Engagement, Habits, Success

Go To The Horse’s Head Not His Ass

Years ago I had a terrific mentor.  His name was McCabe. When I met Mac, as we called him, he looked like Popeye’s Dad, Pappy. He was a retired master chief, legally blind, with emphysema and melanoma. You’d think a guy with that many health problems would be a grumpy old fart right? But not Mac. Mac would walk around singing Big Band music, and when he’d inevitably bump into something, he’d say something like, “Paint it white.” or “Get up drunk.”

I learned so much from this old sea bee, not the least of which was old-world carpentry. But, one of his greatest lessons, that has served me extremely well through the years, was a statement he’d tell me often. “Go to the horses head, not his ass.”

What did he mean by that? He meant that when you have a problem, you go to the decision maker to get things right. I’m sure you’ve encountered countless frustration in your life dealing with call centers and agents that read off of script cards. See, Mac would tell you to immediately jump over the call center agents heads and get a decision maker on the phone. And the reason is the decision maker can refund your money, expedite return shipping, adjust your bill, or whatever resolution you want done. The agent on the other hand, is trained to get you off the call as quickly as possible, will tell you a different story every time you call, and has to ask permission to give you anything in most cases anyway.

So how have I used this in the real world? When my cell phone would repeatedly drop calls when I was home, I wrote the CEO of the phone company, and told him while I valued his time, I had a recurring issue with my phone service and that every call I’d make or answer would drop two to three times. And, as a result of going right to the top, he paired me up with a Vice President, who sent a crew out to literally change the direction of the cell tower arrays. The problem was I had 3 towers in close proximity and my phone was jumping from tower to tower. It was fixed in less than a few days.

Another time, I had a bank give the entire contents of my account to a stranger 1400 miles away in a city I’d never been too. This cascaded into a serious problem. They would up holding all of my funds for 3 weeks. Then that caused my credit cards to quadruple their interest rates for late payment, and of course I got late fees on all of my utility bills to boot. I had a great budget set up, but the interest rate hikes shot me far over the budget, and so I started running deficits in my account. Coupling that with creative accounting (like pushing your deposits behind several small purchases) and whamo, the bank is making hundreds in over draft charges. It got so bad one week they charged me over a thousand bucks in fees. I kept documentation on everything, including the fraud departments letter calling me a liar in writing, claiming I’d authorized the withdrawal that led to this, and over 800 pages of screenshots showing the transactions being rearranged in my bank account. Then I called the corporate office, talked to a VP and after a few calls, got the fees reversed and closed all of my accounts. (I’m with a much more ethical and downright awesome bank now, and have been for years!)

I emailed the CEO of my electric company and had a request for a larger deposit turned over.

I’ve made payment arrangements for moving my billing date on the water bill.

And, I even got my mortgage company in trouble with Fannie Mae for some unethical stuff they tried to pull, which they promptly reversed, and had to amend on my credit report.

This strategy almost always saves you time, stress and gets rapid results.

And I’ll leave you with a great clue to get this working for you quickly…

Go to whatever company’s website you have a problem with, go to the Investor Relations link, find out the name of the CEO, and check if they have a email listed, If not try every variation of firstinitial.lastname@thecompany.com , lastnamefirstinitial,firstname.com, lastname.firstinitial@thecompany.com, firstname.lastinitial@thecompany.com , firstname.lastname@thecompany.com , lastname.firstname@thecompany.com .

Write your email, and then enter all of those variations, using BCC. Chances are really good, you’ll reach the CEO.

If you have success with this, be sure to let me know. I love it when consumers get the treatment they actually deserve.