What has more impact?

I have several “contacts” I need to make to Comcast and UPS. For UPS I need to complain that the delivery guy never bothers to knock and dumps my stuff in the snow when I’m right on the other side of the fricking door.

The other is Comcast, where 75% of the time we call for Internet support I get flat out lied to, and the other 25% is support that is stellar and those agents go beyond the call of duty to help.

So of the 3 methods to talk to supervisors, which has the most impact? Phone call, Post Office letter, or e-mail?

Phone call until you get what you want.

Phone call, because they can’t directly ignore you. For the UPS guy, you will want to call the local distribution center I think. Anyone higher up will just apologize and hang up.

Phone call or grab hold of an executive e-mail.

It’s a landslide already but in the cases where I get truly exceptional support I like to attempt to flatter the support guy and get them to put their supervisor on the line or to give me their supervisor’s email address so I can show my appreciation more properly.

Take a picture of your penis wearing a tiny firemans hat. Place it in an inter-office package signed from the support rep who maligned you and to the highest ranking female executive at the company.

Then casually wander in to the companies from lobby, knock over some papers and help pick them up, placing the inter-office package on top. Your problem will soon be taken care of.

If you recieve exceptional service then you do exactly the same thing, except you use a picture of my penis wearing a tiny firemans hat.

I’m not sure. Phone call if you want to talk to support or a CSR, but if they refuse or can’t help you then your best bet is to physically mail and then of course email executives. I say actually mailling as opposed to email because alot of people execs included, seem to take physical mail more seriously and are less likely to just throw it in the trash can.


I’ve heard that you can’t outsmart them.

So with Comcast you need to speak to a supervisor, also remember that cable companies are regulated in most cases. If your problem will not/cannot be solved by them consider a regulatory complaint.

For UPS have you already spoken to customer service? If nothing has been damaged you may just need to call and tell them where you would like the packages placed. If you have already done this but have not gotten results I’d start with a call asking for a supervisor. If this doesn’t work complain to whoever is sending you the packages, I mean if they’re merchants and not people sending you gifts. I know that in some circumstances the company that is sending the package is already locked into a contract and sometimes you don’t have a choice of shipping methods but customer feedback does get taken into account when it’s time to review what company will be the next delivery service for the next year or two.

Based on your issues they should be resolvable by phone. A letter may have more impact and a letter to the company president may put pressure on the little guys to solve the problem BUT as someone who works in a phone organization I can tell you that the higher you go the more the people know about running a business and the less they know about solving your problem. It can actually take longer to try to write than to call.

I know that if you ever have a problem at Disneyland, the magic words to get results are “I’m a guest, and I have a problem.” And if that doesn’t work, you follow it with “I recognize that you might not have the authority to help me, what’s the name of your supervisor?”


The phone works, you play stupid until you get routed to the person you want. If you try to sound smart, or if you sound angry, their defensive training will kick in. Remember the dirty trick of giving someone a little something nice right after they tell you they can’t help you. If you can stay on the phone while the compliment or whatever bounces around, the person on the other end will change no to yes on their own. It’s a modified guilt-trip, but you deliver the good without any strings.

Another thing to remember is never open with something that the other person might disagree with. Always build at least three points of consensus, and argue from a position of necessity instead of power or anger.


If you want to find the right person, call the wrong person. A lot of the time, people get mad because they think they are calling the right person, and the person on the other end doesn’t understand what they are getting at, and they send them to a completely different wrong person. So call the wrong person, on purpose, and as soon as they announce who they are, apologize laughingly for calling the wrong person, and say who you were trying to reach.


Conflict is inherent in the service industry. When you relate a factual situation that you feel is honest and neutral, you will upset people because of the bias that comes with your perspective. Present only the barest bones, and let the representative of the company tease the allegations of misconduct or complaints of habitual negligence out of you. People love to discover things, let them discover your problem. These people deal with these problems all day, every day, so you need to be exceptional, and you will not be exceptional by trying to raise a bigger stink than the next guy. The only thing you can do is compete to be the nicest, most humble and pleasant person they talked to that day.

For the UPS guy, have you tried leaving a little passive-aggressive note on the door (“Dear UPS: Please knock or ring bell”)?

For calling people, I agree wholeheartedly with Flowers’ advice about getting the right person via the wrong one.

If you escalate to sending a letter, make sure it’s certified-return-receipt.

I used to work in the office as a “dispatcher” (not their term, but hey) at the UPS in West Sacramento. Here’s what you do for UPS, assuming nothing has changed in 4 years, which I hear that it hasn’t.

Call the 1-800 number and tell them you want to complain about the service to your house. Keep in mind the 1-800 is farmed out to some subcontractor, so they aren’t actual UPS people. They will need your address, but if you aren’t comfortable with that (retaliation or whatever), definitely give them the zip code. This tells this which UPS center to assign the call to. This “concern” then goes to that UPS center. You should receive a phone call back within an hour, by policy, to discuss the matter. The call will probably come from an office dispatcher like I was, or possibly a supervisor. You want to speak to, or receive a callback from, an “on road” supervisor. This is someone who is management, not union, but also works for a living.

Then tell this person why you aren’t happy with the deliveries there. Keep in mind that you quite probably did not have your regular driver who may have been on vacation for the two weeks around Christmas as seniority has privileges. But let the on-road sup know in any case. You can ask for them to require signatures in the future as well, as the dispatcher or sup can place a code in the DIAD (the brown computer you sign) to not allow package deliveries without a sig if you want. But keep in mind that this cannot be overrided later either, it’s kind of a big deal.

Good luck jp.

Put a big toybox outside on the patio that says MAIL/UPS/FEDEX on it. See if he’ll use it. If he doesn’t, wait until it gets warmer out and then hide in there one day in a clown suit covered in fake blood with an air horn and give him a razz. That motherfucker will check in there every day from then on, and hey since he’s there, maybe he’ll drop your shit in there too. Good luck complaining, the call center doesn’t care and neither does anyone else. All they care about is if the package was delivered (maybe).

Make at least 4 phone calls and play the odds! Also, KISS COMCAST’S FEET because the success rate on calling Cox isn’t close to 25%.

I already have a note on the door(s) letting them know where to put packages. Dropping it in the snow (next to the door) is their little “special touch”. I really get pissed when it’s electronic and they drop it to the ground instead of placing it there and I’m rushing to the door to get to them when I hear the UPS truck pulled up. I’m always just a fee steps behind it seems.

Flowers, thanks fro the excellent call etiquette advice.

shift6 - I’ll look into that -

require autograph
. I might never get my stuff if I can’t get to them before they run away though.

I just saw this linked elsewhere and thought of you, JPinard.