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Updated: 08/09/2022:    If you've ever wanted to know every term and method relative to social engineering, Irrespective of your level of experience, then you've come to the right place. This SEing encyclopedia, has everything you need pertaining to common terms and methods that're used In today's world of exploiting the human firewall. All topics Include a brief description, as well as a few examples of how each term Is used In a sentence- which will be of benefit to those new to the SEing sector. To help refine your search, I've added a table of contents, whereby you can pick and choose exactly what you're looking for. 

Escalating Your Claim

 


Escalating Your Claim To A Senior Level

Social engineering has certainly come a long way since the old-school type evolved many decades ago, consisting of (but not limited to) "pretexting", "tailgating", "spear phishing", "quid pro quo", "phishing" and the rest of the names that someone happened to manifest with their fanciful Imagination. All that Is used to obtain confidential Information, gain access to a restricted building, remotely Infect a computer with malware, get the victim to click on a malicious link and the list goes on. 

Nowadays, a much more sophisticated form of SEing has hit Internet forums, Discord servers and related communities - specifically "company manipulation and exploitation", whereby as Its name Implies, It exploits companies and manipulates the vulnerabilities of representatives to perform actions that they're not supposed to do - credit bank accounts where It's not warranted, and dispatch replacement Items at their expense. While It may sound like a somewhat simplistic procedure on paper, nothing could be further from the truth.

Unless the claim Is approved on the spot by reps who have no brain cells left, or perhaps a chat bot generating an Instant refund, SEing In the above capacity, takes patience, perseverance, adamancy, control, and an exceptional set of skills to achieve a favourable outcome with problematic claims. As such, to help alleviate the degree of difficulties, SE'ers ensure they have everything In place to support their attack vector, of which "Item and method formulation" (choosing a method that's compatible with the Item) Is carefully selected and flawlessly applied, hence gives the SE the best opportunity to deceive reps and succeed thereafter. 

Having said that, there are times when no matter how well you've prepared the SE by leaving very little to no room for error, you'll find that many reps/agents are very stubborn when assessing your claim, and refuse to budge with every manipulative tactic you throw at them. For example, have you used the DNA method, whereby the driver left the package unattended at your doorstep and after saying "It wasn't personally received", the company declined your claim based on GPS/tracking records marking the consignment delivered? I'd say your answer Is "Yes" on at least one occasion.

That example Is perfect DNA material, for the fact that tracking only confirms delivery to an "address", and NOT to a "person", thus anyone could've stolen the package when It was sitting at your front door - which well and truly justifies It wasn't personally accepted. However, countless reps stand by their decision to close your case, as well as tend to Ignore you when they're repeatedly contacted by phone or email - obviously not only with the DNA, but also with all other traditional methods. So, what do you do when all communications from your end fall on deaf ears? Give up? Certainly not!

Just because some pig-headed representative put an end to your SE, by no means does It conclude that It's over and done with. How so, you ask? Well, did you know that further action can be taken on your part by "escalating your claim", even though It's no longer active? A lot of SE'ers are unaware that this (escalation) can be done with companies to the likes of Amazon, Logitech, Nike, Adidas, Zalando, Apple and an array of others, and that's what prompted me to write this article. 

What you will learn today Is "What Is a claim escalation", "How to prepare the escalation", "How to escalate the claim" Itself and finishing off with "Handling a declined escalation" - all listed In that very order In the topics below. By the time you've read each one, you'll have sound knowledge of the Ins and outs of every facet pertaining to an account escalation, thereby you can utilize It when things don't go according to plan with your SE. Okay, let's get this started by ripping Into the Introduction of a claim escalation.


What Is A Claim Escalation?

Further to what you've just read a minute ago, although a careless and Idiotic rep/agent has terminated your claim, It doesn't necessarily mean that the correct decision was made, nor does It suggest that you cannot do anything about It. Why Is that? Well, unbeknownst to many SE'ers, Inclusive of those who operate on an Intermediate and probably some on an advanced level, almost every company has what's called "a complaints department", or something to that effect. 

It's specifically set up to handle customers who are unhappy with the way they've been treated, and the lack of service they've been provided - which ultimately resulted In the claim being declined. Companies are obligated to sort out any Issues that come to their attention, and when you've been told your claim has been rejected, don't leave It at that. "Tell" (and not ask) the rep that you're not happy with the way It was dealt with, and you want your "claim to be escalated".   

What It means, Is that you're essentially filing a complaint against the rep who closed your claim, and It's then forwarded (escalated) to a senior level - who takes over and reviews every Incident that led to the unfavorable outcome. In simple terms, "the objective of escalating a claim, Is to have It approved", by overturning the original decision that was used to decline It, however It's not all sunshine and rainbows. It can be a long and arduous process with quite a few complexities experienced, thus It's paramount to be well prepared beforehand, as discussed In the next topic.  


How To Prepare The Escalation 

The preparation of an escalation, Is only as good as the nature of the details you have at your disposal, and If you didn't bother gathering Information throughout the course of a given SE, the senior team member will have the upper hand during the evaluation of your claim. As such, you'd hardly have any ammunition to defend against every question and query thrown at you by the representative - which defeats the purpose of requesting the escalation In the first place. If you haven't already worked It out, what I'm referring to Is "collecting all evidence In support of your SE" before submitting an escalation

And the way It's done, Is to take note of every Incident and event of your SE "as It happens" - from the time your attack vector Is launched and Is In the hands of the customer service reps, to when It's being assessed, and right up until a decision was made on your claim. It doesn't matter whether or not you believe the Info (that you collect) Is relevant - you're not going to know prior to the escalation, hence It's better and safer to have too much Information than not enough! The objective Is to "record everything there and then", and to help you along the way, I've created a list below outlining the most common occurrences with every SE. Feel free to omit the details that don't apply to your SEing environment. 

  1. If you've contacted the rep by phone, get a reference number for the call, and his/her full name
  2. If you've contacted the company via live chat, keep a record of the transcript
  3. If (for some reason) you're unable to save the transcript, take screenshots of all conversations
  4. If you're shooting off emails back and forth, organize It In chronological order
  5. Sift through all chat/communication logs and select the evidence supporting your SE
  6. Again, sift through all chat/communication logs and select the details that contradict the rep's opinion/decision
  7. Document dates and times of the evidence supporting your SE (collected In step 5)
  8. Document dates and times of details that contradict the rep's decisions (collected In step 6)
  9. Separate your evidence and the representative's Information Into two sections
  10. You're now ready to escalate your claim

How To Escalate The Claim

When your claim has been declined, and you've exhausted every option and manipulative strategy you can think of to try and get the rep to reverse his decision, It's time to "request your claim be escalated" to a higher level within the company's account specialist team. Think of It as a backup plan, similar to the way PayPal disputes/claims and chargebacks are utilized - when all else fails, you have another chance to rescue the SE - In this case, It's performed through an "escalation".

Okay, on the grounds you've prepared everything as per the topic above, get In touch with the rep/agent, and tell him that you'd like the claim to be escalated. It can be done by phone, email or (where available) live chat. Now If you haven't experienced It as yet, many reps with a snotty attitude will try and talk you out of escalating the claim, by saying something along the lines of: "There's no use escalating It, the other agent will say the same thing I did"

Even when you've asked over and over again, he may still give the same answer and refrain from discussing It any further. Let me tell you, that the rep Is NOT In a position to refuse a request that's "well within the rights of the company's policy". So If you find yourself In that predicament, "demand the escalation" and If need be, ask to speak with another representative, and keep repeating It until someone understands to do their job properly. All In all, when It's finally escalated, there shouldn't be any major difficulties to have the claim approved, but what If It doesn't work In your favour? Check out the final topic below to see what can be done about It.


Handling A Declined Escalation

A lot of social engineers believe that once an escalated claim has been rejected, It all comes to an end, but I can assure you that It's not the case at all - there Is yet another step to exhaust, which Is to ask for a "re-escalation" of your claim. In other words and put simply, tell the escalation team (who failed to resolve the first escalation), to pass the matter onto an even high level than them, thereby It will be assessed again by a fresh pair of eyes - perhaps more than one rep/agent. 

In my experience over many years of performing this procedure, I was told on numerous occasions that a "re-escalation" Is not possible, which Is complete nonsense - what they realistically mean, Is that they cannot be bothered hitting the Send button and emailing your Information to the relevant department. If you come across a similar situation, totally disregard such garbage. Take control of all communications, be firm with the re-escalation and don't take "no" for an answer under any circumstances. You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain - should they approve your claim - which does happen when you push those In charge to their absolute limit


In Conclusion

Upon reading each and every topic (If you haven't, go back and do It now!), you've learned that a representative's decision to decline your claim, Is by no means the end of the claim Itself - It can well and truly be resurrected and a refund or replacement Issued through an "escalation"

And If for some reason It doesn't go according to plan, there's another opportunity to have It approved, namely requesting a "re-escalation". All things considered, you may not have realized It, but there's actually three attempts for every SE to succeed: "the SE per se", an "escalation" and finally the "re-escalation". Be sure to keep this In mind at all times!   

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