Rib-Hadda's letters often took the form of complaints or pleas for action on the part of the reigning Pharaoh. In EA 105, he begged Pharaoh to intervene in a dispute with Beirut, whose ruler had confiscated two Byblian merchant vessels. In EA 122, Rib-Hadda complained of an attack by the Egyptian commissioner Pihuri, who killed a number of Byblos' Shardana mercenaries and took captive three of Rib-Hadda's men.
Rib-Hadda was involved in a long-standing dispute with Abdi-Ashirta, the ruler of Amurru (probably in southeastern Lebanon and southwestern Syria), who hired mercenaries from among the Habiru, Shardana, and other warlike tribes. EA 81 contains a plea for Egyptian aid against Amurru, whose ruler Rib-Hadda accused of luring away his followers and inciting them to rebellion. He reported further that an assassin sent by Abdi-Ashirta had attempted to kill him. Rib-Hadda pleaded with Akhenaten to send archers to defend him from the forces of Amurru and from his own increasingly resentful peasantry. In one of the most poignant of the Amarna texts, Rib-Hadda wrote "the people of Ammiya have killed their lord and I am afraid." (EA 75). He added: "like a bird in a trap so I am here in Gubla (ie: Byblos)." (EA 74 & EA 81) Zemar, a city previously under his control, fell to Abdi-Ashirta (EA 84). Shortly thereafter the Egyptian commissioner Pahannate was withdrawn from northern Canaan, leaving Rib-Hadda without even the appearance of Egyptian support. His pleas for assistance evidently went unanswered (EA 107) and caused much annoyance to Akhenaten. Akhenaten's irritation with Rib-Hadda is recounted in EA 117 where the pharaoh is quoted saying to Rib-Hadda "Why do you alone keep writing to me?" (EA 117) While Abdi-Ashirta is reported to have been killed in EA 101, this only provided temporary relief to Rib-Hadda since the former was succeeded by his son Aziru; Rib-Hadda soon after complains about the depradations caused by "the sons of Abdi-Ashirta" in several Amarna letters to Akhenaten such as EA 103 and EA 109
In EA 89, Rib-Hadda reported a coup d'etat in neighboring Tyre, in which the ruler of Tyre, his fellow kinsmen, was killed along with his family. Rib-Hadda's sister and her daughters, who had been sent to Tyre to keep them away from Abdi-Ashirta's Amurru invaders, were also presumed to be among those killed. If this was not bad enough, Rib-Hadda wrote again to report that the Hittites were invading Egyptian protectorates in Syria and burning "the King's lands". (EA 126). At one point Rib-Hadda was forced to flee to exile in Beirut, under the protection of king Ammunira.(EA 137) In EA 75, Rib-Hadda details the changing political situation around Byblos:
An aged and ailing Rib-Hadda continued to write to Pharaoh, telling him of violent upheavels in Phoenicia and Syria, including revolutions instigated by Abdi-Ashirta's son Aziru coupled with incursions by Apiru raiders. (e.g., EA 137)
Rib-Hadda was ultimately exiled by his younger brother Ilirabih and not long afterwards, killed at the behest of Aziru. This event is mentioned in Amarna letter EA 162 from Akhenaten to Aziru.