Melissa couldn’t get any reception around her home on her iPhone, despite living only 25 miles from downtown Chicago. Zero bars. It wasn’t just annoying to always miss calls, it was also damaging her rental business. But thanks to a detailed, and snarky, email to the CEO of AT&T, she was able to get the wireless provider to reset its towers and fix the service around her house.
Jeremy’s 3D Alienware gaming laptop from Dell didn’t work right from its first bootup. It had blue screens of death and the video card needed swapping out. When he sent it in for repair, he got it back with crumbs in the keys, and a crack on the side someone tried to hide with black marker. When we posted his story on Consumerist, we gave him CEO Michael Dell’s email address to go tell his story. Now Jeremy writes that after he emailed Mr. Dell, the CEO intervened and made sure Jeremy got a brand-new laptop, along with a free memory and CPU upgrade.
Sometimes it just takes a little followup. That’s what got a $896 ticket vaporized that the city of Las Vegas had erroneously slapped on Charlotte’s car while it was 2,000 miles away in New York state.
Ryan was able to get a $150 service credit from Comcast by asking for them to pay him back for all the vacation time he missed waiting around for a service tech who never showed up.
Dan and his wife were getting hit by two pieces of junk mail from Citi almost every day. One to him, and one to his wife. He couldn’t figure out how to tell Citi to stop, until he remembered the online service with the little blue bird that goes “Tweet, tweet.”
Consumerist reader Rebecca had an issue with T-Mobile. A sales rep for the company had told her she could save around $14/month on her wireless bill by switching to a different rate plan. But when she received her next statement, Rebecca found that her bill had actually increased by more than $16. A quick call to T-Mobile customer service should be able to correct this — oh wait, no it won’t.
When the cooling block of Jeremy’s Alienware computer began to leak, the answer was obvious: call Dell to see whether they would fix what was an obvious and pretty terrible flaw. Dell’s answer was obvious in turn: tell him that the machine was out of warranty and he should go away. But Jeremy thought that a $2,500 computer shouldn’t destroy itself within two years.
DrRonster was inspired by a recent Consumerist post about a guy who couldn’t take advantage of Costco’s famed warranty because he wasn’t a member. The “Ronster” went to take his own suitcase in for a refund. The suitcase has a broken wheel and is five years old, yet his venture was met with success, as he is a Costco member.
Reader S finally got his homeowner’s insurance company to pay up for the rebuilding of the glass railings around his condo, thanks to a well-crafted and scary letter he wrote them. Here is his story, and his ass-kicking letter.
Andrew stared at the row of tools on the shelf at Home Depot and sighed. He had a big new job to do, but after getting all his tools from Home Depot for the past 20 years, there was but a paltry selection. No open stock items and the sets were incomplete. He wouldn’t be able to get all the tools he needed. So, drawing on what he’d learned from reading Consumerist, rather than an EECB, he crafted an email to a specific person at Home Depot corporate he thought might help.
Joe got Kodak to agree to send him a replacement printer when his kept showing “replace the cartridge” error messages, even after installing several completely new cartridges. There was just one problem. Joe lives in Mexico. Kodak, based in the US, doesn’t ship internationally. How to get around this cartridge conundrum? Deb in Kodak’s executive customer service had an ingenious idea…
After Yuriy’s complaint — Amex was addressing his bills to his mother and had her as the legal name on the account — went up on Consumerist, and he sent them an EECB, he got results.
Another reader has written in to say that after they canceled their Time Warner service, the cable company turned around and offered them much better rates if they would stay. In both this one and the one earlier this week, Time Warner Cable said that because of “special circumstances,” they were able to offer a sweet retention deal. In this case, $67/month for two years, down from $150.
Even though he thought he paid on his credit card’s due date, Russel still got dinged with a late fee. Turns out that he needed to make his payment before 5pm Eastern, otherwise it would get counted as being the next day. Rarg!
Katherine’s HTC Hero smartphone was only four months old and still under warranty, but the company wouldn’t repair it, claiming that a moisture sensor had been tripped. She knew that she had never dunked the phone, and was determined to fight HTC’s decision. But how? She turned to the Consumerist archives for answers.
By the time the couple in their 80’s noticed the monthly auto-billing on their bank account, they had overpaid Anthem $5,000 for insurance they thought they had canceled two years ago. That’s money these two living on pension could have been using to fix their crumbling front walkway. It was until they beseeched their local consumer reporter and he took an interest in their story did Anthem retroactively cancel their policy and refund their money.
Sarek tells the story of how he was able finally get a “certificate of creditable coverage” from his COBRA administrators. After many moons of pleas, what it finally took was writing a physical letter to the presidents of each four companies at the same time. At the top of the letter was the address of each of the other companies so that all knew that he was showing off their unsightly bits to the other.
Aaron’s Sony VAIO has failed a few times too many. He faithfully sent it back for repair or had a technician visit his home four times, believing Sony’s promise that the repairs would fix the issue. The last time, it failed during finals week at his college on the East Coast. Sony’s repair depot kept the machine for a month, yet the issue still wasn’t fixed for good. The laptop is now out of warranty, but Aaron had the law on his side. He launched an executive e-mail carpet bomb to some Sony contacts, copying Consumerist. The next day, he heard back from two different people at Sony, offering him a new machine comparable to the one that had failed him.