Self-empowerment is one of the cornerstones of our mission. We pursue the cause of consumer advocacy not only through direct outreach to companies to resolve customer service issues, but also through our forums.
Our forum advocates, led by co-directors Barry Graham and K.J. Hastings, advise consumers and assist them to self-advocate their cases with the corporate world.
Here are the top 10 forum posts of 2016. Special thanks to Hastings for helping us pull together these stats on 2016 forum activity.
1) Wrong info ruined my cruise and caused me to be disembarked.
This thread was controversial because the gentleman in question left his two-year-old daughter unattended in his cabin on a cruise for two hours while he went on a shore excursion because a babysitter wasn’t available. We had to lock the thread down due to the responses, some of which pointed out he could be arrested for his actions. He also asked for the post to be deleted, which we don’t do. (Jay, January 28, 4,750 pageviews)
2) Founders Card: not so great
This reader bought into the Founders Club to maintain his American Airlines Gold status. Unfortunately, the offer expired and his status went with it. He wound up disputing the charge with his credit card company, and Founders Club agreed to refund all fees. (Stuart Fisher, February 25, 4,346 pageviews)
3) Global Entry Membership denial
A youthful arrest for less than a quarter of an ounce of marijuana in Windsor, Canada, in 1973 led to a denial of a Global Entry Membership. Our advocates suggested an appeal to the Canadian Border Patrol, but we were not optimistic about his chances. (4,208 pageviews)
4) How to deal with a car rental damage claim
Given the vast numbers of car rental damage claims we deal with, on average two a week, it’s not surprising this thread is in the top ten. It details actions consumers should take when hit by an unfair damage claim. Note: This is a “pinned” permanent thread. (Neil, September 25, 2015, 3,436 pageviews)
5) Uber account locked
What do you do when Uber locks your account and you don’t know why? You post on the forums! After repeated requests to escalate to a supervisor, the poster was finally able to get his account unlocked. The trouble was a problem on Uber’s end. The poster did ask for compensation but was denied. (HMC, March 15, 2,950 pageviews)
6) Southwest travel funds extension
This family was caught up in the winter megastorm in January, and their flight from Los Angeles to Milwaukee was canceled. Southwest gave them a voucher, but it expired in May. The poster used our advocates’ advice to work out a good result — Southwest allowed him to purchase tickets for other family members with the funds prior to their expiration. (Madison Matt, February 2, 2,274 pageviews)
7) Need help with Enterprise Damage Recovery Unit
A case of an unfair damage claim — dog chewed seat belts — by Enterprise led this non-dog-owning poster to the forums. The poster promised to follow the steps in our “How To Deal With Car Rental Damage Claim” thread, but we never heard whether his case was resolved. (Charlie G., April 19, 2,249 pageviews)
8) Southwest “saving seats”
This poster likes Southwest’s open seating policy, but was disgusted by paying extra for Early Bird Seating to secure an “A” boarding group spot only to find people saving seats for passengers in later groups. Repeated attempts to contact Southwest’s customer service and even the VP of customer service led to boilerplate replies. Our advocates agreed this practice was rotten and suggested the poster contact Southwest via Facebook. (Ray B, March 24, 2,163 pageviews)
9) Justairticket — is this a scam?
This poster bought a $2,500 ticket from justairticket.com and then asked us if we thought the page was a scam. We advised her of the poor reviews of this company on TripAdvisor and suggested she cancel her purchase, which she did. (katya_vulkova, July 18, 1,965 pageviews)
10) Verizon Fios early termination fee
This small business owner moved office space to a place where Verizon Fios wasn’t available, then got smacked with a $1,051 early termination fee on his two-year contract. To add insult to injury, the next tenant in the old space also bought Fios, so the company was, in our poster’s words, “double dipping,” as both the poster and the new tenant were paying for the same service. We provided contacts and suggested appeal techniques, but never heard if the poster succeeding in getting the fee waived. (Verizonhater, March 30, 1,746 pageviews)
We thank our forum directors and advocates for their assistance to consumers in pursuing their cases. You help many people help themselves.
And readers, we welcome your participation in the forums. Please join us by signing up on our website and logging in.