March is going to be one for the record books, with thousands of new cases flooding our free helpline during the coronavirus crisis. My advocacy team is doing everything it can to assist needy consumers.
“Here to help” isn’t just an empty slogan for us. We really mean it. We answer every email and advocate every single case we can. Send us a message at any hour of the day, and you’ll probably get an immediate response.
We need you
But now we are facing a crisis of our own — and I need your help.
Maybe you’ve noticed that our site has been on the blink lately.
We’ve done our best to keep it up and running, but we’ve suffered several debilitating malware attacks since the beginning of the year. The site has also gone down — thank goodness it happened during off-hours. And the forums have been affected, too.
These attacks have drained our resources. We have enough money in the bank to last another month at most.
As our spring fundraiser begins, please consider becoming a financial supporter of our site. Your tax-deductible donation of $50, $75 or $150 will allow us to help you by continuing the advocacy work we do here every day.
Who’s behind the attacks?
So why would anyone want to attack a site that’s trying to help consumers? Actually, we have a lot of people who want us to go away.
- Companies that don’t want their executive emails published. Many businesses have threatened to sue us for publishing the names, phone numbers and email addresses of their executives. Fortunately, we have the best research team in the business — and a little thing called the First Amendment to protect us. We’ll keep publishing as long as there’s freedom of the press.
- Sites that want to knock out a competitor. We have some of the best search engine optimization, meaning that many of our pages show up in the first or second slot on Google. There are a lot of sites that would love to knock us down a few spots and claim first place. We won’t let them.
- Bloggers, fanboys and shills who just hate what we write. Look, we tell it like it is on this site. And a lot of folks don’t like that. Maybe they disagree with the way we help all consumers, regardless of the color of their credit card. Maybe they hate the way we advocate a fair resolution for everyone, even the ones sitting in the cheap seats. But they definitely are not happy with us, and they’ve unsuccessfully tried to take us down before.
If you want any of these people to win, here’s your opportunity. Just do nothing.
But if you want to keep this site going, here’s how to get involved and support a cause you believe in.
Another happy ending?
I’m writing this at 2:48 a.m. I’m trying to help Chris Dragisic cancel a British Airways flight from Washington to Madrid. Her case is one of thousands we’ve received since the coronavirus crisis erupted.
My British Airways contact got back to me just two hours before Dragisic’s flight — just in time! — to let me know he’d help.
My advocacy team has a long list of amazing resolutions and happy customer testimonials. We’re making a difference every day.
But will we have a happy ending, too?
In order for that to happen, we need to raise at least $30,000 during our spring fundraiser. That will allow us to continue operating for the next three months. It’s a tall order during these uncertain times.
You rely on this site for accurate company contacts, for insider information about being a smarter consumer, and for an enlightened forum community. And you know you can always turn to us when you have a consumer problem and that you’ll get a prompt response.
While all these services are free, and will always be free, they come at a high cost. I work with a dedicated team of volunteers at this nonprofit organization. And our IT and staff expenses have grown as we’ve expanded in recent years.
I’m optimistic that there will be a happy ending. Not just for people like Dragisic, but for us, too. But the only person who can ensure that happy ending is you.
Please consider becoming an underwriter now. Your tax-deductible donation will help continue the important advocacy we do here every day.