Consumer advocates have enemies. Lots of enemies. Some of them threaten you, some sue, and others hire hackers to attack your site.
Last week, it was hackers. They showed up on Thursday, broke a few things on your favorite consumer advocacy site, and then ran like the cowards they are.
They tried to shut us down, but they failed.
Why they didn’t shut us down
True, for about 24 hours, we had a few challenges. But not the kind that would put us out of business — not even close.
We couldn’t have fended off these criminals without you. Last week, you helped us raise $10,000 in just five days. That money covered our much-needed IT defenses.
By the way, if you missed the fundraiser, you can still get your name on this list of supporters. If you like the idea of having a team of advocates who will fight for you, please consider joining the cause.
We can fight to see another day because of your help. I’m very grateful.
We’re in this until the end
Somewhere, in a windowless cubicle in an unnamed city, there’s a corporate reputation management operative who is wondering when my advocacy team and I will finally give up. When will we say to yourselves, “You know, this is more trouble than it’s worth.”
We’re in this fight until the bitter end. Since I started publishing an advocacy site in 1996, I’ve been sued, subpoenaed, knocked offline, and trashed by armies of corporate shills. And my team of advocates and I are still here, fighting for you.
We’re not giving up. We’ll always be here for you.
Dark times for journalism
Since my last dispatch, things have gotten worse in the world of journalism. There have been more layoffs and more are coming. I’m so grateful for your help in sustaining this mission. Every phone call, every letter, every email in support of the advocacy journalism keeps this site alive for another day.
So how can you help?
✓ If your newspaper doesn’t carry my stories, ask them to consider picking up these nationally syndicated columns.
✓ If you see one of my stories online, please share it with your friends. I write all of my articles with you in mind. I hope you’ll find something useful in them.
Thank you for your help.
This week’s consumer stories
Here are this week’s consumer articles:
Why did Frontier Airlines make me pay extra for my checked bags?
When Lorine Lashock buys tickets on Frontier Airlines, the fare includes two checked bags. But Frontier thinks otherwise, and charges her $100 on her return. Can she get her money back?
American Airlines couldn’t get us to grandmother’s funeral. Now it’s keeping our money
When American Airlines delays and then cancels Jeanette Franz’s flight, she and her family miss her grandmother’s funeral in Illinois. Are they entitled to a refund?
Dangerous destinations: Where in the world shouldn’t you go?
With violence against American tourists in the news, summer travelers who usually ask, “Where should I go this year?” may be more likely to wonder, “Which places should I avoid?” What are the world’s most dangerous destinations?
These cities have the most fake hotel reviews
More than one-third of online hotel reviews are phony, new research from fraud detection company Fakespot suggests. The troubling study of fake hotel reviews also shows that you’re more likely to be fooled in some American cities than others.
How to protect your privacy when you travel
It hasn’t been an easy year for the privacy of travelers, at least so far. Data breaches, surveillance worries and those troublesome cameras in airplane seatbacks and hotel rooms are enough to make passengers paranoid.
Thank you for your support. Because of you, they can’t — and won’t — shut us down.
Have a great week!