Having a service-related issue that no one can seem to do anything about? You don’t have to take it lying down. Sometimes you just have to escalate matters yourself.

A T-Mobile customer named Sam, who’s had a smartphone and data plan with the company since 2009, noticed his device had snail-slow internet connectivity. He first contacted customer service, who couldn’t do anything about but offered to upsell him on new services — an offer he was easily able to refuse.

Sam then took his phone to a T-Mobile retail store, and a rep there finally unearthed the issue: Sam’s 4G phone had an old 2G SIM card, which was preventing it from reaching its full connectivity speed. Swapping in a 4G card fixed the problem, but he felt he was entitled to a refund for the two years he’d been paying for zippy speed and not receiving it.

Unfortunately, his helpful rep at the store didn’t have the authority to do that, so Sam unleashed what’s known as an “email carpet bomb” to a slew of T-Mobile executives. In his missive, he laid out the situation and asked for a credit, in addition to lavishing praise on the in-store rep who’d resolved the issue and recommending the company train its phone reps not to attempt upsells at inappropriate times.

And it worked. Within about a day, he received an apology and the monetary credit he’d requested — proving that sometimes, the squeaky wheel really does get the grease.