Help from the CEO – what consumer issues do you have that need resolving today?

The National is launching a new online column, Help from the CEO, where we take your consumer gripes in the UAE directly to the chief of the relevant company.
If you have an unresolved consumer issue with a UAE company, The National's new online column, Help from the CEO, offers to seek solutions all the way from the top. Getty Images
If you have an unresolved consumer issue with a UAE company, The National's new online column, Help from the CEO, offers to seek solutions all the way from the top. Getty Images

Sometimes you just have to go to the very top to get things done. Have you ever been denied a refund on a faulty item in a store or had shoddy work carried out on your home? Perhaps you lost a bag on a flight never to see it again or endured such poor service at a restaurant that you went home hungry.

At the time, you might have contacted a company hoping for a simple apology or for the issue to be fixed. But while many of us receive satisfactory resolutions to our consumer complaints, there are others who receive no feedback whatsoever and are left feeling wronged.

While a complaint sent to one company may be resolved by a special unit set up to deal with complaints efficiently and effectively, another may get lost in a firm’s internal email system, shunted from one department to another without any positive outcome.

This process costs valuable time and sometimes hits you in the pocket too.

So how about complaining dir­ectly to the company’s chief executive?

The National is launching a new online column, Help from the CEO, where we take your consumer gripes in the UAE directly to the chief of the relevant company.

But is such a tactic effective, I hear you ask?

Well, a website in the UK called CEOemail.com, says the number of people searching for a chief executive’s direct email address has recently risen dramatically.

The website publishes the work emails, Twitter handles and even work telephone numbers of chief executives and company leaders at global organisations.

The site has reported a 10 per cent increase in traffic this summer and claims 11,000 people visit it each day.

So how would the practice of complaining directly to a CEO pan out here in the UAE?

Well, I put it to the test recently.

In 2014, some workmen fixing a water heater above my bath dropped a tool and damaged the lining of the tub. Over a period of 18 months, the company sent a team to paint over the hole on three occasions but it washed away within weeks each time. Frustrated by the lack of resolution, I then demanded a new bath but my complaint was ignored for several months.

In the end, I found the email address of the company’s chief executive and voiced my concerns directly to him. I had a new bath within two weeks.

So if you have an unresolved consumer issue with a UAE company, send us your story and we will take it straight to the relevant organisation’s chief executive.

Write a full brief of your complaint, with any relevant accompanying documentation to support your issue, and send it to pf@thenational.ae.

Follow us on Twitter @TheNationalPF

Published: September 19, 2016 04:00 AM

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