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5 things customers say during the holidays – and what they really mean

It's that time of year when you follow the herd to the mall and gorge on the displays.

American customers have it bad – but here’s how it can be better

Did you know that when it comes to customer satisfaction, the United States falls short of the top 10, behind Russia, Poland and Chile? That the worst industry for service is social media? Or that the worst time to contact customer support is after 6 p.m.?

How to fix any customer service problem yourself

The most satisfying cases I handle as a consumer advocate aren't the ones where I step in to save the day. It's the times when you, the consumers, fix a problem without any outside help.

The biggest mistake I ever made as a consumer

Somewhere in the attic of my old house in Key Largo, Fla., a reminder of my biggest consumer mistake ever is collecting dust. I've never told anyone about it. Until now.

Mad about travel? Then you probably shouldn’t read this

It's the time of year when the days get shorter and my mood grows darker.

Should you hire a consumer advocate? 3 questions to ask

Here's a familiar come-on: If you have an intractable problem with a business, you can "utilize our years of experience fighting fraud" to get a fast refund.

Government set record for airline fines in 2012 — is that good news for passengers?

A more activist Transportation Department, which set a record in 2011 for the number of fines it issued against airlines […]