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Can’t find a company email address? Here’s how to get it!

Customer service: Email still beats webchat and phone calls

Many companies make it difficult for customers to complain.

I have always advocated writing to companies when complaining, for several reasons.

1) So that you have the evidence trail should you need to take the matter further

2) You can ensure that you have covered everything you need to do and

3) You can delete and rewrite if you are getting angry while drafting, which you can’t do on the phone!

Watchdog Customer Service contact investigation

Yesterday (1 July 2020) BBC Watchdog aired their investigation into companies which made it difficult for customers to contact them. It showed people not able to get through on webchat or being cut off on phone calls. It also showed how some companies refused to provide an email address for customer service. More businesses are doing this as people learn that to complain effectively and to go to an ombudsman – or go to court – they will need that written evidence to prove the case.

The programme covered Currys, Ikea, Three, Sainsbury’s. One viewer said he was 167th in the queue on a webchat and waited over an hour when it all disappeared and he had to start again. One caller was waiting for 5 hours and another for 7 hours trying to reach someone at Currys.

Sainsburys does not currently have a customer service email address. I discovered this back in February and when I asked them why this was, a spokesperson said “We regularly review our services and made these changes long before our priority delivery slots launched. Customers can continue to contact us via phone, Twitter and Facebook.”

Companies may be removing email addresses as a cost-cutting exercise, or deliberately, in order to make it more difficult for customers to complain. The more difficult it is to complain, the less likely people are to do it.

Chat bots can be irritating and like webchat you can’t guarantee you will have a record of everything. So you really want to email.

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How to email when companies don’t want you to!

However, it IS possible to email companies quite easily. The website Ceoemail.com provides the email addresses for the CEOs of companies free of charge. That’s how to contact a CEO! When emailing the CEO it is unlikely that the CEO will personally respond (although a few do) but it does get a response from the CEO’s executive team and you will have a written record of your complaint.

So for example, some of the companies named on BBC Watchdog as ones where you could not easily contact them by email plus a few more….. here you go…so now you can…

Currys

Ikea

Three

Sainsburys

British Gas

How to escalate your consumer issue

What about social media?

You can also use social media but do be aware that it has its limitations. People frequently say that they have successfully complained because they have used social media. Occasionally if used in the right way, your complaint is simple, the trader has a good social media team and the wind is in the right direction it may be possible to get a good result.

Used in the right way social media can be a good tool to name and shame and speed things up but that’s the limit., In the end you will still need to provide all the details off the public forum, which is as good as sending an email in the first place. See 5 ways how not to use Twitter to complain (and 5 ways how you should) to get the best from complaining using Twitter.

Successful companies are easily contactable and accountable

It is very shortsighted of companies to behave in this manner. In general people don’t mind when companies make mistakes, it’s how they deal with them that matters. If they make it difficult for customers to complain then those customers will tell others, the company’s reputation  and stop using the company..

But don’t be beaten!

Further help

See Top 20 Tips How to Complain! for how to write an effective email.

Cover of How to Complain updated 2019 large cow logo

 

For masses of information, tips, guidance, laws and regulations and templates GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!

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Complaining about customer service Complaining about faulty goods

How, why and when to email the CEO!

I DO NOT SUPPLY EMAIL ADDRESSES FOR CEO’S. PLEASE READ THE POST FOR DETAILS ON WHERE TO FIND THEM!

A guest post from Marcus Williamson, Editor of ceoemail.com Want to contact a CEO? This site is not affiliated with ceoemail.com in anyway. Requests for CEO contact details will not be provided on this The Complaining Cow website. Go to ceoemail.com you’ll find contact details there! If CEOemail.com does not have the address or it is out of date please email the site. Marcus will find the correct one for you. I cannot do this.

Why and when should I email the CEO?

So, you’ve got a problem with a company’s product or service. You have tried emailing and calling customer services and got nowhere so far. Is it time to email the CEO and why would you want to do so?

The time to involve the CEO will vary on a case-by-case basis. In my experience, if you have not received a reply from an initial customer service enquiry within 7 days, then it is time to escalate. If you have called customer service and they have promised a call-back but not honoured the promise, then again it is time to escalate. Likewise, if customer service have responded but have not resolved the issue to your satisfaction, then it’s time to go to the top.

Who is the CEO?

The CEO is the Chief Executive Officer of the organisation. The CEO is ultimately responsible for the day-to-day running of the organisation and the people who comprise it. The CEO can make a difference to your consumer issue by making decisions that others, in customer services, often cannot make because they are not empowered to do so. The CEO also knows the best person to whom issues should be delegated, if necessary.

Alternatives to Customer Services

The key is to establish who is the most senior person within the organisation who has executive power to resolve your consumer issue: The power to execute actions and to ensure that they are correctly performed. These are the people who can make a difference to your consumer issue. A direct approach to the CEO, when necessary, can bypass “customer service” and the unwieldy procedures and processes that prevent your issue from being dealt with effectively. It is worth remembering that the top person in an organisation may have a title other than Chief Executive Officer, depending on the type of organisation and its geographical location. You might also find other titles being used:

Organisation Title
Company Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Company Managing Director or General Manager
Company Executive Chairman
Newspaper Editor
TV/Radio station Controller
University Vice Chancellor or Principal
School Headteacher or Principal
Hospital Trust Chief Executive
Union General Secretary
Prison Governor
Hotel General Manager
Museum or Gallery Director or Curator

About the Author

Marcus Williamson is the editor of ceoemail.com, a consumer information website which can help you resolve issues by taking them to the top of the organisation.

Comment from the Complaining Cow

How does it work? The site lists the email contact details for the CEOs of most companies. Marvellous. Blooming marvellous. If the company isn’t listed, email him ceoemail.editor@connectotel.com and he will do his best to find it! I am honoured to call Marcus a friend. I have only met him the once but you’ll see he’s thanked in my books because of all his support when I came to the final stages and continues to assist me! Rather too many of those CEOs email addresses are there thanks to me requesting them over the last 10 years! The site is, quite simply, brilliant. Use it and contact a CEO who hasn’t ensured a good enough customer service team.

Make sure you follow all the Top 20 tips for complaining effectivley before you contact the CEO!

CEO contact details complaining effectively

Help with complaints

 

To ensure that you know your rights and how to use them take a look at How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results, as one reviewer says you’ll get more than your money back the first time you use it!

 

 

 

101 Habits of an Effective complainer designed to improve the way you look at and make complaints. Each page gives you a complaining habit to consider and an example of how and why it empowers you to become more effective in getting the results you want.

 

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