Getting in touch with some of the folks at the top and getting help with your shitty phone (or other nearly-useless tech product) by taking the corporate elevator, and NOT the corporate ladder… There are lots of ways to get attention from people who seem unreachable, and here are a few of those ways…
So, I have a Samsung phone. It isn’t great, but I needed a replacement after my last phone started restarting itself over and over and over again. I’d gotten that one on the other side of the country, so I figured I couldn’t really take it back or anything, and I’d had it for months, anyway… So, I bought a new one at Best Buy (the Samsung I’m using now) and after about ONE month, it asked me if I wanted to “UPDATE.”
I’d be warned about some of the phone updates… I was skeptical, and I always ignored the update offer or clicked away from it, until one day when I got a phone call, and was trying to answer it, but then that fucking “UPDATE?” message showed up on the screen in front of the phone call graphic. I tried to click outside of it, but it was just like one of those annoying pop up ads that force you to click on them. So, in the end, although I didn’t intend to click it, I accidentally did. Immediately, my phone looked like it turned off and started updating. I waited and waited, and then guess what happened – that constant restarting loop came back! Even though this was a completely different phone, it looked like it was suffering the same fait as my previous phone… It kept happening all day, so I finally went to Best Buy, and asked them if they could fix it.
The guy at Best Buy looked at the phone, and said that they couldn’t do anything about it, and that I’d probably need to send the thing in to the company so THEY could fix it… Which, well, I never want to do, because I don’t know how many months I’ll just be waiting and waiting around for them to do…SOMETHING… for my phone. And that would be irritating. I asked the guy if Best Buy could just replace it, since I got it a month earlier. But, I had no “warranty,” and I guess I was just barely outside the time frame to replace the damn thing without one. It didn’t matter that I said, “the warranty shouldn’t matter, I just got this thing and now it won’t work at all, I really need a new one and this one’s clearly defective.” Nope. Didn’t matter. The unhelpful guy at Best Buy said there wasn’t anything they could do. I needed to get it replaced or fixed by Samsung…
So… I went home, went on Google, and found a forum where people are actually trying to help each other instead of just sell you a shitty product that breaks down almost right away – and I got the impression that a factory-reset was the thing to do, and that I could do that by myself. I’d possibly lose my info on the phone, but that’s OK if it’s backed up… But my phone was not backed up. Regardless, I had to do something or else I couldn’t even make a phone call, so I did the factory reset thing. It worked, and my phone was back to it’s normal self. I didn’t have any contacts on it, though. They were all wiped clean. That was annoying. Once in a while, though, if someobody I knew called me, my phone would somehow recognize their name and tell me who it was – but when I went to my list of phone numbers, it was empty. They were there, but I couldn’t get them. Awesome. I tried to get in touch with Samsung through email to see if they could give me any information, but damn, it was hard getting any good contact email or phone numbers. I tried one phone number, and I didn’t get anywhere with them, and emailing customer service email addresses got me NOWHERE….
Then I found something awesome:
I found a forum where somebody had posted the email addresses of all the higher-ups at Samsung. It was a little out of date, because a few of the emails didn’t seem to get through, but some of them did. I emailed almost a dozen people individually who all had email addresses listed in the company. I did get a few responses back. I got one ongoing response from a woman at Samsung who’s name I won’t post but seemed genuine and actually did seem to want to help. I told her how after the “update” my phone was basically broken and i had to reset it, and lost my contacts. She suggested a number of things, and I finally added some names from an old email address, which helped to an extent. Half the time I wasn’t even around when she would call, so she kept contacting me and calling almost every day to try to help, for at least two weeks or so, which I definitely did not expect. I respect the hell out of that, though. In the end, I didn’t get everything back, but I did get a number of my contacts restored (not all, but some) though I must say, I was strangely satisfied that I was able to actually get quick and immediate attention by ignoring all the middle men and their advice – or lack of advice – at Samsung, Best Buy, etc, and just try going straight to the top, asking people who were in charge what to do.
It seems like the bigger a company gets, and the more employees they take on, the quicker and better and more efficient the customer service should be, but it seems like it’s usually the opposite. I mentioned in an earlier post that Youtube (despite being the biggest video site on the interweb) doesn’t even have a customer service or technical support line you can call. I know this because they’re owned by Google, and when I tried to get in touch with Youtube, somebody from Google was there to “help,” me, but he had no help for anything related to Youtube. Nothing. He was a cog. Was everything HIS fault? No, he was just a cog. But the people at the top in Google? Obviously, “don’t be evil,” (they’re old slogan which nobody remembers anymore – least of all, themselves) doesn’t seem to translate to, “at least TRY to be a LITTLE helpful, once in awhile, if you can, especially since you’re talking to people who are making YOU money.”
I’m not against a business doing well, but so many of these big businesses just don’t give a shit – and they don’t CARE how obvious it is that they don’t give a shit. But then when you try to get in touch with the higher ups, suddenly you get a different group of people… Maybe they assume that if you have their email, you must be “up there,” or “at their level,” or… or something. I don’t know. I know that’s how a lot of people think of things like that – they think in terms of hierarchies, and they might be more likely to respond to people in “their realm,” so to speak… But, hey, at least they tried, and I’m sure there are a few folks at the top who aren’t like that, even if so many of them are.
Anyway, getting email addresses of higher-ups is a great thing to do. Here are a few ways to do it:
- If you go to Yahoo Business and type in the name of the company, you can often find names of CEOs, VPs, on down the list. Write down all their names, and search for them and their email addresses, if they aren’t already on that site.
- Linkedin is likely to have their names and profiles, and you can possibly get their email addresses there. Or phone numbers. (though, if your phone isn’t working, it might be hard calling them, obviously…) But if you can’t get them on Linkedin, just Google their name, Google their name+the company name (in case they have one of those bland names like John Smith that has ten billion search results) or search for their name+company+email, and perhaps you’ll find something.
- You MIGHT also get lucky by going to their official website and scrolling to the bottom of the page, or finding a “corporate site,” or “corporate info,” or something of that nature, or something like, “investor relations,” etc. You can sometimes find links from their to sites their info might be on.
- Try to find forums where other like-minded irritated folks have gone to discuss the product or the company that you are dealing with. That’s where I found some pissed off guy posting all the Samsung email infoz. Hats off to you, Sir!
- If you find the name of some of the higher-ups in the company but can’t get their email, call the tech support or help-line they always offer and ask for the person by name, and if the operator / cog asks for an extension #, confidently respond by saying, “I don’t know his/her extension #, this is (___insert your first name here__) and I have to ask them something important, please let me speak to them.”
- Making a lot of nice-noise: I almost forgot this one: go on their social media sites and post your complaints. I hate telling people not to curse, so I won’t tell you not to, but instead, I’ll just suggest that you don’t, just so that they won’t have an excuse to dismiss you publically. If you seem like some, “reasonable but justifiably frustrated and probably-wronged customer,” to everyone seeing that post, the folks running their social media site will be afraid of that perception, and are more likely to help, if they are at all willing to, anyway… The thing is, it’s definitely true that some of these tech companies have a twitter, a facebook, an instagram, a VK, a kubudeizuki, a frittzledorfen (ok I made those last two up) and never really pay any attention to their accounts on those sites at all, so, this was the last option I thought I’d mention in this list of way to get attention from the folks who made your phone (well, maybe not the slaves in China who ACTUALLY make your phone, but the people in charge of the company that funded the operations that assembled your phone)…
Please keep in mind, I’m not trying to get anyone stalked, here. That’s not what this is. This is simply about getting a conversation with someone who plays a pivotal role in the company that you have given you hard-earned cash to, and just trying to get your phone fixed, or get advice on what to do about it.
I’m definitely not saying or advocating that you need/should track them down to the point of looking up their home address and sneaking up to their windows or anything like that, I’m saying to just be reasonable, but confident and persistent, and track down their email or phone number. It’s fine, it’s legal, it’s legit, it’s just not often done. I know that this is obvious, and I know that nobody reading this will actually stalk anyone, but I feel like putting it in writing anyway, just so it’s there and my point is properly understood – and because I just want people to get the help with their phones the way I needed help.
Maybe if they’d make technology that wasn’t designed to break down for a decade, everything would be great… but then they wouldn’t stand to make as much money, would they? So, of course there’s incentive in making products that are at least a little shitty. I hate that strategy. I understand why they do it, but just the same, it seems very dishonest, and it helps normalize the idea that it’s OK to put out sub-par products and then run a company by acting fake (and in some cases not even having a tech support…?????).