after another assured him that the lost phone situation would be resolved…and then a $300 charge for the phone appeared on his bill. It was time to escalate. It was time to use a powerful tool he learned about from this very site: the executive e-mail carpet bomb.
Consumerist reader Jim was feeling a little frustrated with Home Depot. He’d ordered some parts online for his chainsaw, only to find that one of the two boxes was completely empty. This was just the beginning of a month of misleading assurances, conflicting instructions and overall dissatisfaction for Jim. That is, until he penned an e-mail to Home Depot’s CEO.
Once again, Costco saves the day. Last week, we posted the story of Tom, who bought a Sony Vaio laptop from Costco only to have it malfunction a little more than a year after purchase. Sony didn’t seem to want to fix the problem at all, and Costco employees were very kind but couldn’t intervene. Only a few hours after that post went up, Costco contacted Tom, and gave him a full refund for the computer’s purchase price.
Perkstreet is an online bank that offers a 2-5% cash back debit card. This sounded pretty great to Carolyn, and she applied for an account. Only they wouldn’t issue her one, and refused to tell her why, even though they’re required to do so. What got their attention, and got Carolyn her shiny new debit card? Copying The Consumerist on an e-mail to them.