New on Elliott: Stupid customer mistakes, a hard line on refunds and the adventure begins – Sponsored by

By | October 14th, 2011

This week’s newsletter marks the beginning — and the ending — of two important events. Let’s start with beginnings. That cross-country trip I’ve talked about for so long? Starts right now. I hope you’ll join us!

And this is the last day of my fall fundraiser, and the last opportunity to get your copy of 0-60 Travel Insurance, the definitive guide to buying and using travel insurance. After today, the manuscript disappears into a vault. What are you waiting for? Your donation will help keep consumer advocacy going on this site. I can’t do it without you. Here’s how to become an individual underwriter.

Speaking of advocacy, I have some incredible cases to share with you. Read my warning about stupid things customers do offline. Join the contentious debate on “low-cost” airlines that cost a lot. Help us determine if one woman’s diamond ring was a scam. And can this trip be saved?

Please visit our underwriter,, a travel insurance comparison website that provides savings of 40% or more on similar plans from other comparison sites. provides one of the easiest ways to buy travel insurance. With quotes sorted into good better and best coverage categories it is simple to compare travel insurance plans to find the right policy for your needs. Customer support is available 24/7 and claims can be filed online – right there on the site.

Are you missing the most fascinating debate on the Internet? Every morning, there’s a lively discussion online about travel and consumer advocacy. And unless you’re signed up for my free daily email newsletter, you’re missing it. It’s easy. At 9 a.m. sharp, you’ll get a link to the latest story. Stop by. Leave your opinion. Join the debate. Here’s how to sign up.

Related story:   New on Elliott: Thank you, thank you, thank you! -- Sponsored by


The Travel Troubleshooter: Am I stuck with this $378 phone bill?
Jeffrey Grim can’t make a connection in Brussels because of an error made by his online travel agency. In order to fix the problem, he racks up $378 in phone bills. Should the company cover his expenses?

Case dismissed: My father died — please refund my rental car
Sometimes, even death isn’t a good enough reason for a refund.

Ridiculous or not? “Low cost” airlines that cost more
When David Simon wanted to fly from Milwaukee to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., he assumed “low cost” airline Southwest would offer the lowest fare.

Is this enough compensation? How much is that fat-finger mistake worth?
Gretchen Kenney thought the $232 a night rate at Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club was pretty darned good, considering that Marriott’s own website showed the same two-bedroom unit at $589 a night.

Can this trip be saved? “I fail to understand the behavior of your shuttle bus driver”
Christine Glovier didn’t have an ideal travel experience when she flew from Philadelphia to Manchester, NH, on US Airways. But is an apology enough for what happened?

Please visit our underwriter, — Lets you search the best travel deals, then book your cheap airline tickets with one of its many partners. Check out