New on Elliott: Stupid customer mistakes, a hard line on refunds and the adventure begins – Sponsored by

This week’s newsletter marks the beginning — and the ending — of two important events. Let’s start with beginnings. That cross-country trip I’ve talked about for so long? Starts right now. I hope you’ll join us!

And this is the last day of my fall fundraiser, and the last opportunity to get your copy of 0-60 Travel Insurance, the definitive guide to buying and using travel insurance. After today, the manuscript disappears into a vault. What are you waiting for? Your donation will help keep consumer advocacy going on this site. I can’t do it without you. Here’s how to become an individual underwriter.

Speaking of advocacy, I have some incredible cases to share with you. Read my warning about stupid things customers do offline. Join the contentious debate on “low-cost” airlines that cost a lot. Help us determine if one woman’s diamond ring was a scam. And can this trip be saved?

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Are you missing the most fascinating debate on the Internet? Every morning, there’s a lively discussion online about travel and consumer advocacy. And unless you’re signed up for my free daily email newsletter, you’re missing it. It’s easy. At 9 a.m. sharp, you’ll get a link to the latest story. Stop by. Leave your opinion. Join the debate. Here’s how to sign up.

Related story:   New on Elliott: How companies manipulate reviews, Beaches vacation goes bust, a strange airline fine - Sponsored by and


The Travel Troubleshooter: Am I stuck with this $378 phone bill?
Jeffrey Grim can’t make a connection in Brussels because of an error made by his online travel agency. In order to fix the problem, he racks up $378 in phone bills. Should the company cover his expenses?

Case dismissed: My father died — please refund my rental car
Sometimes, even death isn’t a good enough reason for a refund.

Ridiculous or not? “Low cost” airlines that cost more
When David Simon wanted to fly from Milwaukee to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., he assumed “low cost” airline Southwest would offer the lowest fare.

Is this enough compensation? How much is that fat-finger mistake worth?
Gretchen Kenney thought the $232 a night rate at Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club was pretty darned good, considering that Marriott’s own website showed the same two-bedroom unit at $589 a night.

Can this trip be saved? “I fail to understand the behavior of your shuttle bus driver”
Christine Glovier didn’t have an ideal travel experience when she flew from Philadelphia to Manchester, NH, on US Airways. But is an apology enough for what happened?

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Customer Service

5 Really Stupid Things Consumers Do Offline
Customers do the dumbest things.

Is this a scam? “ScoreSense preys on customers”
Richard Mitchell has a problem with a company called ScoreSense. A big problem.

The smarter consumer: How to fix a customer service problem now
The best way to fight bad service is right now, in real time.

Related story:   What's new on Elliott: Bad Spirit, outfoxing your car rental company, and dead passengers get refunds

What’s your problem? My diamond ring wasn’t forever
Libby Foster’s engagement ring is defective. After six years of trying to get it repaired, she just wants her money back. Why won’t Zales give her a refund?

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Our underwriters

These businesses have given their financial support to consumer journalism by underwriting this site. Please support them with your business.

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(Photo: Lakeland Local/Flickr Creative Commons)

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 Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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