Losing your case: Did you get what you deserve?

Do you ever lose a case?

That’s the most common question I get from readers. And it’s understandable since my nationally syndicated travel column has an almost perfect track record. The answer, regrettably, is yes — I’m also an expert at losing cases.

Even more regrettable: Sometimes, I deserve to lose. Read more “Losing your case: Did you get what you deserve?”

How consumer complaints work: The guide they don’t want you to read

To really understand how consumer complaints work, you need to know Murphy’s Law.

No, not that Murphy’s Law. The other one. That would be Dee Murphy, who contacted us after losing almost $4,000 on a trip.

Murphy — still talking about the other one — contacted me this weekend to thank me.

Sort of. Read more “How consumer complaints work: The guide they don’t want you to read”

Warning: Wear a mask or get banned from Uber — guaranteed!

Adrianna Allen just got banned from Uber for refusing to wear a mask while using the ridesharing service. She says she’s been falsely accused and has worn a face-covering during all her trips throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Now Allen wants the Elliott Advocacy team to ask why Uber banned her, and also get her premium membership reinstated. But with three separate drivers reporting her for refusing to wear a mask, that seems like a tall order.

Can we figure out what’s going on here? (Reprint) Read more “Warning: Wear a mask or get banned from Uber — guaranteed!”

You won’t believe how we got an F rating with the Better Business Bureau

Critics have called the Better Business Bureau (BBB) a scam and a ripoff — an aging nonprofit organization that extorts companies to the tune of hundreds or thousands of dollars a year to maintain a meaningless rating and accreditation. With all that controversy, you’d think the BBB would tread carefully around real consumer advocates, lest they end up in their crosshairs.

But you’d be wrong.

Last week, one of our readers pointed out that Elliott Advocacy had received an F rating from the BBB. The circumstances around this failing grade are so bizarre and so infuriating that you will probably never believe another word the BBB says. Read more “You won’t believe how we got an F rating with the Better Business Bureau”

Why we use real names in our stories

Maybe you’ve noticed that we use real names in the stories we publish on this site. And maybe you’ve also wondered why we do that. Shouldn’t people be able to air their grievances with a company without having to disclose their full name? Read more “Why we use real names in our stories”

An eBay gift card scam is running wild. This is how to avoid it

Here come the eBay gift card scammers — and just in time to steal your cash after the holidays. But the Elliott Advocacy team is here too, warning you about these swindlers so you can avoid their trap.

We’ve received many pleas for help from distraught victims of this particular eBay gift card scam during the past month. They’ve lost hundreds and even thousands of dollars to this scheme. These consumers all want the same thing: to retrieve their stolen money from the anonymous predators who tricked them.

But is there any possible way to do that? (Reprint)

Read more “An eBay gift card scam is running wild. This is how to avoid it”

Does Global Entry work? Here’s what the government doesn’t want you to know

When the federal government proposed a trusted traveler system years ago, I got into an argument with a well-known travel writer. He claimed a program like Global Entry that subjected you to a background check and stored your biometric data would never fly.

He argued that the government had no interest in collecting that information and keeping close tabs on its citizens. (Reprint) Read more “Does Global Entry work? Here’s what the government doesn’t want you to know”

I left my rental car at the airport, but now it’s missing!

Maureen Heller recently received a shocking message from Budget Security about a missing rental car. The letter accused Heller of failing to return a Nissan Sentra that she had left at the Detroit airport weeks earlier.

But with no receipt to prove she returned it, will Heller be on the hook for this missing rental car? (Reprint) Read more “I left my rental car at the airport, but now it’s missing!”

If you get sick on a bus tour, can you get a refund?

If you get sick on a bus tour should the operator give you a refund — even if you completed the entire trip? Gay Hackney believes so.

She says that two fellow travelers aboard the bus appeared ill during her 13-day tour through Spain and Portugal. The father and son’s constant coughing irritated her. But the last straw came at the end of the tour when she woke up sick herself. Now that she’s home, she wants to know if Trafalgar owes her a refund for this unpleasant bus tour. (Updated Jan. 2021) Read more “If you get sick on a bus tour, can you get a refund?”

Enterprise, Seven Corners and Southwest Airlines Win 2021 Customer Service Award

SEDONA, Ariz., Jan. 18  — Enterprise, Seven Corners and Southwest Airlines are among the companies that have won top honors in the 2021 Elliott Readers’ Choice Customer Service Awards, an annual recognition of companies that offer outstanding customer support and service.  Read more “Enterprise, Seven Corners and Southwest Airlines Win 2021 Customer Service Award”