According to a survey by Bob Sullivan, author of Gotcha Capitalism: How Hidden Fees Rip You Off Every Day—and What You Can Do About It, those of us who make our voices heard have a decent chance of getting the desired results: Complaints to credit card companies and airlines had a success rate of more than 60 percent. (If you're calling to complain to your cable provider, however, you may want to first hone your debating skills: Only 20 percent of those consumers got the response they were looking for.)
Despite their sometimes impenetrable automated phone lines, companies are not the omniscient, technologically advanced entities they often present themselves to be. They aren't even that smart sometimes. But sometimes, making the call is worth the inconvenience and stress. You could find yourself hundreds of dollars richer.