ad info
   personal technology

 custom news
 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 CNN programs
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

CNN Websites
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines

 message boards




PC World

Got a problem? Complain online!

June 3, 1999
Web posted at: 3:16 p.m. EDT (1916 GMT)

by James A. Martin

(IDG) -- You turn on your brand-new TV and see nothing but a blurred, overly green picture. When no amount of adjustment fixes it, you take the TV back to the electronics store. After several weeks, the store employee says the problem's fixed, but when you plug the TV in, it's green and blurry again. Complaining gets you nowhere. What next?

  PC World home page
  FileWorld find free software fast
  Make your PC work harder with these tips
 Reviews & in-depth info at
 *'s desktop PC page's portable PC page's Windows software page's personal news page
  Year 2000 World
  Questions about computers? Let's editors help you
  Subscribe to's free daily newsletter for computer geniuses (& newbies)
  Search in 12 languages
 News Radio
 * Fusion audio primers
 * Computerworld Minute

Go to, a new Web service for consumers who can't get satisfaction for a product or service they bought.

For $19.95, will identify the names of the offending company's chief executive officer and customer care executive, write a professional letter of complaint, then send two copies of the letter (one for each executive) to you. You then review and sign the letters, enclose any supporting materials (such as copies of receipts), and mail the letters to the CEO and customer care executive.

The letters include a "via" logo that lets the recipients know the complaint was registered through the service. The companies can respond to the complaint through, if they choose.

Complaints are added to a database. The company says it will analyze the data for trends and use its information to generate reports on consumer products and services. If you've registered a complaint, you can access those reports through the site.

Four weeks after you've mailed your complaint letters, you get an e-mail from, asking if the issue has been resolved. If the problem still exists, will fax a copy of the original complaint letter to the offending company's chief executive. After that, you can get referrals to partners, including law firms.

Get some respect

Why pay money for a service that sends your complaints via the U.S. postal service?

According to, letters sent in the mail bearing its logo will immediately indicate how serious the complaint is. By comparison, complaints sent via e-mail are easy for companies to disregard. offers a free service for consumers who want to send an e-mail complaint to a company regarding an unsatisfactory e-commerce transaction. When the consumer sends a gripe to a company via e-mail, he or she can copy on the message. will notify the company via e-mail that the complaint has been added to its database.

Additionally, will publish original articles and analysis of consumer products and services at its Web site and provide consulting services to corporations who want help solving their customer complaint problems. is not the only consumer complaint service available via the Web. Among the others are Fight Back, from consumer-advocacy journalist David Horowitz (currently under construction); Complain to Us, a problem-resolution service; and, a free consumer advocacy service.

Yahoo sues spammer
April 29, 1999
'Big Brother Awards' highlight privacy complaints
April 12, 1999
Apple alters open-source licenses after criticism
April 23, 1999
Better Business Bureau joins online privacy fray
March 19, 1999

Assessing online encyclopedias
(PC World Online)
What's all about?
(PC World Online)
CyberSettle tackles small claims
(The Industry Standard)
Buying music on the Web
(PC World Online)
Surf the Web and shape up
(PC World Online)'s Year 2000 World
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

Fight Back!
(Currently under construction)
Complain to Us
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.