Ralph Nader, the almighty godfather of the consumer activist movement, has still got it. NYT’s “The Haggler” column just posted a story that Nader called up to tell him about how he got a full refund from US Airways after canceling two round-trip tickets, even getting back the $150 cancellation fee.
After the story of a deaf and bed-bound girl whose laptop had been bouncing back and forth between Best Buy Geek Squad repair for 3 months went up on Consumerist, the ambassador for Geek Squad City, Randy Ratliff, reached out to help. “The buck stops here!” he said in his email. And of all the many who say that, he’s one of the few to mean it. He investigated the issue and now Jenni’s sister has a new laptop.
What does it take to get an entire neighborhood’s Internet connection working when something is clearly wrong on the cable company’s end? Judging from Alex’s experience…a lot. His neighborhood has had wonky connections in the summer for years. Unfortunately for Charter, Alex actually knows something about networking, and got them to actually fix the problem. Here, for your edification, is his tale of woe and ultimate triiumph.
Acer is infamous for its inferior or nearly non-existent customer service. Long are the annals of history filled with the tales of those who have thrown themselves against Acer’s ramparts and disintegrated on impact. But reader PW shares how he was able to get his 6 months out of warranty Acer laptop replaced after it died. The secret is to look for the email address with .tw after them. That’s right, email addresses leading back to the mothership in Taiwan.
Greg was pretty ticked off. After two weeks of complaining to management, the tall tree outside his apartment complex still had garbage hanging from its branches. It looked like some sort of foul Christmas Tree for hobos. He couldn’t use the parking spot he pays $94 a month for because the building staff had removed all the “Tenant Only” parking signs and not put up the new ones. People who didn’t live in the building were parking in his spot. Only after sending a string of admonishing emails to the building manager, his bosses, and the board of directors did Greg finally get The Tree Of Garbage cleaned up. Here’s the chain of emails:
Best Buy? Above and beyond? Yes, it’s possible! The new refrigerator that Sandy ordered was delayed by several days, leaving her fridgeless for a week. She wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of feeding her family without the modern appliance, so she fired off an email to all of the executives she could get her pixels on, copying us on all correspondence. Suddenly, she was summoned to the store to pick out any fridge she wanted for no extra charge, with immediate delivery. And a present for her son, too.
Sarah saw yesterday’s post about the reader who was awash in credit card offers from Capital One and wrote in to share her story of how she finally got Chase to stop filling her mailbox with shredder fodder.
Donni is totally stoked! She bought a refurb HP laptop that kicked the bucket after its 90-day warranty expired. She gave up hope but then HP randomly sent her an email asking her if she wanted to renew her warranty. Donni called them up and they scratched their heads and said, yeah, that shouldn’t have happened, but they went ahead and let her get the warranty and replace her laptop anyway. For this reason, Donni is very happy with HP.
Stuck with a fancy refrigerator that had a defective, leaking ice maker, Bob refused to accept a future of frequent repairs until the fridge’s warranty ran out. Instead, he took on Electrolux and refused to back down until he had a functioning replacement fridge. Here’s how he did it.
After reader Ray’s story about receiving and swapping out four messed up Nintendo 3DSes in a row, two of which were lemons, Nintendo reached out to get in touch with him. We played matchmaker and now Ray is happy to report that they gave him a brand spanking new 3Ds. They also let him pick out two new games to make up for the hassle.
Jack thought he was getting a good deal when he signed up for $15/month DSL service from AT&T seven months ago. But in the short time since, he’s experienced a full month’s worth of outages and has quickly tired of constantly dealing with AT&T’s tech support (or lack thereof). Luckily, Jack reads Consumerist and was able to employ some tactics he’s learned over the years… and end up saving $140 in the process.
At first, this woman thought her used car, financed through Wells Fargo, had been jacked from the front of her house. She reported the car as stolen and filed a claim. It was a bummer because she had been only two years away from paying off the five year loan. Then she got a call from Chase Auto Finance who said they had repo’d the car because the previous owner didn’t finish his payments. Whoops! Chase had taken the car without securing a lien on the title!
Reader Dan was hoping Aldo would sell him just one shoe after his roommate’s dog ate one, but they ended up sending him a whole new pair for free. Regular customer service told Dan that they don’t sell shoes in singles but after sending his note to the folks at the top of Aldo, his story starting making the rounds internally and they shined down on him with rays of benevolence.
Reader Ben was sad. His Xbox was doing the ol’ Red Ring of Death. He thought that was quits for his trusted gaming companion but then he started doing some research on Consumerist. Perusing our archives, he realized from some of our old posts that included in the price of the repair to the machine he had done not too long ago was a one-year warranty extension. Huzzah! Here’s what he did next:
Well, that was fast. The reader and Best Buy employee who wrote in earlier this week about the threat of termination being used to make employees generate more credit card applications from customers. (Or, as the headline put it, “cram credit cards down customers’ throats.”) The tipster wrote back in to let us know that management in this particular region has backed down. While offering credit applications is still an important part of the job, working twelve shifts without persuading any customers to apply is no longer grounds for automatic termination.