New confidentiality clauses can influence vacation rental reviews

Look who's trying to doctor those online reviews! / Photo by I Scott-Flickr
Tom and Terri Dorow didn’t like their recent vacation rental in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Their online review is clear about that. It’s a laundry list of complaints about equipment, appliances and even the appearance of a house they felt didn’t meet the expectations of a $3,500 price tag for five nights.
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Progressive settles with insurance activist lobbying for call access law

Looks like Michael Trout’s story is going to have a happy ending, after all.

Trout called Progressive Casualty Insurance Company for an insurance quote, and was offered an $80 rider on a policy, which he was told would cover any accident involving an underinsured or uninsured motorists for up to $10,000.

Then he had an accident involving an uninsured motorist, and when he tried to get the company to honor its verbal offer, it turned him down. It also refused to grant him access to the taped phone conversation, which would have proven he was right.

I covered Trout’s campaign to introduce a law that would compel companies to release taped customer-service conversations in a post on my other site.

Yesterday, I got an update.
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Should you have the right to a copy of your phone call with a company?

There’s a reason I advise customers to stay off the phone when they have a problem with a company: If someone says something to you on the line, how do you prove it?

You can’t — unless you record the conversation. And many states either don’t allow that or restrict it, or recording the back-and-forth is impractical for a customer.

Meet Michael Trout, insurance reform activist. He’s got an idea: Why not pass a law that gives you the legal right to the phone conversation?
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