The email from Jonica Brooks, received yesterday morning, was a simple request.
“I looked for the Virgin American contact information on your web site,” Brooks wrote. “But it seems you only have Virgin Atlantic. Do you have Virgin America contact information?”
If you think you know what happens next, grab a seat. Let me tell you a cool story.
We don’t sit on these requests. I responded within five minutes, copying our research director, Trent Bonsall. We were on the case.
When you have a grievance with a company, every minute counts. No one understands that more than our research team. We know that the clock is ticking on a credit card dispute and there are statutes of limitations. Time is not on your side.
So we do our best.
We have a long to-do list of companies we’re researching, but sometimes we can respond immediately.
I’ve seen Trent, or a member of his team, find names and email addresses within hours of getting a request. They may not be published for a few weeks, but we get the information to the right person ASAP.
With Virgin, Brooks was in luck. We had a full file almost ready to go. It needed a little production, but was otherwise ready for prime time. Here’s the Virgin America file.
Now, some of you are probably thinking: I don’t need this. My Google-Fu is good enough to find the information I need. Or, if you’re a travel agent, maybe you already have your insider contact. But this … this is just silly. These executives have the right to privacy. (Or, as a straight-faced PR person at a car rental company once deadpanned: “Our CEO is not in a customer-facing position.”)
Well, you’re wrong.
This information is tipping the balance in favor of everyday consumers — the people who don’t have insider contacts and platinum cards with dedicated phone numbers. They’re people like your neighbor, your brother, your parents. We’re helping everyone.
If you want to join us as a volunteer researcher — and I know that you do — then please contact Trent Bonsall. It is one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. You’ll see. When you get an email from someone like Brooks saying that you got a resolution because of the information on this site, you will be able to call yourself an advocate.
What are you waiting for?