Christopher Elliott is a consumer advocate, multimedia journalist and customer service expert known for his practical advice and creative solutions to customer-service problems. He’s the founder of this site.
Elliott’s work is shaped by a drive to help people, drawing on the best traditions of investigative reporting and service journalism.
His relentless advocacy efforts, sometimes against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, have earned him a reputation as “every consumer’s best friend.”
He’s the author of Scammed: How to Save Your Money and Find Better Service in a World of Schemes, Swindles, and Shady Deals (Wiley), a manifesto for empowering consumers and encouraging corporate responsibility, and How to Be the World’s Smartest Traveler (and Save Time, Money, and Hassle) (National Geographic Books/Random House), the definitive manual for having a better trip.
Elliott is National Geographic Traveler’s reader advocate and a nationally syndicated columnist through Tribune Content Agency, which distributes his work to publications from the Seattle Times to the Miami Herald.
He writes a weekly column for The Washington Post and USA Today. His family is on an open-ended journey around the world, covering the adventure for Nationalgeographic.com and the Huffington Post.
In more than two decades as a journalist, Elliott has either worked at or appeared in almost every A-list outlet in every modern medium.
• He’s hosted a cable TV show on the Fine Living Television Network (Now the Cooking Channel) and a nationally-syndicated radio show. He was an independent producer for NPR and a commentator for both NPR and Marketplace. He’s appeared on virtually every major TV network, including ABC News, BBC, CW, CNN and NBC.
• His newspaper resume is extensive. He’s written commentaries and regular columns for every major national daily, including The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. He holds the rare distinction of also being quoted as a source in those publications and in many more newspaper outlets.
• His work has appeared regularly in major newsmagazines such as Newsweek and US News & World Report, and he’s written for a wide range of general-interest and specialty magazines, including National Geographic, SmartMoney and USA Weekend. He’s also been quoted in many magazines, from BusinessWeek to Real Simple.
• Elliott is a pioneer in digital journalism. He founded the Internet’s first business travel website in 1994 and began blogging in 1996, before it was called blogging. He became ABCNews.com’s first travel columnist in 1997, and his work has since appeared in a variety of major news outlets, including CBS Interactive, CNN.com, MSNBC.com and USAToday.com. As an early adopter, he was one of the first journalists with a presence on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.
Elliott is the co-founder of the Consumer Travel Alliance, a Washington-based advocacy group for travelers.
Before he became an independent writer, Elliott worked for Dow Jones & Co., where he frequently wrote about the stock market and initial public offerings for The Wall Street Journal. He also served as a section editor for Travel Weekly, a travel trade publication.
He completed seven editorial internships, including stints at the Los Angeles Times, The Dallas Morning News and Reuters.
Elliott is a 1990 graduate of the University of California at Irvine, where he majored in humanities. He earned a Master of Journalism degree in 1991 at the University of California at Berkeley and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 1996.
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