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Welcome to an all-new, redesigned version of Elliott’s E-Mail. Starting soon, we’ll be transmitting twice a week — Mondays, as Elliott’s E-Mail, and Thursdays as the Away is Home adventure newsletter (here’s the debut issue of that newsletter). Why? Because it’ll be twice the fun! Also, we’ll be carrying an abbreviated version of each newsletter on each of our websites.
□ WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Ever had your ID stolen while you’re traveling?
ID theft happens all the time, but have you ever had your identity stolen while you’re away? Are you worried that it could happen, given that passports and other ID can be scanned, possibly? Please send me a note. As always, please included your full name, city and daytime occupation. Your response could be used in my story.
The stories you see in this newsletter are just a starting point. I hope you’ll take a minute to leave a comment, whether you agree or disagree with something I’ve written. Let’s continue the conversation on Twitter, FacebookLinkedIn or Google. I’m listening. And of course, I’m also here to help if you need me.
New newsletter look: love it or hate it?
I’m doing my best to make this email newsletter more readable. Please let me know what you think of this redesign. After all, it’s your newsletter, too. You have my email address.
□ THIS WEEK’S FEATURES
What can a broken toilet teach you about customer service?
When Tanya Fernandez checked into room 323 at the Microtel Inn & Suites in Colorado Springs, Colo., recently, she was met with an unpleasant but fixable problem: a broken toilet. What happens next? Find out in my LinkedIn column.
Hotels cancel their old cancellation policies
When heavy rain grounded Amy Li’s recent flight from San Francisco to Cancun, Mexico, she hoped that her resort would allow her to cancel her prepaid room. But it didn’t. Instead, she received an apologetic e-mail from the Excellence Playa Mujeres, saying that while the hotel was “truly very sorry” about her canceled flight, it would be keeping her money. Details are in this week’s Washington Post column.
The five kinds of people you meet at an airport screening area
Next time you fly, take a minute to look around at the airport screening area. You’ll see all kinds of interesting passengers, from the “get-alongs” to the dissidents to the folks who think the rules don’t apply to them. Which security “type” are you? Find out in my Huffington Post column.
5 foolish things consumers do
You’re a smart, enlightened consumer. Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. But even smart people sometimes do dumb things. I see it almost every day. Details are in my weekly Mint.com column.
□ JOIN THE DEBATE NOW
Why did this Whirlpool microwave go down the drain?
David Eck’s Whirlpool microwave breaks down less than two years after he buys it. The company will fix it -— for $300. Is that the right offer? Find out the answer.
Did Carnival do enough for these Destiny passengers?
Frank and Lucy Pirri are unhappy with their cruise on the Carnival Destiny, and they’re even more unhappy with how the cruise line responded to their complaint. Can this cruise be saved?
If you’re in Zone 5, here’s why you should pack light
Next time you find yourself with a boarding pass that says Zone 5 or Group “C,” or whatever designation your airline uses to say you’re the last to board, please remember this story.
Should I fire my travel agent?
Brian Durbin’s destination wedding is off to a bad start. His travel agent isn’t returning his calls and he and his fiancée are afraid everything isn’t going to run smoothly. What do you do when your travel agent goes AWOL?
□ MY PARTING SHOT
I’d like to thank the readers of this newsletter — all 30,000 of them! As you probably know, I’m in the middle of re-imagining how the website, newsletter and social media work and play together. So this isn’t as much of a parting shot as it is a parting comment. If you can think of any way to make the advocacy work I do more effective, or even more interesting, please let me know. You know how to reach me. (Also, a hat tip to Naomi for putting me up to this!)