Elliott’s E-Mail: How to find anyone’s phone number – Sponsored by TripInsurance.com

This week’s issue of Elliott’s E-Mail is filled with useful advice and unbelievable customer-service stories with improbable resolutions. You have to check out my Mint.com column on finding a manager’s phone number. Also, learn about which four service mistakes could kill your business over on CBS Interactive. And I have a few hot discussions on my website, including one about a travel agent’s hotel booking error and flight attendants who don’t like their passengers.

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Travel posts

The Travel Troubleshooter: You didn’t damage this car – no, wait, you did
When Enterprise rents Janice White a car in Chicago, there’s damage to the fender. No worries, says an associate. It will be noted. But a few days after she returns the car, she’s being asked to pay for the dent. What now?

Case dismissed: Oops, I booked eight nights instead of one
Meryl Lee Seewald thought she was booking just one night at the Holiday Inn Miami International Airport. Instead, she booked eight.

Ridiculous or not: Do flight attendants really hate us?
When, exactly, did flight attendants stop caring about us?

Is this enough compensation? I got a refund and they blacklisted the property, but …
It wasn’t Margaret Peary’s first hotel booking on Priceline. But it may have been her last.

Can this trip be saved? A chipped windshield and a surprise bill
It’s been a while since we’ve had a chipped-windshield story. This one comes to us by way of Kenneth Ross, whose wife recently rented a Toyota Corolla through Payless Car Rental in Toronto via Expedia.

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Customer service

Phone Confidential: How to Find Any Manager’s Number
Getting the phone number for a company is easy: it’s listed in every directory, and the company wants you to call it so it can sell you something. Finding the direct extension of a customer service manager? That’s not so easy.

4 Customer Service Mistakes that Will Kill Your Business
While Wall Street may find plenty of other reasons for Borders’ failure, it’s clear the chain made critical service mistakes.

Airlines With a Busted (Moral) Compass
There are so many unscrupulous ways a business can manipulate a price, without customers knowing. This is how these airlines did it.

3 Ways to Avoid an Airbnb Service Disaster
After a customer service meltdown, Airbnb went from media darling to scapegoat–literally overnight. How not to repeat their mistakes.

5 Ways to Earn a Customer’s Trust
Only one in 10 workers think their company’s leaders are ethical. Your customers probably feel the same way.

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Our underwriters

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(Photo: Make B aird/Flickr Creative Commons)

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at chris@elliott.org. Got a question or comment? You can post it on our help forum.

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