Charles Shapiro and his wife visit Budapest, Hungary, every year, but this time is special. It’s her 80th birthday, and Shapiro says that for health reasons, it might be the last time they’re able to take the trip.
When we landed in Raleigh-Durham International Airport, I went to the Avis counter and showed them my reservation. But the agent said my number was “invalid.” He said it had already been used in Chicago in 2007, and that the reservation number couldn’t be used again.
We interrupt this post to bring you an important message: Consumer advocacy sites like this one are not self-sustaining. Without your help, they will end.
Become an underwriter now and you won’t just help keep this site and quality, uncompromising consumer advocacy journalism going. You’ll also have chance to win a weekend van rental from Bandago or moneysaving guidebooks from our friends at the Alaska TravelGram.
Why would you want to join these brave readers who have supported this site and newsletter for 2013?
Because you need this site.
The next time you have a problem with a product or service, where will you turn?
Are you going to dispute the charge with your credit card, an action that may or may not be successful? Are you going to appeal to the company, spending hours on hold?
Maybe you’ll take your case to one of those “expert” blogs, where you’ll just be scolded for not having the encyclopedic knowledge of the industry that they have.
You know the saying, “Without a travel agent, you’re on your own.” It’s true for consumer advocates, too.
Can you really afford that?
Publishing a consumer advocacy blog takes time and money. For the last 16 years, I’ve given this site every available minute of free time. That’s because like you, I care deeply about quality service and fairness. I want everyone to get what they paid for, regardless of the income or loyalty status.
People say, “Follow your passion, and the money will come.” But they’ve never published a consumer advocacy site.
Let’s just say advertisers don’t love my site. There are a lot of people who really want me to stop publishing. Why? Because I’m the only thing standing between them having their way with their customers.
We’re almost halfway toward meeting our $10,000 goal for our February fundraiser. I know we can do this.
If you become a new underwriter at any level now, your name will be entered in a drawing for a weekend van rental. Also, the first 10 underwriter at the patron level will receive a copy of the Alaska TravelGram, a book with tens of thousands of dollars worth of savings.
I hope you’ll support this worthy cause. We only have a few days left in February. Please help keep one of the last few remaining voices for the consumer alive online.
I’m counting on you.