“⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑”

⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

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.

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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.

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