How your insider information healed my Honda

If information is power, then insider information must be a superpower, as Michele Meier recently discovered.

Meier recently contacted me about an out-of-warranty repair on her Honda. But she didn’t have a problem; instead, she wanted to report a solution.

Her story underscores the importance of self-help, insider information and executive contacts, which is what this site is all about. But there’s a little more to her inspiring story.

The problem with an out-of-warranty 2009 Honda CR-V

Meier owns a 2009 Honda CR-V with only 37,000 miles. With so little use, she felt she shouldn’t need new struts and that her power steering fluid shouldn’t be leaking — but it was.

“The repair costs were approximately $3,000,” she says.

The Honda CR-V was out of warranty, though. What to do?

Most readers would simply pay up. A few might complain to Honda, maybe send them, “I’ll NEVER buy a Honda again!” email. But there’s a third path.

“I went to your website”

Meier is a regular reader of this site. She knows that we post the most updated executive contacts — the phone numbers and email addresses of most major corporations in America — on this site, including Honda North America.

“I went on your website and got the contact information for Honda and wrote to them,” she says.

It didn’t take long for Honda to respond. Yes, the vehicle was out of warranty, but no, a CR-V with 37,000 miles shouldn’t need that kind of repair.

“We came to an agreement,” she says. “They paid 60 percent of the repair, and we paid 40 percent.”

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Wow, way to use the insider information and executive contacts on our site, Michele! That’s exactly why we post those names.

About those Magic Wand cases

But Meier didn’t write me to brag about her negotiating skills — although she doesn’t really need to. She proved to be quite the negotiator.

No, the bee in her bonnet is the Magic Wand cases we deal with on this site. For those of you who don’t read this site everyday, Magic Wand cases are when consumers want my advocacy team to do everything for them — to wave a magic wand and resolve a problem for them.

“I noticed when readers write to you, you always recommend them going to your website to get the contact information to the appropriate high-level executive at the company,” she says. “It seems they never do that. They always come to you and want you to do the work for them.”

Meier wants that to change.

“If you could get through to them some of the success stories that people like me have had, maybe they would do their own legwork,” she says.

Maybe.

Meier used the insider information on this site to heal her sick Honda. Imagine what those names could do for you the next time you have a problem?

But she didn’t carpet-bomb the executives with emails; she used our proven techniques to reach a fair resolution. Had she sent a demanding email to Honda (“I’ll NEVER buy a Honda again!”) she’d probably be stuck with her $3,000 bill.

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You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure this out. Here’s the formula:

Executive contacts + proven techniques = successful resolution

Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to open up the comments section. Please tell me about your successful resolutions. Come on, don’t hold back!

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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