Should you have the right to a copy of your phone call with a company?

There’s a reason I advise customers to stay off the phone when they have a problem with a company: If someone says something to you on the line, how do you prove it?

You can’t — unless you record the conversation. And many states either don’t allow that or restrict it, or recording the back-and-forth is impractical for a customer.

Meet Michael Trout, insurance reform activist. He’s got an idea: Why not pass a law that gives you the legal right to the phone conversation?
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AAA Emergency Roadside Services: Don’t call us — summon us online

It happened this morning.

The battery on our Honda Accord died — a battery we bought through AAA less than three years ago. I tried to call AAA Emergency Roadside Services for help, but after navigating my way through a confusing menu, and enduring about five minutes of elevator music, my call was disconnected.

Then I remembered something the automated greeting had mentioned: Try sending a roadside assistance request online. I hadn’t thought of that. And I won’t bury the lede here — it worked like a charm.
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Casino steals page from airline playbook, swaps out resort fee for phone “processing fee”

Back in January, I noted with amusement that Harrah’s had issued a press release saying it does not “impose mandatory resort fees attached to a room reservation.”

At the time, I wondered why Harrah’s had phrased its announcement in exactly that way. Why not just say, “We’ve eliminated resort fees?” Also, it remained unclear why a large casino resort would turn down money from its guests that, at least according to the other casinos in town, they were more than willing to pay.

Well, yesterday I got the troubling answer to all of those questions.
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Fee Wars II? Expedia plans to remove book-by-phone charges

keypadGet ready for round two of the online travel agency fee wars. This spring, the major online travel agencies eliminated their online booking fees. This morning, Expedia will announce that it will do away with its fee to book by phone.

That would make Expedia the only major online travel agency to offer fee-free telephone booking for air travel. By comparison, some online travel agencies charge as much as $25 per ticket to book via phone. Many airlines also apply as much as $25 in fees, per ticket, to buy by phone.

I spoke with Expedia spokesman Adam Anderson yesterday to find out what this move means for customers.
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