These results leave the competition in the dust

Let’s talk about results.

If you’re like me, you probably spend more time looking forward than back. No point worrying about the past since there’s absolutely nothing you can do to change it. What’s done is done.

But as your favorite consumer advocacy site becomes a nonprofit organization and enters the critical third week of its fundraiser, maybe we should hit the “rewind” button. The advocacy you read on this site is 100 percent results-oriented, whether we’re helping with a travel insurance claim or an appliance case.

We fix consumer problems every day — and we have the numbers to prove it. Can you say that about the other guys who claim to be advocates?

We get results for travelers

Just check out our Travel Troubleshooter archives. Several times a week, our flagship travel column takes a real-life travel problem and solves it.

We helped Zachary Smith retrieve almost $2,000 after he canceled his hotel reservation through Expedia. The online agency neglected to send him a confirmation for his cancellation, and the hotel charged him for the nights, anyway.

We assisted Judith Hoffman with her $3,551 travel insurance claim. Her insurance company, Trip Mate, was giving her the silent treatment after she canceled a vacation to get knee replacement surgery. It didn’t stay silent for long.

And we helped Murray Cohen, hospitalized on his Mediterranean cruise, with a $5,929 bill that his travel insurance company wouldn’t cover.

Those are real results.

But we’re not just travel

It’s true, this site started as an advocacy site for travelers. But in the last decade, it’s expanded to help all consumers. And we have. Have a look at our nationally syndicated consumer column, Problem Solved:

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We helped reader Louise Bartholomew after Sam’s Club withdrew $833 from her bank account even though she canceled an order for a mahogany wood chair. Companies love to take your money and give you nothing. But we won’t let that happen to you.

We assisted Katherine LaFaso with a mysterious $1,443 bill after she started leasing a Toyota Prius. She had no idea what her dealership was charging her for. When we confronted the company, it backed down.

And we came to the aid of Robin McGary, whose daughter ran up $7,000 in Sprint roaming charges in France and Morocco.

Like I said — real cases, real results. That’s what we do every day.

Can they do this?

When you look across the landscape of consumer organizations and websites, can you find anyone else doing this? I’d be hard-pressed to name just one. Consumers Union shuttered the Consumerist, the New York Times gave the Haggler his walking papers, and my colleague at the Chicago Tribune, who wrote the incredible “What’s Your Problem?” column, rode off into the sunset.

There’s no one else who is advocating for you every day, answering every single reader question and publishing the results without fear or favor.

I take no pleasure in saying this. But, with the possible exception of some TV station “help” lines, we’re all alone. We leave what remains of the competition in the dust.

And that’s why we need you to support us now. We’ve raised $6,500 — not quite a third of the money we need to fund this website and nonprofit consumer advocacy organization for the next two quarters. We still have a long way to go.

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Who will you turn to when you have a consumer problem? Please become an underwriter of the important work we do here every day. We can’t continue without you.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at chris@elliott.org. Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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