(The names are deleted to protect the not-so-innocent).

Recently I dealt with a miserable customer service experience: I signed up for an online service that I need and was double charged. No way to speak by phone so I was relegated to email hell to resolve this, or try to.

BTW, I received a canned email from the president of the company welcoming me as a valued new client. I kept the name of the president JIC.

Over the course of 4 business days, I was in email contact with multiple people in customer service, each time making no progress towards a refund. They kept repeating the same canned responses, as if they had just arrived on the scene to fix the issue. No evidence they read any of the previous emails I had sent to outline the history of what had happened to that point.  I even replied to the president’s welcome email, but it was returned undeliverable as a closed email box.

Hmmmm….I was not getting that warm, fuzzy feeling that this is going to be a great service for me…

However, after a lot of evaluation of this service vs. its competitors, I still want it but think that only they can resolve this duplicate payment, so the monthly invoicing is corrected going forward. A credit card chargeback is not going to help until I have exhausted all avenues to get my account patched up. And you know I’m savvy about credit card chargebacks, right?

So I used my noodle, tried communicating with him via LinkedIn, the business currency of communication.

No surprise, huh?

I searched his {“name” “and” “company name”} on LinkedIn since his name is very  common (I speak passable Boolean too!).

Luckily, he’s a second level connection through someone I do not know well enough to drag into this as a favor. A bit of a dead end there; not impossible, but I can hold this in my proverbial pocket for a last-ditch effort another time if I need to.

But…I noticed on LinkedIn the president and I are members in the same LinkedIn Group, so I went to the Group page, searched for him there, found his listing, and messaged him as a privilege from our mutual association with the Group.

Yes, you can do that too.

Me to him, person-to-person, asking for him to intervene, in a business-like manner, on LinkedIn.

Long story short, you can message anyone on LinkedIn if you share a similar group, even if you are not directly 1st level connected to him/her, and you don’t want to use an InMail.


From this saga perhaps you learned a new way to approach people in an alternative LinkedIn way you had not known about previously.

I didn’t give up and wiggle like a wet noodle.

I used a teaspoon from my special sauce of LinkedIn best practices.