In a perfect world, caring employees would quickly fix your customer service problems.

We don’t live in a perfect world.

That’s the reason I started writing “Problem Solved,” a customer service advice column.

The premise of the feature is simple: Every week, I take a seemingly unsolvable customer service problem — and solve it.

And there are a lot of problems. The Federal Trade Commission received 3.2 million complaints in 2019, an increase of 200,000 complaints from a year before. It’s just a small fraction of the consumer problems in North America.

“Problem Solved” is the product of decades of consumer advocacy.

I began helping fix customer service problems in the late 90s. I contacted airlines, hotels and travel agencies and negotiated refunds on behalf of aggrieved customers. In 2010, I wrote a book called Scammed: How to Save Your Money and Find Better Service in a World of Schemes, Swindles, and Shady Deals. I began to receive all kinds of requests for help — and Problem Solved was born.

I started to receive so many requests for help that I founded a nonprofit organization called Elliott Advocacy that helps people with their consumer problems every day. Our mission is to empower consumers to solve their problems and help those who can’t. So if you’ve run into a problem that you can’t solve, please contact us. My advocacy team and I will do our best to help you.

“Problem Solved” will appear on this page each week, and read much more on his website at: www.elliott.org

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