How to ask for what you want — and how to get it


This is the online edition of Elliott’s E-Mail, my free weekly newsletter.


You know the saying: Ask and you shall receive? When it comes to customer service problems, people forget. You have to ask if you want to receive something. In this week’s post, I tell you how to ask for what you want — and how to get it.


Please join me every Monday morning for The Christopher Elliott Show, an irreverent half-hour conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. Tune in to the hashtag #elliottshow at 11 a.m. Then at 11:30 a.m., catch the live YouTube broadcast on my channel.


What does your travel agency owe you when it drops the ball?
Has your travel agency ever made a claim on its “E&O” insurance when something went wrong? So-called “errors and omissions” insurance can protect travelers and agents. I’d love to hear from you if you’ve ever had to make a claim, either as an agent or as a traveler. I’m working on a story about this subject, and would love to include your comment. Please send me an email. As always, don’t forget include your full name, city and occupation.

Wanna become the world’s smartest traveler?
I know you do. Then do this now: Pre-order my new book, How to Be the World’s Smartest Traveler (and Save Time, Money, and Hassle). It’ll help you navigate the ins and outs of the travel industry and save lots of time and money. Details are right here. By the way, if you’re heading out somewhere on a trip and need help with something, I’d be happy to email you a draft of a chapter, whether you order the book or not.

Related story:   Wanna take a cruise? It's safe to go in the water - almost

Let’s talk!
The stories you see in this newsletter are just a starting point. I hope you’ll take a minute to leave a comment, whether you agree or disagree with something I’ve written. Let’s continue the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google. I’m listening. And of course, I’m also here if you need me. Here’s my email address.


Do your little brats offend other travelers?
That’s the explosive question we ask — and try to answer — in our latest family travel blog post. Also, would you let this tween travel solo? We had to make that decision. We’ll post the answer on Friday morning.

They renamed the hotel and canceled my reservation
Liz Egland thinks she has a reservation at a Holiday Inn. But she’s wrong. The hotel has canceled her reservation and wants her to pay more than double to get it back. Is it allowed to do that? Find out in the latest installment of the Travel Troubleshooter.

How do I get rid of the Facebook fakers?
Someone is spoofing the accounts of a celebrity’s wife and teenage kids. What’s an IT guy to do when Facebook ignores him? Find out in the latest Problem Solved column.

Is your phone card phony? 5 ways you can tell
When is an hour just 36 minutes? When you buy some phone cards, apparently. That’s the conclusion of a recent Federal Trade Commission investigation, which found certain pre-paid calling cards offered an average of just 40 percent of call minutes customers thought they were buying — and some, significantly less. Find out how much less.

Related story:   January 3, 2007


Many thanks for the support and love after making the announcement that this site is evolving into a group-written news and consumer advocacy organization. We’re in the early days, taking baby steps. I’m so grateful for your help.

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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