What have I done for you lately?

Forget Bitcoin.

If you want a sure thing, invest in the consumer advocacy on this site.

Every day, thousands of readers get the help they need with quick answers, insider information or help from a real person. And, as we wrap up the first week of our winter fundraiser, there’s never been a better time to become an underwriter of this site.

Most readers only see one side of the advocacy — either the popular syndicated column or the blog you’re reading now. But there is so much more. Let me take you behind the scenes and tell you what this site did for you just last week.

It started with outreach in big media outlets, including the Washington Post and USA Today. The San Jose Mercury News ran my Travel Troubleshooter column about construction noise at a Sandals hotel. The Keene Sentinel published my Washington Post story about traveling in 2018. The Daily American featured my Problem Solved column about an email snafu.

I also made other media appearances, including live radio interviews on KRLD in Dallas and WCCO in Minneapolis.

That, combined with operating a high-traffic website, brought in cases — lots of cases. Bear in mind, these are not one-off questions sent to the site. These are readers who took the time to fill in this extensive form. We counted a total of 89 new cases last week, up 17 percent from a year ago. We had another 200+ emailed questions that were answered outside the form.

Roughly half of those problems were referred to our help forum. There’s a team of dedicated forum advocates answering questions from readers 24 hours a day. No, seriously. I’ve logged in at 3 a.m. and seen advocates there, answering questions. It’s really remarkable.

The other half of the cases were sent directly to companies for mediation, but only after collecting a thorough paper trail of correspondence between the consumer and the company. This process can take days, weeks and sometimes even months.

At the moment, we have three response team members on duty 24 hours. Don’t believe me? Try submitting a form any time of the day. Someone will respond. One response team member is in the U.K., and he keeps the overnight fires burning. Another keeps early a.m. hours, and the third is a night owl. When I say we’re here for you all day, every day, I’m not kidding.

Last week also, our research department published new contact information for
La-Z-Boy, AMC Theaters, Frontier Communications and Publix — one company per day. Finding these executive contacts is close to impossible sometimes. But the risk of publishing them keeps us on edge. We’re routinely served with cease-and-desist letters threatening to sue us if we publish executive contact information online. Fortunately, we have a little thing called the First Amendment that protects us.

And then there’s the other behind-the-scenes work you may never see. A dozen stories were filed by our editorial contributors, each one covering one of our active cases. Writing about a consumer problem isn’t easy. There are pages upon pages of case notes to study and it all needs to be distilled into a readable format. The finished stories are sent to a team of editors, who review the article and fix typos and grammatical errors. Then those articles are emailed to a team of producers, who publish them in WordPress, our content management system. Another team of editors also churned out seven daily newsletters, which you can receive by signing up here.

Ready to support the advocacy yet? Here’s how you can become an underwriter now.

And what about me? Well, I’m involved in everything. I read every case, every story, every company contacts post, and make sure it meets the high standards set by you for the advocacy we do.

I write constantly. Last week, I filed about 15 stories and put the finishing touches on a book proposal and a podcast proposal. I negotiated new premiums for our newest underwriters (you’ll love them!) and talked to newspaper editors across the country in an effort to place my syndicated column in more editorial outlets.

I love running this advocacy site. I wish we didn’t have to ask you for help with funding it. But the ads you see on the site aren’t enough and the income from my columns is barely sufficient to pay my bills. So twice a year, I hold fundraisers to help offset the costs.

For this winter fundraiser, we’ve set a goal of $30,000, which is enough to keep the lights on until the middle of 2018. As of this morning, we’ve raised $4,490. That’s a great start. Here’s how you can help by becoming an underwriter.

My advocates and I are working for you all the time. Please consider supporting this important work and keeping this site running through 2018. Every donation helps and is very much appreciated.

Thank you for your advocacy.

(Oh, and about my advice on Bitcoin — did you see the price of Bitcoin this morning? Even if you don’t become an underwriter, you might want to take my advice. That Bitcoin looks like an enormous bubble.)

Underwritten by

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by AirportParkingReservations.com

With nearly 20 years in the industry, over 128 airport covered in the U.S. and Canada, and over 1,000 Hotel and Parking Partners-we provide travelers the best options on how to get to the airport when flying. Whether you want to; drive yourself and park near an Airport (Airport Parking), stay the night before your flight at an airport hotel and leave your car (Hotel and Parking Package), or take a shared Shuttle/Private Car/Limo to the Airport- we got you covered. The best deals can be found online, and booking a reservation has never been easier. You can explore all of our options by visiting us at AirportParkingReservations.com, ParkSleepFly.com, AirportParking.com, and ShuttleFinder.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Generali Global Assistance

Generali Global Assistance has been a leading provider of travel insurance and other assistance services for more than 25 years. We offer a full suite of innovative, vertically integrated travel insurance and emergency services. Generali Global Assistance is part of The Europ Assistance (EA) Group, who pioneered the travel assistance industry in 1963 and continues to be the leader in providing real-time assistance anywhere in the world, delivering on our motto – You Live, We Care.

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.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. Learn more at Sodexoinsights.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelex Insurance Services

Travelex Insurance Services is a leading travel insurance provider in the United States with over 55 years combined industry expertise of helping people dream, explore and travel with confidence. We offer comprehensive travel insurance plans with optional upgrades allowing travelers to customize the plans to fit their needs. Compare plans, get a quote and buy online at Travelexinsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Insuremyrentalcar.com

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by G1G.com

Since its inception over three decades ago, G1G has continued to revolutionize the travel insurance industry by being the only aggregator to operate a customer portal, placing all of the user's primary needs in one place. We have continued to innovate and disrupt the market by reimagining the way travel insurance can be delivered to the end user in ways no competition can. Simply put, no one knows the market as well as its founders and no one else shares G1G values and mission.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at  Mediacomcable.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Arch RoamRight

Arch RoamRight is one of the fastest growing, most-highly rated travel insurance companies in the United States. Travel advisors love working with us, and travelers feel protected with our trip cancellation and travel medical insurance coverage. We also make it easy to file a claim online with our fast, paperless claims website. Learn more about RoamRight travel insurance.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit  Virtuoso.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

VisitorsCoverage is one of the world’s most trusted providers of travel insurance for millions of global travelers in over 175 countries. Working with top-rated travel insurance partner providers, VisitorsCoverage’s award-winning search, compare and purchase technology simplifies the travel insurance process and finds the best deals for the coverage you need to explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at VisitorsCoverage.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. Elliott.org readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by TravelInsurance.com

TravelInsurance.com makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at  TravelInsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on  Squaremouth.com to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International, SinglesCruise.com, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.

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