Forget the Oscars. The awards that really matter to you are the Readers’ Choice Customer Service Awards, our annual recognition of companies that offer outstanding customer support and service.
You voted — and today the list is out. Here it is.
You’ll find a lot of favorites and a few surprises. Winners include Allianz Travel Insurance, Ford, Marriott, and Uber.
Why do we have an award?
I’m not a big fan of beauty pageants, which is why I would never participate in an industry award. It’s an exercise in futility, anyway. Consumer advocacy is a thankless job that only earns you the scorn of an industry.
But the Readers’ Choice Award is no beauty contest. You nominate the companies and you vote for the winners — and you can use the results to make smarter buying decisions.
The Elliott Advocacy Readers’ Choice Awards, now in their 14th year, are a public service of my consumer advocacy organization. If you know who offers the best customer service, you’re less likely to be ripped off, scammed, or otherwise taken advantage of by an unscrupulous company.
I know you can use the list to make better buying decisions in 2019.
This week in consumer advocacy
I’ve been thinking a lot about focus in the last few days. It’s easy to forget why you’re here when there are dozens of deadlines and conference calls.
That’s not to say I’ve lost sight of what matters. This morning, for example, I posted an important story about hackers attacking your airline on Forbes. You’ll want to read it before your next flight. Today I also published a cautionary tale about a reader who booked the wrong flight dates and paid a high price.
Your support funds the reporting we do on my advocacy site and elsewhere. I’m very grateful for your help.
But today’s awards brought everything into focus for me. This is what my incredible team of consumer advocates and I were put on this earth to do. It’s telling you about the best companies. It’s holding powerful companies accountable through our list of company contacts. And it’s using journalism to ensure consumers like you are protected every day.
Consumer journalism can be dangerous work. This weekend, we endured our worst malware attack of the year. Someone really wants to take our consumer advocacy site offline, and found a way to break into our publishing system and add malicious code that redirects you to a spam site. My IT guy is fixing it as we speak.
I’m not giving up. I’ll keep advocating for you until they shut us down.
This week’s stories
Here are this week’s articles. Please share them on social media and add your comment.
Vacation rental mistakes every family makes (but you shouldn’t)
From booking the cheapest place to ignoring the fine print in the property description, I’ve made so many vacation rental mistakes that I could write a book about them. For now, an article will have to do.
My mom’s stairlift has a big problem — it doesn’t work outside!
Darlene Marks’ mother had the wrong stairlift installed in her home. Neither the installer nor the manufacturer will fix the problem. Can this consumer advocate help?
Travelocity can’t help me with my Air India flight refund. Can you?
Erin Vuono just wants an Air India flight refund. Her online travel agent, Travelocity, can’t help her. Can this consumer advocate help?
Airline or hotel owe you money? Use these tips to get your refund
Travel companies hate to refund your money, even when they’re supposed to. If you don’t believe me, ask Melina Jose, who was supposed to fly from Paris to Orlando, Florida, recently.
Have a great week!