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How, why and when to email the CEO!


A guest post from Marcus Williamson, Editor of Want to contact a CEO? This site is not affiliated with in anyway. Requests for CEO contact details will not be provided on this The Complaining Cow website. Go to you’ll find contact details there! If does not have the address or it is out of date please email the site.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, 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 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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Purchase downloadable templates to gain redress to get refunds and redress just fill in your personal situation info

By Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow

Consultant | Author | Speaker | Blogger | Presenter | Journalist
Helping to make, prevent and deal with complaints

40 replies on “How, why and when to email the CEO!”

I did email the CEO of Better Bathrooms, a Mr Colin Stevens, as I was exasperated with the customer service (or lack of it) after a month and a half of getting nowhere. I didn’t receive a response and when I asked for a phone call back I was told it wouldn’t happen as ‘it’s not his job’…we are now three and a half months down the line and he still hasn’t even bothered responding to my email! It just goes to show how much he values his customers…NOT!
PS. Our complaint is still ongoing!!

From this I can’t tell what your complaint is – but if breaking any laws and no resolution send email giving 7 days for satisfactory response or will take them to court. Then do it. Tips here details on consumer laws probably being broken here book with templates and more information here

I also cant get any help from Better Bathrooms, Ive been hanging on their live chat page which tells me I am first in queue and waiting will be 2 mins, that was 45 mins ago.
I ve tried 3 phone nos over the past week, always busy, Ive tried to email customer services but they dont give a proper address, I bought a loo in March , installed in May, only used by one person, now the valve is not shutting down, I have to pour 2 litres of water into the cistern ,otherwise it wont flush, I am disabled and live on my own, Help, how do I get hold of them

Please see response to other comment regarding Better Bathrooms and the links in there.

I experienced this week I find it very hard to understand this customer care at all
No empathy or humanity to understand others feeling

I am having some problems with getting someone in British Airways to contact me. I have had no luck with customer service and have now e-mailed the CEO 4 times but with no response. I purchased flights and hotel from BA, for a 5oth wedding anniversary surprise for my wife. Whilst I received confirmation of the hotel payment, I have been unable to get BA to confirm the flight purchase. BA also took confidential info regarding my wife from her frequent flyer card without authority and contacted her direct, thus destroying the surprise. I have just purchased your book from Amazon, will it cover this type of situation?

I note your comment 4 hours after the above to say you hadn’t had a response!! I’m afraid I am not sat in front of the pc every minute of the day waiting to answer comments!!!! But I have changed my auto responder now as I guess it may be misleading so thanks! 🙂

Depends on how/what you wrote in the email, I can’t comment on that. So long as you have evidence that you have paid there shouldn’t be a problem. Contact the bank/credit card with whom you purchased the tickets. Ask them to contact BA, they won’t ignore the bank!

Re the frequent flyer. Would depend on what’s in their terms and conditions as regards informing frequent flyers. If for example they say they can take the info for each booking and you have agreed then there’s little you can do. However, if you mentioned when booking that it was to be a surprise and that they should not contact her then I would say they were in breach of Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 for not carrying out services with reasonable skill and care. That covers not giving you confirmation as well. That info is in the book yes. if they are in breach of any laws (and you will be able to work that out looking at their terms and conditions using the book as a guide) then complain again to CEO. You’ve got the most up to date address? As you don’t have confirmation you don’t know if you actually have the tickets? There’s the issue if you can prove that you have paid and that is where you need the bank involved.

Hope that helps

You’re welcome hope it helps. You’ll see I haven’t changed the auto thingy yet – it’s disappeared!

Hi Helen.

I am the other half of Catherine next door to you, and major walker of Molly.

Have to say I am well impressed with your site, and I was wondering if you could help me.
For the third time AOL have cleared all my emails for no apparent reason. I spend hours on the phone pushing endless buttons, and finally I get someone in God knows where to reinstate them.

I have hunted everywhere for the CEO in the UK, but to no avail have managed to get an email to his counterpart in the US, but nothing ever gets done.

Is it possible you could tell me who to complain to in the UK please.

Thank you


That site is fantastic. If an address is missing, just contact Marcus through the site and ask for the email address you need and he will get it 🙂

I applied for a job on their website ended up going to “assessment”one evening went early sat morning as well to watch dvds on Cosh etc and at the end I asked “am I going to be doing said job “and the person in charge said no “as everyone is new everyone would be starting on the same job”
She promised to get back to everyone and did not and I rang her and someone said they would “pass on message “no call.
I spent about 7 hours (with travel)as i had spent half that going to the assessment and waiting for a reply I sent an email to the Ceo and it got sent back to the same person.
So I guess there is not much I can do ?
Hope you can make sense of this.

Sorry, no I can’t. What site/company – this post is about CEOs of every company in the country so no idea which one you mean. Would depend on what was advertised, what you were told you were going for, what you were told the day would entail as to whether you had a complaint. As far as I know you haven’t given any money so no consumer contract made for them to break as far as I can work out? This probably isn’t consumer law but you’d need to look at what was in the agreement to see if breach of anything, details for possible relevant laws over the blog.

Marcus Williamsons’ CEO website has been amazing for me. I have ALWAYS had good responses & he will find the email address if it isn’t listed. Excellent site. Also you MUST start your email to CEO being polite then lead up to your complaint as you will put them off if you go straight in with guns blazing.

Yep, as I say in the post he’s great at finding CEOs if not listed and being polite yes – included with other advice about complaining in the Top 20 Tips

Here is another tip & what happened recently. My husband & I went to a ‘well known’ family restaurant chain which is mainly known for it’s steaks. I ordered a rump steak well done. When it arrived, I tried cutting into it but it was full of hidden gristle. The waiter then offered to change it for another one. That appeared better, I started eating it then the same thing happened. It was tough & grisly as well as the price not cheap.
So this time I wrapped the remaining piece of steak in a serviette, took it home & posted it to the CEO with a covering letter & the bill asking ‘if he would eat it’?
About a week later, I got an apologetic letter from him telling me he was dealing with it and as well the Regional Area manager was going to contact me, which he did. He was getting staff to check suppliers and putting into action that steaks should be checked before cooking, rejected if not up to their standard as well as other checks.
As well as this I got a voucher code for £30 to use at either the same restaurant or another of the chain which we did. Food & service was great as well as a new menu.
I haven’t named & shamed the restaurant chain as I feel they have acted in an acceptable way as well as taken my comments seriously.
So basically if you are not happy with your meal, send it to the CEO with the bill, preferably in a jiffy bag, POLITE LETTER and hopefully you will get desired results.

Nice touch and actually doesn’t hurt to name. I always say that evey company makes mistakes, it is how they deal with them that counts. I’ve even been known to compliment Tesco. Find it in this list!! 🙂

I have been complaining to Ryanair for the past 10 months. I arrived at the airport with over an hour to spare until my flight but I realised I had the wrong boarding card. I had checked in 4 days previous. I went to the Ryanair desk to pay to get my boarding pass reprinted but there were no staff working at the time. I went to several other airlines, I used the app, I went online and to the airport help desk. Other airlines were even ringing the Ryanair desk to see where their staff were as they should have been there.
The Ryanair staff did not return to their post for nearly a half hour. When I asked them to reprint my boarding pass, they refused and would not allow me to board even though there was still plenty of time until my flight left. Later, a woman at the help desk told me Ryanair would refund my flight if I showed them proof I was there on time. I have done this on numerous occasions and they still are refusing to even send an appropriate email response, never mind an email.
I have been ringing, emailing, writing letters, and using live chats to try get my refund. I keep receiving the same copied and pasted response which is irrelevant to my complaint.
I would like to get in touch with Michael O Leary as I am sick to death of the inadequate Ryanair complaints team. They are absolutely useless.

Email before action (with that in the title) then take them to Small Claims court see tips and links within.

Trying to find the c e o of the village hotel in Glasgow, can any one help!! Not very good with gadgets lol. My son was under paid and tho he’s emailed his boss, he hasn’t replied. Thought Robert Barclay cook was the man but think he’s resigned? Thanks

Please see Part of Malmaison Hotels: (Found at

However, for finding emails of CEOs in the future please use the ceoemail,com website as listed in the post. If you believe an address to be incorrect/out of date please contact the editor of who will find the correct one and update the site for you.

Hello Complaining Cow

Please confirm how I obtain the email address of the CEO of Currys. I bought a cooker and was not informed that my rewiring would have to be completely replaced with different wiring because of the capacity of the cooker. It cost approximately £500 and need only have cost £350. 🙁

I understand that Sainsbury’s has been marketing tea labelled ‘fairly traded’ without the Fairtrade logo and is not Fairtrade certified. Of equal concern is that the farmers and workers who grow this ‘Fairly Traded’ tea will not be allowed to decide themselves how they invest their ‘social premium’ (the equivalent of the Fairtrade Premium). There have already been protests over this policy. I will certainly not be trading with Sainsbury’s while this policy continues. I would have thought better from a firm with the standing that your company has.

If you are looking to email the Sainsbury’s CEO please read and use the link in the post above.

The email address listed on for Cramer Ball who is the CEO of Alitalia Airline just bounces back as a bad email address (, I’ve hunted high and low on the web to get it. I’ve tried 6 different emails so far but all bounce back as bad, can anyone help?

We’ve been promised €500 in compensation, I have emails from them to prove this but they still haven’t paid it to us and are now ignoring all other chase emails I am sending. You can only contact them via email by the way so there isn’t even a number I could call.

If anyone has any advise on what I could do next, I would really appreciate it.

I am exasperated with wicks in Newbury. They, and customer services have been a nightmare by there lack of professionalism. I had a bathroom and kitchen fitted over a year ago and have had lack lustre attempts at putting things right so much so we had to have a break from dealing with it. Not that they bothered to contact us to see if everything was ok. We picked up the reins again last month and the same thing is happening again. I had to physically go to the show room evey Saturday for 3 weeks before somebody came out to view the faults and it has now taken 5 weeks and numerous phone calls to get an up date with a promise of a phone call later today… nothing yet. Can anyone advise where I go next

I emaield the CEO of East Midland Bus company because of the poor service from their season ticket reissuing dept. Got a reply next day, a call from the manager of the department and the ticket sent, special delivery (at no additional cost) arriving next day!

I’ve been using for a couple of years and have had some very good results whilst using this site for CEO searches including compensation from Harveys furniture store and EasyJet to name but a few. This year I used the site to contact the COE of Halfords after purchasing a bike from one Somerset based branch. My initial complaint started when I tried to procure an end of line bike that I was told was new, but ended up being a returned bike which was offered to me for £80 instead of the £130price of a new model, and was deemed to be fault free. However in the process of collecting the product I found faults with the bike, which when presented to the sales team wasn’t dealt with in the best manner. This was the point where I complained. and was offered a new model for the no additional cost. which I accepted. when I got the new model I went on a ride of 1.2 miles before the steering went one was and the handle bars the other and jettisoned me from the bike. fortunately this happened on a cycle trail at slow speed and not on the road. so I returned the bike to another Somerset store and put in an official complaint and then backed this up with a follow on complaint with another letter to the CEO. I got an initial response from the area director within hours, however it then took 4 days him to follow this up, so I emailed again, politely stating that the level of service left a lot to be desired if the Area Manager couldn’t even follow up complaints in a timely manner. the result of this was the Area Manager calling me directly with an hour and offering me the opportunity to go back to the store and selecting a bike of my choosing. He recommended I choose ANY model of a leading manufacturer who’s base model cost £450 and was significantly better quality that the bike of my initial purchase. Needless to say this was an offer I was not going to refuse ;-).

hi there
do you think i got a right to complain about a issue i had with Enterprise car/van hire
back in may i hired and payed for a 9 person mini bus van for end of july to take my family down to cornwall..Now said van was going to be picked up at 12 o clock on the day it was meant to be on hire to us
when at 9. o clock in the morning got a call of the regional office of Enterprise where i booked the van informing me that they didn’t have a mini bus van for me and offered me 2 cars instead which i declined as im the only one that can drive.. informed they office manager they had till the pick up time to get it sorted at which time i went to the office and got told they still had no mini bus van for me
so ask for a refund for the hire which wasn’t a problem but had to wait over two weeks for it
question is do i have any grounds to claim beach of contact …seeing i had to hire another van of a another hire supplier and said van costed more in fuel as it was a seventeen seater and the only one left with that supplier so where do i stand with that
many thanks

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