It’s time for you to tell me what you think of the customer service you received in 2018. It’s time to vote in our Reader’s Choice Awards.
I know you want to give me a piece of your mind. I see you in the blog comments every day and I receive your highly opinionated emails. This is your chance to tell me what you think. Vote now and you could win a year of Boingo Wireless.
About the Reader’s Choice Award
The 2019 Elliott Readers’ Choice Customer Service Awards is an annual recognition of companies that offer the best customer service. You determine both the nominees and winners.
Why have an award? Because consumers are looking for a reliable guide for the holiday buying season — and beyond. The people who buy the products and services are the best source of this information.
That would be you.
This year’s categories feature airlines, car manufacturers, wireless carriers, and subscription TV services, among others. For 2019, readers asked for two new categories: apparel and luggage. Nominees include American Tourister, Briggs & Riley, American Eagle, and Land’s End.
The Elliott Readers’ Choice Customer Service Awards started in 2005 as a recognition of the top travel companies and bloggers. Since 2015, it has focused exclusively on customer service. The award has been recognized as the premier customer service award in its category.
By the way, many thanks to Allianz, Boingo, InsureMyRentalCar.com, and Southwest Airlines for sponsoring this year’s award.
A heartfelt “thank you” for your support
We wrapped up our fall fundraiser yesterday. Thanks to you, we raised more than $15,000, which will help pay some of our bills in 2019.
My team of consumer advocates and I couldn’t publish this site without your help.
To give you an idea of how precarious this operation is, let me take you back to Friday morning when we received a warning of a possible malware infestation on our server. Someone — we’re not sure who — had penetrated our systems and posted a page filled with spammy content. Google threatened to remove us from its search results unless we fixed it quickly.
Removal from the search results would be catastrophic. Fortunately, we work with a team of developers who can help. They sprung into action and, within an hour, had isolated the malware and removed it.
That IT team costs money. Your donation will cover the expense of keeping this consumer advocacy site up and running.
You might be wondering: Who would want to take down a site like this? It could be anyone from a business owner to a group of loyal fans of a product who don’t like being criticized. I’ve seen it all.
These people can’t succeed. With your help, they won’t.
This week’s advocacy
We wrapped up November and I have a few numbers to report. We’ve already helped 6,264 consumers this year, eclipsing the 4,284 cases we received in 2017. And the year is not yet over! For November, we had 694 cases, up an impressive 68 percent from a year ago. Page views rose 24 percent from a year ago, to 761,796. New users surged 45 percent to 282,832.
Are these new records? Of course. We’re going to end 2018 on a high note. Take a bow — I couldn’t do this without you.
We could use a little help on the column placement front. It looks like our cancellations for Philadelphia and San Francisco are permanent. I’m not taking it personally. Philly is down to a one-page travel section and San Francisco shifted to an all-local travel section.
If you subscribe to a newspaper that doesn’t currently publish one of my columns, let’s work together to change that. Just send me a note.
This week’s stories
Please share these columns with your friends:
How to survive an RV vacation with your family
It happened on a hot autumn afternoon as we cruised south toward Santa Rosa, Calif., on Highway 101 in a 24-foot Coachmen Leprechaun recreational vehicle. “THUMP!” the camper went. Not like the kind of thump you make when you go over a speed bump. It was the thump of hitting something.
Am I owed anything for a canceled TripAdvisor vacation rental?
After Marvin Herman’s TripAdvisor vacation rental is canceled, he can’t find a suitable replacement. Does TripAdvisor owe him anything?
Shattered glass on my Kenmore washer. Help, Sears!
When the lid on Charlene Molina’s top-of-the-line Kenmore washer breaks, Sears doesn’t do anything about it. Why is it so hard to replace the shattered glass on her appliance?
Meteorologists share their winter travel advice
Never check luggage. That’s the winter travel advice of CNBC correspondent Contessa Brewer, who, coincidentally, was emailing me from a plane en route to cover a weather disaster. “Bring carry-on luggage,” she told me. “It makes it much easier to rebook flights. And don’t take no for an answer.”
Who has the best customer service? It’s time to cast your vote
PRESCOTT, Ariz., Nov. 27 — Voting starts today for the 2019 Elliott Readers’ Choice Customer Service Awards, an annual recognition of companies that offer the best customer service, brought to you by Allianz Travel Insurance.
Have a great week! And thanks for telling me what you think.