Here are some of the issues that I’m currently involved in.
Anti-competitive mergers. I’m unaware of any merger that has created jobs, improved customer service, lowered prices or increased competition. If you can show me just one that did any of those things, I might consider revising my position that mergers are bad for consumers, period.
Junk fees. Whether it’s a mysterious “access” fee on your cell phone bill or a “convenience” fee on your airline ticket, I stand firmly opposed to meaningless fees that line the pockets of companies. By the way, “junk” is in the eye of the consumer, not the experts.
Loyalty programs. Frequent flier, frequent stayer — frequent anything — programs are addictive and expensive for the average consumer. What’s more, they encourage companies to quietly remove necessary amenities and services from ordinary, non-elite customers. Loyalty programs should be more closely regulated and in some cases banned by law.
Security without dignity. No matter how you travel, you have the right to be screened in a dignified way that respects your constitutional rights. I’m deeply troubled by the false choice of a scan or a pat-down that the TSA offers us at the airport. The invasive searches must end and the scanners need to be decommissioned now.
No privacy. You have the right to share your private information with a company on your terms — not a company’s. Where possible, you should have the right to be anonymous as a customer, and to stay that way.
Lying labels. A product should say what it does and do what it says. In travel, that means that when you buy a ticket on one airline, for example, you should actually fly on that airline. Airline codesharing is a fundamentally anti-consumer practice. Companies are lying about themselves when they codeshare — and it shouldn’t be allowed.