New on Elliott: 12 things you shouldn’t do in 2012 – Sponsored by

It isn’t too soon to start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions. If you’re a smart consumer, here’s 12 of them to consider from my column. It’s the kind of advice that will help you avoid what I call the Money Apocalypse. Also, check out my rant on 7 holiday scams that can cost you money over on the Huffington Post.

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I want to call out one of my underwriters in this newsletter: They’ve been supporting my consumer advocacy work for years. Cheapflights is more than just a site that finds low prices on airline tickets. It cares about top-notch customer service, and I’m happy to say this, I’ve never had a complaint about a Cheapflights itinerary — ever. So thank you, Cheapflights for your long-time support!

I’m ending my holiday fundraiser today. I still have a few copies of my book Scammed: How to Save Your Money and Find Better Service in World of Schemes, Swindles, and Shady Deals, and TourSavers to give away as premiums. If you want to make a difference, here’s last opportunity in 2011 to support real consumer advocacy.

By the way, Scammed is available for immediate Kindle download and is also shipping now. It makes a great last-minute holiday gift for the smarter consumer in your family.

Also in this week’s issue:

• Don’t miss today’s Travel Troubleshooter about a hotel that lost power. Should it refund part of the room rate, or did it do enough? Also, you’ll want to take the poll about whether hotels should offer refunds after a long power outage.

• In Thursday’s “case dismissed” file, I return to the Rent-A-Wreck case in Albuquerque that took an unbelievable twist, leaving me to mediate a case on behalf of a company. True story. Sad ending.

• If you missed the story about the online travel agency that refused to refund a hotel charge (even though the hotel provided a full refund) then you’ll want to join this lively discussion. It’s quite the quandary.

I’ll be on a holiday schedule for the next two weeks, but I’ll be here if you need me, ready to help with any problem (travel or otherwise). Email me or call me at (202) 370-7934.

(Photo: Rampant Gaffer/Flickr)

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