What did you learn in 2011?

You have the power. That’s one of the biggest lesson of 2011, for consumers — and one of the key takeaways of my new book, Scammed. You can find out what else the last year taught us in my latest Mint.com column. You don’t want to miss it.

Speaking of the book, now is the time to order it online. You’ll get it in time for the holidays, and it makes a great gift, because it will protect you from all the scams that await you in 2012.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Seven Corners. Seven Corners has helped customers all over the world with travel difficulties, big and small. As one of the few remaining privately owned travel insurance companies, Seven Corners provides insurance plans and 24/7 travel assistance services to more than a million people each year. Because we’re privately held, we can focus on the customer without the constraints that larger companies have. Visit Seven Corners to learn more.

Order Scammed now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes. You can also download it immediately as an ebook on the Kindle and Nook platforms.

Today, I want to mention our underwriter ChinaTours.com, which provides affordable, private and fully customizable China tour packages. I’m very grateful for their support of this site’s consumer advocacy efforts, and I hope you’ll pay ChinaTours.com a visit if you are planning a trip to China in 2012. It’s companies like ChinaTours.com that keep the lights on here.

I want to also thank you for your support in 2011. We had a record number of underwriters who stepped forward to support this site. I can’t say “thank you” enough.

You’ll want to check out this week’s Washington Post column about how customer service gets better during the holidays. And over at the Huffington Post, I put the TSA’s wildly inconsistent screening practices into my crosshairs.

Here are a few more can’t-miss columns:

• I have a peculiar case of an airline that’s about to shut down offering an unusable credit. Is there a way out, and is the company’s compensation offer enough? Tell me.

• Here’s a story that is drawing a lot of comments and provoking quite a debate. Did Carnival do the right thing when it kicked two passengers off a ship in the Bahamas? Is this a case I should mediate? Vote now.

• Find out which travel bloggers you have to read in 2012. Why? Because you voted for them. I think you’ll find the results surprising. I sure did.

(Photo: smcgee/Flickr)

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