Review this! Travelers fed up with solicitations

Is it my imagination, or are travel companies getting pushier?

The come-ons include repeated invitations to return to a hotel or restaurant, high-pressure pitches to “like” a company’s Facebook account and urgent requests for positive online reviews. As summer vacations fade into memory, the aggressiveness has never been more obvious. Read more “Review this! Travelers fed up with solicitations”

I want to receive Royal Caribbean’s promotional emails. Why won’t they send them?

Keith Johnson can’t seem to subscribe to Royal Caribbean’s promotional emails. Maybe he needs help from an advocate. Read more “I want to receive Royal Caribbean’s promotional emails. Why won’t they send them?”

For consumer problems, sometimes the best advocate has a law degree

In a do-it-yourself world, when shouldn’t you do it yourself? That’s sometimes hard to know with a consumer problem. Read more “For consumer problems, sometimes the best advocate has a law degree”

You’re overpaying for groceries, but here’s what you can do about it now

It’s not your imagination. Your grocery bills are rising.
Read more “You’re overpaying for groceries, but here’s what you can do about it now”

What did federal agencies do for travelers in 2013?

Oleksly Mark/Shutterstock
Oleksly Mark/Shutterstock
Ask travelers what the federal government did for them this year, and you’ll probably get a shrug, at best — or a rant about sequestration, national park closings and the Transportation Security Administration, at worst.

But there’s actually a specific answer: Federal agencies did a lot more than you might think. And, in at least one prominent case, a lot less.

When it comes to consumer protections, two agencies carried much of the water in 2013: the Department of Transportation (DOT), which oversees airlines and motorcoach safety in the United States, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has a broad jurisdiction ranging from time-share sales to hotels. This year, the U.S. Department of Justice also played a central role in protecting travelers with a halfhearted attempt to block the creation of the nation’s largest airline.
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Time to include mandatory fees in hotel prices?

Like many resort hotels, the Marriott San Juan Resort and Stellaris Casino in San Juan, Puerto Rico, adds a fee to its daily room rate to cover amenities such as bottled water, a casino coupon, local phone calls and wireless Internet.
Read more “Time to include mandatory fees in hotel prices?”