The Checkout

The Elusive Escalations Office

After reading of Lisa Newman's battle with MCI, reader Gary Goldberg had an excellent question:

"And the phone number to the MCI Executive Escalations office would be...?"

I posed that very question to Verizon spokeswoman Christy Reap. I also asked what exactly is the Executive Escalation Office and what triggers its involvement. Reap's answer:

"The bottom line is customers should work with the customer service representatives to attempt to get their issues resolved. Period. Any information beyond that is proprietary."

Next time you find yourself stuck in a phone tree, or better yet, if you crack the secret code to the Executive Escalation Office, remember to log your experiences at gethuman.com and maybe you can help another poor schlub.

By Annys Shin |  September 13, 2006; 2:55 PM ET Customer Service
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Comments

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Wow. What a sincere heartfelt quote from Ms. Reap.

They ought to use that in some sort of advertising.

Posted by: Kim | September 13, 2006 3:41 PM

If you can't get to the level of Executive Escalations or its equivalent, other than BBB and the small claims court, what organizations will resolve these kinds of issues?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2006 3:58 PM

When we had difficulty last year with our DSL installation and billing, we called the President's office of Verizon in NYC - it was listed in the 2004-2005 NOVA Verizon phone book under President's Complaints line, or something similar. They were able to cut through the bs we had first with the DSL dispatch center and then with the billing errors that followed for several months thereafer.

Good Luck!

Posted by: ArlingtonVerizonCustomer | September 13, 2006 4:21 PM

Another reason to love Verizon. More than I can count, to be sure.

Posted by: Gary Masters | September 13, 2006 5:05 PM

Ha! I can sympathize with them not wanting to give out the number to the Executive Escalations Office, because I imagine they'd be flooded by calls that really could be handled by customer service people. But refusing to even acknowledge its existence? That's just shady.

Posted by: h3 | September 13, 2006 5:15 PM

Most companies have something like an "Executive Escalations Office". At the very least, there's someone up the chain who's responsible for customer service and is authorized to do a whole lot more than the rep you're speaking to normally on the phone. The things you have to remember are that the company wants your business, and you need to make sure that you exhaust the normal support chain before trying to get this person (or office) involved. If you abuse that person, you're likely to not get what you want.

The method is referred to as "turboing", and there's a great guide on how to do it at http://www.macwhiz.com/articles/art-of-turboing.html. I've used this process myself twice, once with a cable/satellite company and once with a credit card company, to get a customer service issue resolved that was not getting handled correctly through the normal channels. When done correctly it's very effective, and it often points out customer service problems to the people who can make it better for future customers.

Posted by: BonkOif | September 13, 2006 10:15 PM

I'll tell you the same thing I tell everyone else in this situation: Be nice to your CSR's! If you calmly explain the situation and refrain from making outrageous demands with no basis (for instance, WHY exactly is your/your wife's time worth $25.00/hour?), 9 reps out of 10 will be most willing to do everything in their power to help you out as best they can. Keep in mind that there ARE system limitations.

Also, one thing I'll let you know: If you do inisist on being compensated in the amount of $25.00/hour and other calims like that--don't even bother mentioning to a CSR. It's too hard to stop from laughing at you. Request an Executive by name (like Todd Goldthwaite--he's more obscure and so it sounds like you know what you're talking about). If the rep says we don't have the number, they most likely have just never had to transfer there, or they are new. Request that they type "Executive Escalations" into the search box in the information site on our intranet (it's called Merlin). If they refuse, or still can't find it, request a supervisor. Say "I want a supervisor" TWO times. Do not say it rudely as you WILL get attitude back if you do, and you'll just get more mad. Do NOT request management as supervisors are the only higher ups in the center with the ability to take your call.

Refrain from demanding the extra compensation from the supervisor as well (they do not have the physical capibility of delivering on it either, as they use the same systems your CSR does). Do, however, request that you would like the number for Executive Escalations. They are required to attempt to assist you before transferring you, so explain what you would like and then again request Executive Escalations.

Do this during normal business hours as the Executive Office is open Mon. to Fri. (no weekends), and is only open until 6:00 PM CST.

Good Luck!

Posted by: lunasatic | September 15, 2006 1:42 PM

A reader e-mailed the following:

The quickest way to get to Executive Escalation (for any publicly traded
company) is to go to the executive offices- check SEC filings or investor pages for the most direct info relating to executive offices. For MCI/Verizon the address is 140 west Street, NY NY 10007 and the main line is 212-395-1000. Consumers have two routes or two sticks to use here--disclosure of subscriber info, for example a phone number and account info to someone who is not the account holder creates potential problems for a telecommunications company as it 1) violates ECPA and likely State Statutes as well, and improper accounting or debt reporting creates another set of problems as it 2) violates numerous Fair Trade Act statutes. Report violations of the first to local Regulatory body and the FCC. Report the second to the FTC. Copy to Verizon General Counsel Randy Milch at the above address and the consumer will likely receive quick action.

Posted by: washingtonpost.com | September 20, 2006 11:52 AM

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