In this issue, I’ll tell you what to do when a company offers substandard service. Should you shame it — or sue? Also, check out a lively discussion on airport parking fees. Find out why we keep coming back for more, even when a company disses us. And mark up our map of the Mediterranean — go on, it’ll be fun!
Cruise the Med with us. Away is Home, our new family travel site goes into “beta” tomorrow when we cruise the Western Mediterranean. I hope you’ll join us for our adventure. Please sign up for Away is Home’s RSS feed, follow Away is Home on Twitter or on Foursquare and “like” the Away is Home page on Facebook. You’ll have a front-row seat to the adventure.
Please visit our underwriter, Florida Vacation Auction, where you can save up to 80 percent off retail on resorts, hotels and attractions in the auction and 20 to 30 percent via Buy Direct. No cost to use unless you win or buy. Register using promo code “ChrisElliott 2011″ to get a $25 credit towards a winning auction. Details here.
The Travel Troubleshooter: I signed the damage form — now they want me to pay
When Leigh Barber returns his rental van to Enterprise, he discovers a small scratch that was overlooked when he picked up the vehicle. He signs a form acknowledging the damage, but with the assurance from a manager that thee scratch can be “buffed out.” Now Enterprise wants him to pay. Does he have to?
Case dismissed: A suburban spat over a Hotwire hotel room
Here’s a relatively common problem with a so-called “opaque” booking site — with a relatively common resolution.
Ridiculous or not? Airport parking fees start to multiply
Like many travelers, Hal Frost is accustomed to being hit with fees everywhere he goes, from the airport check-in counter to the hotel front desk. But long-term parking used to always be pretty straightforward: the rate he was quoted was the rate he paid.
Please visit our underwriter, Travel Insurance Services, which has been protecting travelers since 1973 by providing coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, baggage insurance, and more. Choose the right option for your next trip. Visit Travel Insurance Services.
Customer service posts
Sue or Shame? What To Do When You Can’t Get What You Want
When a company’s done you wrong and you’ve exhausted all means of recourse, your two final options are going to a court of law or a court of public opinion.
Why Do We Keep Buying from Companies that Diss Us?
Reading between the lines of the latest customer service scores, you’ll find this and other paradoxes.
Raising Prices? 7 Ways to Prevent a Customer Uprising
If you’ve watched the Netflix implosion from afar, here’s some more bad news: It could happen to you too. Unless you read this.
Away is Home
Using Google maps for your next adventure
You sent so many emails and comments about your experiences in Spain and Italy that we decided to open up our My Places Google map to you!
7 secrets for staying healthy at sea
I admit it — I get seasick in a bathtub. Especially the really big ones at those fancy resorts.
Oh, Barcelona! I’m gonna miss you
We start our trip in Barcelona, Spain. But I don’t think we’ll have time to catch the sites. We have to check onto the ship.
The other Chris Elliott. I’ve rebooted my Tumblr blog. It’s now called The other Chris Elliott. Please stop by and follow me.
See you online! If you’re not following me on Facebook or Twitter, then you’re only catching half the conversation. Join me for a lively discussion about travel, customer service and anything else you might find interesting.
These businesses have given their financial support to consumer journalism by underwriting this site. Please support them with your business.
Travel Insurance Review — Where you can get articles, reviews, and guides to help you find an insurance policy that will fit your individual travel needs. You can buy directly or use its comparison site to find a trusted and reputable travel insurance provider. Get more information.
Want to feel the love of nearly 100,000 weekly readers? Please ask about our corporate underwriter program.
(Photo: orang esparrow/Flickr Creative Commons)