New on Elliott: The truth about the poop bomb photo, how to get a refund and a kitchen that isn’t color-coordinated – Sponsored by Floridavacationauction.com

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Wow! Look at On Your Side. My advocacy blog and wiki, On Your Side, is back! It expands my mission to other consumer issues beyond travel, and offers you a chance to become part of the action. Please sign up for the daily newsletter or RSS feed or, if you’re interested in helping consumers, register for our volunteer newsletter.

CheapCaribbean update. I have an update on a previous Travel Troubleshooter column that involved an all-inclusive vacation booked through CheapCaribbean.com. As I mention in a follow-up story last week, CheapCaribbean offered the customer a refund, a fact I learned after I had filed the column.

What I’m reading. This week’s highlights include my Washington Post column on refunds, my exclusive interview with the photographer who took the infamous poop bomb photo and a brand-new edition of What would you do?

On Elliott.org

Is this enough compensation? A $225 check for my lost luggage — you’re kidding!
Maybe we should start calling this the lost luggage column. Last week, we tried to untangle the case of a skier who lost his gear in Telluride, Colo. Today, meet Rita Rosenfeld, whose luggage was misplaced by Alitalia on a trip to Italy.

TSA baby pat-down photographer: “I’ve never seen anything quite that bad”
Jacob Jester is the Kansas City pastor who took the infamous “poop bomb” photo of two screeners at Kansas City International Airport patting down an eight-month-old baby on Saturday. I spoke with him about the incident, and the ensuing firestorm, this afternoon.

Can this trip be saved? I missed my connection — how about some compensation?
If you miss a connection and you’re flights aren’t on the same reservation, you’re normally out of luck. But Duane Perry’s circumstances are anything but normal.

Want a refund? Read the policy
It looked like a lost cause.

TSA Watch: After Osama’s death, are screeners spreading confusion and fear?
The TSA’s response to Osama Bin Laden’s death last week couldn’t have been less clear — or more self-serving.

On Your Side

New at On Your Side: phone companies
We’ve added another industry category to On Your Side: phone companies.

Silence isn’t golden: 6 things a disgruntled customer won’t tell you
Ah, the things unhappy customers keep to themselves. If only they were as transparent as they claim the companies they’re fighting aren’t, life would be so much simpler for this consumer advocate.

Yet another meaningless list: The 10 “best” companies in America
It’s not that I don’t believe the 30,000 members of the general public surveyed by Harris Interactive are telling the truth, when it comes to the most reputable companies. It isn’t even that I don’t think the winners deserve to be highly ranked.

CBS Interactive

What Would You Do? Help, My Kitchen Isn’t Color-Coordinated!
What should a grout-coloring business do when a customer’s kitchen turns out all wrong? It’s not as simple to resolve as it sounds.

“Do-Not-Track” Bills: Bad for Business — and Customers
While privacy advocates are pushing Congress and state legislatures to pass online privacy measures, a close look reveals many of these bills may worsen customer service.

Advertising Reality Check: Are You Leading — Or Lying?
New media offers new opportunities to get your advertising message to customers. But are you crossing a line? Where is the line, for that matter?

Also

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Travel deals — Get up to 80% off. Refer a friend and get $10. Go to Yuupon.com.

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Want to feel the love of nearly 100,000 weekly readers? Please ask about our corporate underwriter program. Send me an email.

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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.

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It’s simple. InsureMyTrip finds you the right travel insurance plan, every time. InsureMyTrip is the authority on travel insurance. Rated A+ for travel insurance by the Better Business Bureau. All travelers that purchase a policy through  InsureMyTrip have access to Anytime Advocates® for claims assistance.

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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.

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As a company that is constantly striving to simplify travel insurance, VisitorsCoverage, is on a mission to help travelers make the better decisions about purchasing travel insurance, quickly. VisitorsCoverage has helped millions of travelers globally to buy the suitable travel insurance and explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at  VisitorsCoverage. Lowest Price Guaranteed.

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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.

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