Why did you copy me on that?

Svana Friðriksdóttir doesn’t know me, but I know her.

Or, to be more exact, I know what her airline is accused of doing.

And how’s that? Because one of WOW Air’s customers, Steve Depetris, sent an email to Friðriksdóttir, the airline’s chief information officer, and copied me on it.

I get copied on all kinds of correspondence. Some of it is interesting and informative, but some of it is just plain crazy. If you spend part of your day on the internet like I do, then you get copied on a lot of stuff, too.

Let us commiserate, then.

“I am also asking you to understand the horrible experience I had on Flight 161 from Keflavik, Iceland, to San Francisco,” he wrote. “WOW moved me from Seat 1K to Seat 47G without explanation or recourse, despite the fact that I had booked this seat six months earlier and paid the extra fee for it.”

That separated Depetris from his son sitting in 3K. “They did absolutely nothing to fix the problem, despite my many requests,” he says.


Why did he copy me on the lengthy email, detailing one shortcoming after another? “I copied you to alert you,” he later said.

Consider me alerted.

Tom Harriman, a regular letter-writer, copied me on his back-and-forth between him and Avis after he saw a surprise $47 bill on his credit card. Why? He’d been billed in dollars for a rental in France, an arrangement which he never asked for and which did him absolutely no good, since he would still have to pay a foreign exchange fee on his credit card.

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“Thanks for recognizing that pretending that customers want to be billed in dollars when they specifically ask to pay in euros is a predatory practice,” he wrote. “I enjoyed renting a great big black Mercedes from you, the service was great and then you try to jack me for another fifty bucks on a six hundred dollar rental. Dumb. You know, there is a company called Hertz if I want to rent a nice expensive car in Europe again.”

Why send the email to me? So that I know what Avis did. And now I do.

Sometimes, readers copy me because it helps their case. Other times, because they want me to know. But still other times … who knows?

Regina Rosa sends me emails like these on a regular basis:

Trump Qualifications for POTUS–NOT A JOKE!!

Obama is against Trump
The Media is against Trump
The establishment Democrats are against Trump
The establishment Republicans are against Trump
The Pope is against Trump
The UN is against Trump
The EU is against Trump
China is against Trump
Mexico is against Trump
Soros is against Trump
Black Lives Matter is against Trump
MoveOn.Org is against Trump
Koch Bro’s are against Trump
Hateful, racist, violent Liberals are against Trump

Bonus points

Cher says she will leave the country
Mylie Cyrus [sic] says she will leave the country
Whoopi says she will leave the country
Rosie says she will leave the country
Al Sharpton says he will leave the country
Gov. Brown says California will build a wall

Sounds like the kinda president the US needs!!! Go Trump!

Uh, whatever.

Crazy comes in all shapes and sizes. Most of the wacko political emails I get, I can’t share with you. Because they’re wacko, that’s why.

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I really don’t mind you sharing your emails with me, regardless of your political persuasion. But remember, you’re talking to a journalist and your emails are on the record, unless you say otherwise. Are you listening, Regina?

Speaking of politics, anyone care to guess who I’m voting for in November?

Who is Chris voting for?

View Results

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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.

  • Regina Litman

    Regina says, “Yes I am listening.” Oh, wait, wrong Regina! (When you have a fairly uncommon name, whenever you see it or hear it, you think that the person is talking to or about you.)

  • I think the answer to the poll question should be fairly obvious.

  • Altosk

    I’m going to write in Obi Wan Kenobi. He’s our only hope at this point.

  • Harvey-6-3.5

    I do find the trope of people threatening to leave the country insipid. Rather, if you are dissatisfied with the election results (either way), work harder to make your views heard and to listen to the other side for whatever compromises may allow you to reach your objectives.

    Though I’d love to mandate that candidates release their tax returns and prepare a sample federal budget, listing whether they would balance the budget or not, and if so, what programs would they cut/taxes would they raise (see, e.g., http://www.federalbudgetchallenge.org/pages/overview).

  • disqus_wK5MCy17IP

    Can there be a story in a few days about how many political comments were moderated from this thread.

    One would hope that if it’s just one random political email or nonsense forward that someone just accidentally clicked your email from an autocomplete list. I used to ask people not to forward me things. And then the meme took over the Internet and that went out the window.

    As far as the rental car email, it seems like someone needed an audience for their clever email. Chris should be honored.

  • taxed2themax

    My gut here is that in many cases the use of :cc by a customer when interacting with a business is a means to imply power, future action or in the most extreme cases, a thinly veiled ‘threat’… IF the goal was to keep an unrelated party (in most cases Chris is not a direct party the case) then perhaps the better option would be the use of :bcc… alternatively one could forward the message(s) to the third party, and that would also allow the sender to add comments as well..

  • Zann77

    I truly wish you would not let any hint of the presidential election creep into your column. I can’t see any good reason to do so unless you want to publically endorse and advocate for one of the candidates.

  • SierraRose 49

    Oh my gosh! My hubby and I talked about doing the very same thing.

  • joycexyz

    Lighten up! He’s having some fun.

  • 42NYC

    I can see Liberals wanting to leave the country for Canada/Denmark/Sweden, wherever. These countries have policies that represent a lot of liberal values.

    I don’t understand Conservatives threatening to leave the country. Where can you go? Rule out the countries with national healthcare, strong labor unions, restrictions on guns, environmental friendly policies, higher taxes, minimal government involvement and what are you left with?

    Every time I hear a Republican say ‘if Hillary wins i’m moving to Canada’ i can’t help but laugh. Trudeau makes Hillary look conservative.

  • 42NYC

    i get it though. While i’m guessing i’m voting for the same person Chris is, i dont think this blog should discuss the election. You’re not going to convince anyone to vote for or against a candidate. Those who share your views will like it. Those who dont will be turned off.

    If your goal is to become a political motivator than go for it. If your goal is to have maximum readership so that you can have the greatest impact, stay away.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • Bill

    We decided that my buddy’s refrigerator is running and, as long as it is kept well stocked with beer, we will vote for said refrigerator. We will have the vice president be a beer wench (or swain, so as to not be sexist) and all will be well with the world.

  • Blamona

    You didn’t include Gary Johnson or the Pope in the vote! ;-)

  • cscasi

    I could agree with all the above. The only issue is that it would not do any good to see what they write and say they would do because it is Congress that has to pass spending legislation and appropriate the money, so that would be what really decides the budget and that effects programs and spending.
    And, I would ask, what difference does it make if they both release their tax returns? I dare say 90% of the people in our country would not or could not make much sense of them because of all the forms and computations that have to be done; things that the majority of us never deal with. But, we all know that both candidates make lots of money.

  • James

    Pop isn’t running.

    Not listed in the poll, but also on the Florida ballot:

    Darrll Castle (Constitution Party)
    Rocky de la Fuenta (Reform)
    Jill Stein (Green)

  • LeeAnneClark

    While I too am quite sure Christopher, you and I are all voting the same way…I kinda agree with your sentiment. I see enough political crap in virtually ever other part of my life. It’s kinda nice to come to this blog and focus on something else for a change!

    I cannot WAIT for this election cycle to be over. Seriously. November can’t get here soon enough.

  • Harvey-6-3.5

    “Trump’s tax returns would likely clarify the depth of his connections to and dependence on Russian capital aligned with Putin.” http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/trump-putin-yes-it-s-really-a-thing

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