“⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑”

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The reviews are in of your favorite nonprofit advocacy organization — and we did it! We’re a top-rated organization! People love to give us five-star (⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑) reviews.

At least that’s the consensus of Great Nonprofits, a site that tracks customer satisfaction with nonprofit organizations. In the few months since the IRS gave us 501 (c)(3) status, we’ve received 30 reviews and five stars!

As our fall fundraiser starts to build momentum, I wanted to share the good news with you. It’s a terrific reason to become an active participant in this year’s fundraiser. We need your help now more than ever.

How do you get ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑?

Consumer advocacy is hard work. Most of the cases we receive appear to be unsolvable. Our dedicated response team members, Michelle and Dwayne, spend hours sifting through help requests to find out if there’s a solution — and when they find one, they do everything they can to see it through.

Take Rachel Simmons, who found a $250 smoking fee on her credit card after checking out of the Country Inn and Suites in Omaha, Neb. Neither she nor her husband smoke. We got her a refund. “It was such a relief to know I wasn’t alone, and there are companies that help the consumer get a fair solution,” says Simmons.

Or Jocelyn Albertson. The lid on her new Kenmore washer spontaneously shattered one night, and Sears refused to fix it. “When Sears wouldn’t do anything for me, Elliott stepped in and contacted them on my behalf, and I received a brand new washer two days later! I can’t express my thanks enough to them for all their help,” she says.

Then there’s Lori Karasek, who bid on a Priceline hotel in Jamaica, believing she’d get a beach hotel. She ended up in a business hotel in Kingston. Her circumstances were so unusual that Michelle asked Priceline to review her case, and it agreed to refund her money. “Thank you, Michelle,” said Karasek. “Excellent advocacy!”

How do you get ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑? You advocate these cases even when they look impossible and when no one else will touch them. You do it because you believe you’re doing the right thing.

Supporting this site is the right thing to do

Running a nonprofit organization isn’t easy, and it isn’t cheap. For every one five-star review, there’s failure, rejection and disappointment. And every day the site stays online is hard-fought. Behind the scenes, there are IT people, producers, coders, forum advocates — you name it! — fighting to keep the lights on.

Simply put, there’s no other organization like Elliott Advocacy on the planet. We’ll fight for you when no one else will, against all the odds — and we’ll get a just resolution for you. And that’s why this organization deserves your support.

Please consider becoming a financial supporter now. Here’s how you can sign up.

By the way, we had an amazing month of October. We had 739 new cases, up 5 percent from last month and up 71 percent from a year ago. Page views were up 24 percent from a year ago, to 792,158. Another bright spot: New users. They jumped 41 percent to 296,086.

These are all high-water marks for your favorite consumer advocacy organization.

This week, I’m honored to be giving away Boingo Wireless accounts to random new underwriters during our fall fundraiser. Boingo is one of the earliest supporters of our fundraisers, and I can’t say enough nice things about their service. If you transit through airports, train stations or other public areas and need reliable, fast internet connections, you need an annual Boingo account.

This week’s advocacy

This is the second week in a row that I’ve been in the San Francisco Chronicle. I’m really happy — and relieved! — that the powers that be have decided to restart the column. If you’re in the Bay Area, please let the Chronicle know how you feel about seeing the Travel Troubleshooter again.

Many of you have asked about the Philadelphia Inquirer and Sacramento Bee, where my syndicated column is still missing in action. I don’t know what’s going on there. Philadelphia says it cut the column because it doesn’t have space, but then picked up a heavily-edited version of my Washington Post column. Sacramento hasn’t responded to any of my emails, but I’ll let you know when they do.

Keeping both the Travel Troubleshooter and Problem Solved in these papers is important. They’re a vital source of cases for this nonprofit advocacy organization. I truly appreciate your support in helping keep these features in your local newspaper.

You deserve ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑!

This week’s columns

Here are this week’s stories:

How to upgrade your next vacation with a private tour
If you’re looking for a way to make your next family getaway special, don’t just consider where you go, but what you do when you get there. You can upgrade your next vacation with a private tour, sometimes at no extra cost.

After Priceline car cancellation, do I deserve a refund?
When Davy Bass tries to book a rental car through Autoslash, he’s redirected to Priceline. What happens next surprises him. Can he cancel his reservation?

What happened to my daughter’s IKEA furniture delivery?
Stevie Platt’s parents want to help their daughter with her canceled IKEA furniture delivery. But IKEA isn’t in a talking mood. Now what?

Why your travel socks may be the most important thing you pack
I’ve been traveling the western part of the United States for the better part of the past two years. And if I’ve learned just one lesson, it’s this: Pack the right travel socks. It sounds trivial, but it’s not.

A college concierge? It’s about time
It seemed like an impossible task for Kevin Prieto, a senior at New Mexico State University: plan a graduation trip to southeast Asia for himself and two of his friends during finals week. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a college concierge?

Thanks for your support.

Posted in This Week Tagged

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can’t. He’s the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes weekly columns for King Features Syndicate, USA Today, and the Washington Post. If you have a consumer problem you can’t solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

Underwritten by

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 Cavalry Travel Insurance

Cavalry takes the worry of out travel by providing 24/7 access to medical and security professionals combined with the best medical evacuation and security extraction services. Cavalry gets you home safely when you need it most. Learn more at Cavalrytravelinsurance.com.

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 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 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

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.

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.

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.