Did you know?

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By Christopher Elliott

If you’re a regular reader of this site, you probably think you know a lot about the advocacy work we do here every day.

But maybe you don’t know everything.

As the third week of our our spring fundraiser gets underway, I wanted to share a few lesser-known facts:

  1. Did you know that the case-to-story ratio is about 70-to-1? That means for every 70 cases we take through our help form, only one turns into a story. That’s a lot of questions to answer and a lot of cases to mediate.
  2. Did you know that my consumer advocacy site is run entirely by volunteers? Yep, everyone from the forum advocates to the production managers donates their time, and that includes yours truly. I earn my living by selling stories to newspapers (although I also give away quite a few stories).
  3. Did you know that we have a “no case left behind” policy? We answer every single legitimate query that comes to us through the site. Personally, I can’t stand to see anyone get taken advantage of by a large company, so we tilt against the occasional windmill. It’s just what we do.

How much does this advocacy journalism cost you? Nothing.

People are constantly asking me how much we charge, and the answer is always the same — zero.

We need your help

When we help consumers and they ask how they can say “thank you” I send a link to our support page, but you’d be surprised at how infrequently readers actually make a donation.

So today, I’m asking for your help. The advocacy journalism my site does for you every day may cost nothing, but it is not free.

We have expenses, including web hosting, mail servers, development costs, coding and various other unavoidable bills. And we have powerful enemies who constantly try to take our site out with denial-of-service attacks. Your funding support will literally keep this site up and running. (Related: I can’t believe I’m doing this again.)

International Citizens Insurance helps expats, travelers and anyone far from home find the right insurance plan. Our knowledgeable agents will help you find the best plan at the right price and be your advocate for the life of your policy.

This is an especially critical time. We’re just a few dollars short of reaching our first matching grant level, made possible by Allianz Travel Insurance. It will kick in after we hit the $5,000 level.

If you don’t participate in our fundraiser this week, you could also miss this: Our friends at Bluffworks have offered us a few gift certificates to be given away this week. If you don’t know Bluffworks, you should. I’ve written about the company’s innovative travel apparel numerous times.

Thank you, Allianz and Bluffworks, for supporting the advocacy on this site.

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. He is based in Panamá City.

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