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Elliott Advocacy

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Ukraine

Mission: Elliott Advocacy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can’t.

Target demographics: consumers

Direct beneficiaries per year: More than 10,000 consumers.

Geographic areas served: Online

Programs: direct advocacy, journalism, and maintaining the largest database of executive contact information on the Internet.

Community Stories

269 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I spent hours and hours trying to get a refund from British Airways. Frustrated and out of patience, I contacted Elliott Advocacy. I had a complete refund in a little over a week. With an apology from British Airways!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently contacted Elliott for advice on a travel agency issue I was experiencing. I just needed someone to listen and advocate for me. They jumped right in and maintained communication along the way. Thank you so much for your help!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Hello, for two years I had $55,000 in debt, including $23,170 in credit card debt. My credit score was nothing to write home about. I managed to get most of my debt removed in bankruptcy and i was left with $9,000 car loan and $23,000 in student loans. Determined not to repeat my mistakes again I met Hacknet the credit specialist through a credit blog. He helped me clear all my debt and every negative item and also increased my score to an excellent score. I’m recommending Hacknet Credit Specialist for any person in need of credit repairs. Contact him through hacknet567@gmail.com/ (646) 450 2754.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I contacted Elliott Advocacy to help me with securing a refund from Expedia for a cancelled flight. I previously had contacted Expedia, the airline, and my bank over the course of 4+ months. I finally contacted Elliott Advocacy having ran out of options. I contacted them on April 22, and by April 29, I already had my bank account credited by Expedia. I cannot recommend them enough.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I purchased trip insurance (or so I thought) for a VRBO vacation rental. The total cost was around $7,000. As the trip approached, someone in my travel party fell ill, and we had to cancel. I had the confirmation of my trip protection, but in scanning my email inbox, I couldn't find the actual policy. I tried contacting VRBO, and they sent me to the company that issues the policies. They then sent me back to VRBO who sent me back to the travel insurance company. (I'm you can imagine how this went.) I had zero luck getting anywhere, so I reached out to Elliott Advocacy. I received a prompt response from Dwayne that offered some suggestions on how to proceed on my own. I followed all of their advice and started to get somewhere...until I hit another dead end. At that point, Dwayne got involved, and he was able to get me a full refund in a few weeks! Can't thank him enough!

Stan F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We recently went on the cruise, had a terrific time and loved Royal Caribbean. We did have a challenge with Royal Caribbean regarding a charge for a room not used. Overall a total miscommunication between two arms of RD (very long story) and really no one's fault but their response after multiple inquiries and explanations was " non refundable" Period. I contacted Elliott Advocacy and Michelle responded quickly and was very efficient at getting to the heart of the issue, contacting RC and resolving the issue with me received the total refund. A very good experience and frankly even if we had not received the results we wanted, Michelle and her team did a great job. Highly recommend them.

Client Served

Rating: 5

An amazingly helpful service. I had money locked up from me in an investment brokerage and I went to Elliot Advocacy for help after reading of a similar case they a while ago, they brokerage in question was Robinhood in both cases.

They were very fast to respond to my case and were very quick to represent my case to Robinhood.

The time between my request for help and the moment my issues got resolved was about 1 week.

Elliot Advocacy was very friendly and understanding when dealing with my case that I must stress was done in a very timely and professional manner.

I would highly recommend Elliot Advocacy to anyone who needs a team of professionals to advocate for you when you're having issues.

If you find yourself in their service definitely consider donating to them, they do very good work for people in need.

Thank you Elliot Advocacy

Client Served

Rating: 5

I booked flights for my children and I to take a California vacation. We used the Orbitz service to book these flights and received confirmation emails and eticket numbers saying we were set to fly out on jetblue. Unfortunately when we showed up for our flights at the jetblue counter we were told that our seats were not booked and tickets did not exist! Orbitz did nothing to help us and we had to pay for a hotel and flights the next day out of pocket. Thankfully we could afford to do so and our crying children did not miss out on their vacation. However, it cost us an additional $2600 and we had an extensive back and forth with orbitz via phone calls (which would disconnect) and email. We provided all the receipts and necessary information to them but never got a refund. Until we reached out to Elliott Advocacy. Within a day! Orbitz had refunded our credit card! It was unbelievable that they would ignore us for so long (this was going on for months back and forth) but Christopher Elliott was able to get them to do the right thing immediately. We are so very grateful to him and his team. Thank you!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My wife and I received vouchers from Allegiant Airlines when we cancelled our trip in September 2021. Shortly afterward, Allegiant announced it was no longer serving our local airport. I contacted Allegiant as our vouchers were now of no value to us. After no response from the airline I sent two more emails in December and February 2022 , again no response. In March 2022 I contacted Elliott Advocacy for assistance. Less than two weeks after contacting Elliott we received a full refund for our vouchers.
I have no doubt the airline would have continued to ignore our requests if it had not been for the involvement of Elliott Advocates.

Donor

Rating: 5

I went through a nightmarish situation with United Airlines and Chris helped me all the way through it for weeks/months on end.

I had cancelled a flight and due to a system glitch, did not receive a flight credit or an electronic travel certificate. Unable to rebook my flight, I resorted to using cash to rebook another flight. After close to 10 hours talking to customer service at United, I finally received a flight credit 8 days after cancellation. The problem however, starts here. Multiple united agents promised me that I will get a refund, and are processing the refund now for the flight I had to rebook using cash. Multiple agents said, just wait 1-2 billing cycles and you will get your refund to your credit card. Well, that refund never came.
When I filled out their refund form myself online - the refund was denied.
I disputed the charge twice with Chase - and it was denied. I was out of options and very close to giving up.
Elliott Advocacy got involved and I finally was able to get my refund.
I am 100% confident that I would not have seen a dime without their help.

As with most people leaving a review here, my story is simplified but behind it lies hours and hours of wasted time and endless frustrations with United. I am so grateful that Elliott Advocacy, and in my case Christopher, advocates for the little guys like me.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had purchased a non-refundable ticket to travel from GSP to DFW on American Airlines to attend my daughter's baby shower (her first!), but due to a Reservation Agent's error, the agent advised me the day before travel that my flight had been cancelled and further advised me that because AA cancelled my flights, I was eligible for either a full refund or a future travel credit. I chose the full refund, which she then processed on my behalf. The next day I received an automatic text message from AA advising that my flight was departing on time. It was then I realized that the agent had made a mistake and that my flight had not been cancelled. It was too late for me to drive from North Carolina to South Carolina to try and make the flight, and a later flight would not have arrived in time for me to attend the baby shower. Since the agent had processed my refund, I didn't call and inquire about the cancelled flight, as it wouldn't have mattered.

About 2 weeks later, I received an email advising me my ticket wasn't eligible for a refund, but I would receive a travel credit. Since I missed my trip due to the agents error, I sent an email to AA's Customer Relations Department with details asking them to override this decision - they refused. I sent a follow up email asking for a supervisor review, along with the email I received from AA showing where the Res Agent had submitted the Refund Request on my behalf, but again, they refused because it was a non-refundable ticket.

I found the Elliott Advocacy Group while browsing the internet looking for others who had experienced a similar situation and reached out to them. Michelle responded to me immediately and asked me for the details and my authorization allowing them to assist and within just a couple of days, I received a phone call from AA apologizing for the Agent's mistake and advised they would refund the full amount of the non-refundable ticket. Without Elliott Advocacy's help, I would be left with a travel credit that I would not have used by the expiration date.

Thank you so much Michelle and Team for stepping up and helping out with my situation!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I worked with both Christopher and Michelle at Elliott Advocacy in successfully receiving a refund from Avis after 2 months of my unsuccessful tries to obtain the refund myself. I rented a car from Avis for 24 hours and returned the car at the time stipulated in the contract. Since Avis was closed during that time, I called the number on my rental agreement and followed the instructions given by the Avis agent over the phone. However, after renting a car for only 24 hours, Avis couldn't "find" the car for over a month and I was charged $4,200 for a $115 rental. I reached out to Elliott Advocacy (I found them by googling what to do in my current situation) after I got the runaround at Avis, and thank goodness I did! Once I sent my contract to Michelle to review, she sent it to Elliott Advocacy's contact at Avis Corporate and I received a refund a few days later. I'm forever grateful for the work Michelle did on my behalf and recommend Elliott Advocacy to all of those fighting unjust charges from large corporations.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I read Christopher Elliot’s column in the Baltimore Sun every Sunday and that inspired me to ask for help solving my travel insurance problem. Soon after he got involved the money was sent to me and the case is now closed. Thank you Christopher for all your help.
Sincerely,
Stanley Wales

Client Served

Rating: 5

My first experience with Elliott Advocacy was nothing short of SPECTACULAR! Less than 15 minutes after submitting the online form, I heard from Michelle regarding my dispute with Royal Caribbean over thousands and thousands of dollars of pandemic-related cruise credits that (as it turned out) RCCL’s accounting department had carelessly and inappropriately voided. Michelle promptly accepted my case … and from there, her responsiveness, expertise and support were nothing short of AMAZING. In barely a weeks’ time, my situation had been resolved with the best possible outcome. Throughout the process, Michelle was an absolute pleasure to work with; just as important, she guided me to a resolution that would not have been possible without her intervention. My enthusiastic recommendation of Michelle and the Elliott team could not be more sincere nor emphatic!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Michelle from Elliott Advocacy far exceeded our expectations with her help!
She played a key role in getting funds returned to us from a cancelled trip with Grand Circle Travel. It was a trip originally booked 12/17/20 and scheduled for October 2022 to Spain and Portugal. We no longer felt safe to travel overseas and began this process on December 28, 2021. I made several calls to Grand Circle and had experienced long wait times (3+ hours on multiple attempts), sent emails requesting cancellation and return of funds with no response. I finally called to book a trip on 1/7/22, and got through in that way. I was promised a return of funds held on account from another trip, and was promised an addition refund of $7,275.90 for the Spain/Portugal trip. We were told this would be processed by sending $700 on Visa and $6,575.90 would be mailed within 30 business days. On 2/22/22, no funds had been received. I again called and found out that no action had been taken to refund money and someone would follow up. On 3/2/22, we were promised a check was in the mail. This was never sent. Contacted Grand Circle again 3/10/22 with another long hold and no contact. I contacted Elliot Advocacy on 3/10/22 explaining my issue. I had a response from them immediately and filled out a form outlining my problem. After providing more information to Michelle, she was able to follow up and secure our refund. Grand Circle eventually refunded $700 on Visa, $1,098 via electronic transfer, and $5,477.90 via check. Without Michelle's intervention, we would have still been waiting on broken promises that the "check is in the mail". Grand Circle has totally lost our confidence as a reliable company, but Elliott Advocacy has been a life saver. They quickly and professionally responded to all concerns and followed up as promised. I am absolutely certain that I would still be waiting for my refund without Michelle's intervention. Thank you!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We had a problem with a Hampton Inn managed by Hilton property when booking a room from a block for a wedding we were attending in Alabama. Because the allocation of rooms for the wedding family was filled when we processed our booking request we were mistakenly booked a non-refundable full rate room. The mother of the bride called us to let us know that we paid $100 too much and that we should call the local property to get it staightened our. We called the local property and were advised that they could not cancel or change a non-refundable reservation made on the Hilton website so they gave us the Hilton consumer services number. When we call Hilton we were told that the service agents could not change/cancel a non-refundable booking. We were stymied! so we contacted Elliott Advocacy for help, https://Elliott.org. They responded in quite quickly. Even though they responded that they could not intervene because we did receive the non-refundable booking that we request on Hilton's website. However, they pointed us to the "Executive Contacts" page on their website. We found the email of the Hilton's CSR Executive. We email the executive and got the booking cancelled very quickly.

Without Elliott Advocacy's help we would have been stuck paying $100 too much.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We recently had what seemed like an impossible issue to deal with, and our new friends at Elliott Advocacy really saved the day! We are Missionaries in Honduras & need to travel back to the states a couple of times each year to see Doctors, stock up on special items & the like. In our part of Honduras the International Airport in our city closed, and a new one opened 1 hours drive away. We always travel with our two small dogs, as there's no place safe to leave them in our area. In booking this trip, from the new Airport - we were not allowed to add our pets on the Reservation. The Airline would allow us to fly from an Airport 4 hours drive away, but not the new Airport serving our area. Over the course of 4 weeks in working on this - we purchased & canceled 3 sets of tickets with the Airline, and spent about 12 hours on the phone with two Airlines. A friend reached out to Elliott Advocacy last year & received amazing help - and as such referred us to Michelle & the team. Michelle was patient with us, and persistent with the Airline. In the end - Michelle was able to use her diligence & connections with the Airline to get the problem resolved - and save this type of headache from affecting future travelers from our new Airport as well! We are thankful & grateful for Michelle & the team at Elliott Advocacy!!

Safwat B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I booked a vacation on MSC Cruise lines early summer of 2021. Paid the deposit then paid the balance for the full fare at that time.
Some time later on, while browsing online realized that the price went down. I had a $445.40 overpayment.
After calling the office at Ft Lauderdale I was informed that the overpayment will be refunded to my credit card used in booking. My first call was around mid November and when I requested an e mail to this effect I received one on 11/19/2021 showing a balance of - $ 445.40.
No refund was issued. Called again in December buy too avail. On rhe ship of Meraviglia I went on January 21, 2022 to Guest Services (Reception according to MSC). The gentleman found no record on his screen about the overpayment. He faxed the document I have to accounting who, hours later, promised him that the overpayment will be refunded to my credit card.
But still, nothing happened.
In early February I called again and got same answer with no action.
On February 7 I wrote a certified letter, with return receipt, to management at Ft Lauderdale office. The was received there on February 10.
Later in February I contacted the ELLIOTT ADVOCACY Organization who graciously and patiently got all the details.
They advised writing to the company headquarters in Europe. I sent the email on February 25. On the 27th the bank informed me about a credit of $445.40 being accredited to my credit card.
Thanks to the guidance of ELLIOTT ADVOCACY the overpayment has been refunded after more than three months from the documented date of November 19, 2021.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can’t speak highly enough about my experience with Elliott Advocacy. Specifically, the way my case was handled by Michelle Couch-Friedman.

The short version: she was thorough, detailed, persistent, professional, sympathetic, and got results.

I had a difficult situation with Airbnb that required a good deal of nuance to understand. Unsurprisingly, Airbnb Support was unwilling to do anything other than support the host and did not make any effort at all to even look at my thoroughly documented case. After weeks of constant frustration, I turned to Elliott.org.

What an immediate difference! Michelle took the time to review my entire case - all the details and documentation. She asked good questions and was honest with me about the good and bad parts.

Perhaps the most important thing that happened was that I knew that someone truly understood what was going on with my case. The outcome might have gone either way, but what a revelation that was - someone else “got it” and was willing to help. I felt like I had already won at that point.

Thank you again to Elliott.org and especially to Michelle!

Comments ( 1 )

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MichelleCouchFriedman 02/24/2022

You're very welcome, Jeremy! I'm happy to have been able to help. Here's your story: https://www.elliott.org/the-troubleshooter/airbnb-news-could-host-mislabel-entire-vacation-rental/ Michelle :)

Client Served

Rating: 5

We were booked in a wonderful resort in Mexico. Very expensive as well. When we arrived in Mexico I was presented with a huge bill (thousands of dollars) for my 7 and 10 year old grandkids. They said my original bill did not include kids of that age. We had a contract in hand that clearly said adults and 2 children. We would never had booked for thousands more for two kids.

They ignored my contract. It amounted to $1000 charge per day for the two. Yes it was an all inclusive with some access to parks but the kids diet consists of hamburgers and chicken fingers.

Expedia told me they couldn't get through to hotel and call them my self. Long distance with language issues that was not working.

Micelle, I cant thank you enough. I know I could not have gotten results without your help. I think it is a very fair outcome. I appreciate Expedia's willingness to review and start the refund process. Will definitely pass on your company's name.

Client Served

Rating: 5

If you love to travel, be an informed traveler! Elliott Advocacy helps you do that with their informative articles --and they will help you when you get poor service or get the run around from a hotel, tour operator or airline. They helped me see where my communications went awry for a trip to Iceland cancelled due to COVID19, supported me in seeking refunds and all was resolved satisfactorily in the end. What a great service! for free (well, they are a nonprofit, so donations are appreciated). Thank you, Elliott Advocacy, for all you do!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had a very different issue and reached out to Elliott. My husband had won a cruise but then passed away - I couldn’t get anyone at the cruise line to respond back to my inquiries. Within 24 hours, Elliott reached out to the cruise line and they responded! Not only did they grant ME the cruise, after hearing of my husband’s death - they GIFTED my 3 children the cruise in lieu of my husband.

I cannot thank you enough for your advocacy - you really gave us a gift that no one else could!!!!!

Comments ( 1 )

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MichelleCouchFriedman 03/22/2022

Here's your family's story. We're happy to have been able to help :). https://www.elliott.org/cruises/norwegian-cruise-line-good-news/

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had a really bad experience with Vrbo on my birthday and though it was impossible to get a refund but Michelle did some magical work and managed to help me get it! I am so thankful for her and that this site is here for people who need that extra help.

Michelle R.16

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dwayne C. Coward at Elliott Advocacy helped me with a promotional reward from a national hotel brand that went unfilled for 2 years.

Jim Lo S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Elliott Advocacy succeeded where I could not: getting the dark souls at VRBO customer service to stand up and listen—and to resolve my issue.

In December 2021, a VRBO host cancelled my family’s reservation (booked and paid in full six months earlier) the night before my family’s stay. VRBO put us in a gross hotel for one of the nights, then left us on our own for the other two nights, including Christmas. I complained about the host to VRBO, and in what appeared to be a retaliatory move, that host then posted a negative review on my VRBO profile of our “stay,” despite the fact that the stay never happened. She had canceled on us!

I spent the next three weeks demanding VRBO cover the remainder of our hotel costs, and remove the fake review. I spent hours upon hours on hold with their customer service (which is worse than those of the airlines), and sent more than a dozen emails, including to Brian Keaster, VRBO’s Senior Director for Customer Support. All to no avail; VRBO was ghosting me.

Then I reached out to Elliott Advocacy. Their executive director, Michelle Couch-Friedman, went patiently through all my documentation, and was able to resolve the issue in less than a week. She recovered the money and got the fake review removed from my profile.

It’s unfortunate that even savvy and determined consumers no longer have the muscle to generate a response from vacation rental companies like VRBO. But that’s what makes
Elliott Advocacy so valuable. I can’t thank them enough.

Client Served

Rating: 4

A Greek airline was using what appeared to be delaying tactics to avoid having to refund our covid-cancelled flight. After two years I was ready to give up, but my "sunk-cost" mindset wouldn't let me. I sent our complete documentation to Elliott Advocacy (EA) and got a fast response from the airline. They still made me jump through hoops, but once I gave them my right arm and first-born they did refund our money (yeah, I'm being a bit hyperbolic, but really, TWO years?!). So, success at long, sweet last. I was concerned that the amount involved wouldn't be enough to interest EA, but they pursued it and got the response I couldn't.
Cheers!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough about Elliott Advocacy. I never write reviews, but I am moved to write about the amazing help I received from Dwayne Coward. I had used a website to cancel train refundable tickets due to Covid, and despite my best intentions, I must have made an error in my request. Dwayne was quick to acknowledge that the company was within its rights to turn down my refund, but intervened politely on my behalf, and the company agreed to make an exception as a courtesy. I want to add that I read Christopher Elliott's column every Sunday in the Chicago Tribune, and was thrilled that the good work that he does on behalf of so many travellers also helped me this time. Good luck with your work ahead.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I bought tickets in January 2020 for an event later that year...and it was repeatedly rescheduled, all the way to July 2021! At that point, the event was cancelled, but I was unable to successfully communicate with the ticket vendor (VividSeats) for a refund. After months of trying, and I reached out to my credit card company for relief. They sided with VividSeats (though they couldn't provide any records of how that determination was made) -- and that very week, VividSeats sent me a message saying I had a credit (not coincidentally)...not a refund. I engaged Elliott Advocacy, and they connected with VividSeats, provided them my paper trail, and got results! Within a week, VividSeats refunded my tickets in full. Great team at Elliott Advocacy, and terrific results!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently rented a car from Hertz for a personal trip to visit my 90yr mother. I have been using Hertz for both business and leisure travel for almost 20yrs. I have gold status through my employer. I've never had any issues whatsoever.

Recently, in Dec. 2021, I took my first driving trip since early 2020 and went back to the Hertz neighborhood location I previously used for leisure trips. The staff was completely new, no surprise. When I dropped off the car, they were busy with other customers and just accepted the key and said "all good". On my way home I received the receipt via email which listed a $400 additional charge. I called the Hertz 800 number and was told it was because there was a cigarette butt and ashes found in the car and that was the fee per the rental agreement.

I immediately returned to the Hertz location and asked if there was some sort of mistake, that I had this extra charge on my receipt. I was immediately told, no, it was not a mistake, and they produced photos of a car interior with a cigarette butt on the floor and ashes all over the seats! I loudly protested that I was not a smoker, never a smoker in my life and no one with me in the car during the rental period smoked. They said I was accusing them of lying! When I suggested I would dispute the charge with my credit card company, I was immediately told that Hertz would simply send the fee to a collections agency! I was totally outraged for being setup in this obvious scam.

When I returned home I called Hertz and asked to speak with a supervisor, I was told someone would call me back. I never received any calls. I then went on Twitter where I inquired and two days later they responded with a canned message that I violated the smoking policy and that $400 was the fee.

I then began an internet search where I found the Elliot Advocacy website. The site is a treasure trove of information on how to self-advocate, which included a warning about quickly resorting to credit card disputes. The website also contains a list of corporate contacts who may provide a better response to your complaint. I found the Hertz executive contacts and sent a letter to two different addresses using the format suggested. I received a response, but it was similar to what I received over Twitter, that I violated the policy, they had pictures and that was it.

The Elliot Advocacy website also has a form where I could input the details of my issue and it would be considered for escalated advocacy support by the team. After doing so, I was contacted by Michelle who asked me to provide all the details and communication history with Hertz. I provided all of that and more. I did all this just prior to and through the Christmas holiday. I didn't expect a quick response if any from my form submittal. Michelle replied to me within a week stating that she would forward a package to her contact at Hertz.

Well, maybe 2hrs after I received Michelle's last email, I received a voice message from someone at Hertz who told me the $400 fee would be refunded!!

I was floored! Totally unexpected that I would receive full compensation and so quickly!

I can't say thanks enough to Michelle and the Elliott Advocacy team!

Gary W J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you for the work you do. I had an issue with AMEX. I was able to contact the CEO because you listed the email in one of your stories. A special thank you to Michelle Couch-Friedman. She reached out to me and offered her help to solve my issue

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

What started out to be a complaint about a former friend turned into a nightmare in dealing with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. First and foremost, I want to express how embarrassed I am to be 60 years old and have to reach out to an advocacy group for help!

Here is how my story begins.......
On November 16, 2021, I contacted Royal Caribbean Cruise lines to inquire about the balance on my upcoming cruise scheduled for May 14, 2022. When I was unable to locate my booked cruise on the RCCL website I contacted their customer service department. The customer service department informed me that I called and cancelled my cruise on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 – they did not give me any additional information.

I informed RCCL that I did not cancel this cruise – since it was my 40th anniversary cruise and we have other couples coming with us to celebrate. I know for a fact my estranged neighbor – who was originally invited to help us celebrate – had access to my booking number since she was originally linked to our reservation.

When RCCL played back the recorded messages of my so-called cancellation, their resolutions department said the voice on the recording sounded too much like me to make a reversal of their decision not to refund my deposit of $500. I was speechless – especially with the cruise with confidence program being offered due to COVID – everything was supposed to be fully refundable. I asked if they had the phone number of where this call originated from, and they would not reveal this information to me. The RCCL representative said the reason” I” cancelled this cruise was because my granddaughter was coming to visit – I don’t have a granddaughter !

I immediately filed a police report for identity fraud/impersonation and all I was asking of RCCL is to cooperate with the police to stop this woman and to refund my deposit. Per the RCCL Resolutions department instructions to obtain a copy of the voice recording – I sent RCCL a certified letter with a copy of the police report and all my booking documents.

I was so frustrated that I searched every avenue to find a way to have Royal Caribbean at least hear me. I was out my anniversary cruise – since Royal would not honor my original booking price and the cruise had doubled in price – my real friends had to cancel since I won’t be on the ship and I was out $500 - but they did provide me with a $300 future cruise credit.

The detective handling my impersonation case tried numerous times to reach out to Royal’s corporate office and each time they put him on hold for hours - never putting him in touch with anyone who was able to assist. I was so upset with the way RCCL customer service handled this case and the way they treated me. Being a diamond member and a stockholder with RCCL meant nothing! Just a note -- Did you know that with Royal anyone can cancel your cruise if they have your booking number – so beware!!

I was on a recent cruise and we were sitting around reading stories of the day when my sister read me a story about an advocacy group - Elliott Advocacy - who was able to reach out to a cruise line and plead a case for a family who was denied boarding, etc. - my sister said why don't you reach out to Michelle Friedman at Elliott Advocacy for help - the article actually contained her contact information. I figured - why not - I was exhausted trying to get someone from RCCL to at least answer me - and I had sent copies of all correspondence to every officer of RCCL including their legal department - no response.

i returned from my cruise and immediately reached out to Michelle. She answered me immediately with additional questions and concerns about my case. Her communication was amazing considering how busy she must be. We communicated back and forth for a few days and she was convinced she had enough information to present to RCCL on my behalf to at least get my deposit back - she was not able to assist with obtaining the voice recordings since this is a totally different situation and requires legal assistance.

I am happy to report that thanks to Elliott Advocacy I received a phone call from the Chairman of the RCCL Resolutions Department offering RCCL's complete apology for the way I was treated. RCCL also offered to reinstate my original reservation - cost and all - however they were not able to offer the cabin on the back of the ship which had already been resold. I informed RCCL that we had already rebooked a cruise so they were happy to apply the $500 to my newly booked cruise and also provided a $100 on board credit.

To summarize - I cannot thank Michelle and Elliott Advocacy for reaching out to their contacts at Royal Caribbean. Without their assistance --all my correspondence would have remained unread and/or trashed or deleted. I have never been one to ask for outside help but I will not hesitate recommending Michelle or Elliott Advocacy for any situation!!! I hope that I don't need them in the future but highly recommend them to those that do!!!

Comments ( 1 )

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MichelleCouchFriedman 03/22/2022

Hi Rita, Here's your story. We're very happy that we could help!! :)https://www.elliott.org/cruises/royal-caribbean-canceled-cruise-help/

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had a 6 months fight with Lufthansa. Because the airline changed my flight, I needed to re-book to a different flight. Accidentally, LH refunded my original ticket completely without telling me, but did not delete my booking. I received emails about my new flight until my departure day, I had ticket numbers and seat numbers. On the day of my departure I went to the counter to find out that I actually did not have a ticket, only a booking. The same day ticket was twice as expensive than my original ticket. I had endless emails with Lufthansa; clearly they did not even read my case. Then I contacted Elliott Advocacy and Dwayne Coward worked with me. He wrote up my case in a very professional way and advised me to contact The Department of Transportation. Within 30 days I had an answer from Lufthansa with an apology and a refund for the difference in price.
Elliott Advocacy was extremely professional, fast in their responses and very supportive. Dwayne really took the time to read through all my documents - and there were many. Thank you is all I can say!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Had purchased a pre-lit Xmas tree from Home Depot along with an extended warranty. This year part of the tree did not light so went through the warranty process but was sent a strand of lights instead of replacing the part of the tree that didn't work. After numerous emails, calls and tweets to Home Depot that weren't responded to, I contacted Elliott Advocacy. Michelle got me immediate results and since my tree was no longer sold, Home Depot honored the warranty and replaced our tree. Very thankful that Elliott Advocacy could get through barriers that I couldn't do alone and now we have a working tree!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

For a year I was fighting with the Samsung Company regarding a dispute. I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and the New Jersey Consumer Affairs Department which Samsung just ignored. It wasn't until I contacted Michelle at Elliott Advocacy that Samsung decided to give me a full refund. Many thanks to Elliott Advocacy!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We asked for help trying to get a refund from VRBO after having no luck on our own. Within days we had a resolution and our refund all thanks to Elliott Advocacy.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I contacted Elliot Advocacy to get help with an issue that I had Avis about one of my rentals. I met with accident and the vehicle was towed by a local towing company, upon being asked to do so by Park Law Enforcement. I reported this to Avis and I gave the towing company's contact number and address. Avis said, over the phone, that they will work with the towing company to recover the vehicle from them and I don't need to do anything. I still followed up with them, almost every single day for the last two weeks about the recovery of the vehicle. It didn't seem like they were making any efforts to recover the vehicle. I was just getting told that it's under processing and will be recovered soon. I felt helpless as it was not at all in my control to do anything. My rental contract was still open and Avis sent me a certified mail asking me to return the vehicle or face prosecution, when they already told me over phone that they will work to recover the vehicle ! I searched internet for help, came across Elliot Advocacy and they, indeed helped. After reporting this case here, I got a call from Avis that they had recovered the vehicle. The rental was also closed within next few days after a couple of follow-ups. Michelle and Christopher responded to my questions promptly and I got the feeling that someone has got my back and is there to help me out. I will definitely return to this org if I need any help settling my insurance claims regarding this case.

Client Served

Rating: 5

After over 7 months of numerous phone calls, emails, feedback cases opened to Lufthansa and Orbitz to receive a refund on a airline flight that was canceled by the airlines. I was complete ignored except for a automatic email letter telling me that my feedback will be processed!!!
I contacted the Elliott Advocacy on October 28, 2021 they sent my case to Lufthansa on November 3rd and on November 29, 2021 I received a full refund !!!!
Thank You
Elliott Advocacy

Client Served

Rating: 5

I highly recommend Michelle at Elliot Advocacy. Without Michelle contacting VRBO for me, I would not have received a refund from VRBO.

It was my first time using VRBO and I booked a property in Puerto Vallarta for this upcoming Christmas. I needed this condo to be within walking distance to the condo my daughter reserved in Puerto Vallarta. I was surprised the condo I booked didn't show an exact address. But I trusted the map location on the host's site and the "What's Nearby" places of interest were all in the right location.

I made a huge mistake by not contacting the host before booking with a nonrefundable deposit. Minutes after using my credit card for the deposit, the host's address appeared which showed the condo to be on a Puerto Vallarta Beach 6 1/2 miles south of where it was supposed to be. It wasn't within walking distance at all.

I immediately began emailing messages to the host asking for a refund because the location was misrepresented. To this day I have never received a response.

I called VRBO customer service asking for help to contact this host. VRBO said they will contact the host and to wait 24-48 hours. I waited and return called VRBO. The pattern began - VRBO tells me to wait, I do, I call back. (weeks go by) I called the host - it was a disconnected phone number? That's bad. VRBO gave me a different phone number and said they will call again. That phone number was for a lady who called me back to say don't call her, as her condo is in Arizona. VRBO gave me another phone number and after calls and texts with no response, it was another dead end.

I begged VRBO to please escalate my situation to a supervisor. They said they could do nothing unless the host initiated a refund. And I should still go to Puerto Vallarta and if this condo was not acceptable they would find me another one - "Book With Confidence" they said.

No way was I going to Mexico over Christmas without a solid booking and a totally non-responsive host.

That's where Michelle helped me with how she was able to take my situation to a VRBO supervisor and I received a refund. I will never make mistakes like these again! Always contact the VRBO host and do not trust the VRBO map on the host's site. And always ask VRBO customer service for an email followup (paper trail) but this is also very difficult with VRBO as they promise to send an email but they don't. I am quite certain VRBO would not have issued a refund with just me requesting it. You need Elliot Advocacy to get past VRBO customer service.

Thank you Michelle!!

PRSinha

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I purchased an iPhone from AT&T and traded in my old phone for rebate. I kept getting a runaround for four months. I approached Elliott Advocacy and received a call from AT&T's Office of the President, and I was informed that the rebate will be posted on my next month’s statement.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was unfortunately caught up in Southwest Airlines meltdown in early October 2021. They delayed my flight and ultimately cancelled it. I was unable to take my trip. They did not rebook me, nor were they reachable by phone (hours and hours on hold) to get any sort of resolution. I contacted Southwest directly on multiple occasions over the course of a month to attempt to have my ticket refunded... to no avail.

As soon as I contacted Elliott Advocacy, and provided them with all the information they needed, it was resolved in 24 hours! I received a full refund!

On top of the disappointment I felt at having my trip messed up, losing so much money was a huge stress for me. I am so grateful to Michelle at Elliott Advocacy in helping bring this matter to a quick and successful conclusion.

Thank you Elliott Advocacy!
Terry O.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I purchased tickets for my family to visit extended family in Africa. While I was, I received an email from United airlines that a segment of my travel back to the US -via Canada - was canceled due to COVID Plus situation. I called United and to my surprise they said there is no alternative flight for us, even though there are different tickets available on United website for purchase, United's customer service kept rejecting our request for alternative tickets; instead, they offered partial refund or credit toward future tickets (which wouldn't cover half of the price of new tickets).
Over two weeks I kept calling and emailing United but they did stick to their rejections. I was so mad, frustrated and felt abandoned; not to mention stuck in the other side of the ocean with no means to purchase new tickets. The situation was stressing my whole family.
Then, I searched online for how to handle my situation and saw Elliot Advocacy. At first I was skeptical but still wrote to them , within four hours I received a response from the group - Michelle Couch-Friedman - asking me to clarify few things. I email Michelle copy of all my documents, and within 48 hours she reached out to a United's executive team member. The following day i received a call from a lady at United - Heather - who was so nice and listened to my story and promised to do her best. Sure enough, that same day she called again and not only offered alternative tickets but also asked to pick the day and choose which route fits my family - my wife is sick and my kids are 8 and 6 yrs).
Elliot team member - Michelle - went beyond the extra step she was responding to my emails within hours and sometimes minutes. Not sure what would have happened without her help. Really she saved our trip !!!

Thank you so much Elliot team.

Ahmed Benidamou

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently planned a train trip on Amtrak and purchased a USA rail pass to use to go on a sort of west USA tour. Unfortunately I only got to use 3 out of my 10 trips because of the tragic trail derailment. I was stranded in the middle of nowhere with no cell service and every restaurant, shop, and place to stay closing due to the season. Amtrak send me an email letting me know that I would not be able to receive any help from them to get home, or any alternate paths that I could take so I was effectively trapped. I had to pay someone staying where I was staying to drive me to a different state and take a plane home, it put me out a good bit of money so I contacted Amtrak about refunding the tickets I never got to use. They took about a month to tell me that they do not offer any refunds and they would do nothing about my situation, I was devastated. It cost a lot of money just to make it home safely and I did not know what to do. My roommate told me about Elliott Advocacy and I reached out to them right away. They contacted Amtrak on my behalf and I got a response from Amtrak the next day where they agreed to refund my pass completely. I’ve never been so thankful. The cost of the pass will almost cover the cost I occurred in getting home and I am so grateful to Elliott Advocacy for helping me out. I don’t know what I would have done without them.

Mikayla S.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had stumbled across Elliot Advocacy after an hour of researching how to best get my problem fixed with American Airline. An American Airline rep had suggested and relayed inaccurate information that led me to lose just about $1,400. American Air would not do anything to help solve this problem and after it was because of their own representatives fault.

I can across a suggestion of Elliot Advocacy and filled out a Google form with my story. I honestly didn’t think I would hear back from them, but within the same day and about an hour so or later, I GOT A RESPONSE… an email from Michelle! Michelle collected all information and offered to contact an executive person at American Airlines.

I could not get ahold of American Airlines before contacting Elliot Advocacy, but I then got a call from American Airlines the next day saying we would get our money back as promised.

I am so thankful!!

Donna Falk F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband and I purchased tickets in May to fly on Sun Country Airlines from Minneapolis to Newark on July 30th attend our grandson's 4th birthday party. We bought the tickets online from MyFlightSearch.com. We received e-tickets, and the night before our flight we tried to check in online on the Sun Country website but got the response that we had to check in at the airport. When we got to the airport, the Sun Country staff said that our tickets had been cancelled by MyFlightSearch several days after we had purchased them, and that there were no more tickets available for that flight. We had never received any notice that the tickets had been cancelled! While we were on the phone with MyFlightSearch at the airport, their agent admitted that we had not been notified of the cancellation. We ended up having to pay Sun Country almost $900 more than the price we had originally paid to get tickets to an airport in Hartford, Connecticut, and then get return tickets from Newark back to Minneapolis.
When we got home and checked my credit card statement, we saw that Sun Country had received our original payment and that only part of it had been refunded. I called Sun Country and they said that they had refunded our payment to MyFlightSearch and that Sun Country was not responsible for getting any of the money back to us.
I called MyFlightSearch and asked them to refund the rest of my payment, which they said would take 7 to 10 business days to post to my account. i also said that they should be responsible for the additional cost that we had to pay for last-minute tickets because of their failure to notify us of the cancellation. When we didn't get the refund or any other compensation from MyFlightSearch, I contacted Elliott Advocacy and learned that legally Sun Country was not responsible for getting our money back to us or notifying us that our tickets had been cancelled, but MyFlightSearch should have given all of the money back that we had paid for the cancelled tickets.
We were shocked to learn that when you buy airline tickets from online travel agencies like this, they can cancel your tickets without notice and leave you stranded at the airport with no choice but to find alternate transportation on your own that can cost you much more than the price of the original tickets.
Elliott Advocacy contacted MyFlightSearch immediately upon getting my request for assistance, and amazingly got the remaining $40 of the original purchase price refunded to me within 2 days.
I appreciated Elliot Advocacy's explanation of how the relationship between the airlines and the ticket brokers works, which has motivated me to try to get the word out to warn other travelers and to advocate for changes in the law to protect travelers from this type of price gouging and the other harm that being stuck at the airport with an invalidated ticket can cause. I am hoping to get a regulation or statute passed that would require immediate notice to passengers if their tickets are cancelled by a travel agency.




1 Gloria L.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Michelle Couch-Friedman helped me get a refund from eBay for a product I returned with an eBay supplied shipping label and then eBay would not accept their own tracking number for verification that it had been sent back. Then I got an email that the case was closed since I did not provide the tracking information. All of the eBay customer service phones had recordings or electronic help that recommended that going on-line for help. That was a catch-22.

I really appreciate Elliott Advocacy. With her help, I immediately got a response. Thank you!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

2020 was a horrible year all around for just about everyone. I purchased concert tickets for August 2020 in New Jersey because a trip for Las Vegas with my daughter was cancelled as well as many other events for last year. My daughter was getting more and more depressed so I just knew all the shut downs would be over by August, RIGHT?? WRONG!! Of course the concert in August was postponed until 2021. Unfortunately that concert was also postponed. At this point I have had Covid and have been sick enough times that my doctor has diagnosed me with Long Haul Covid. I am also now 68 years old and live in Florida.
I received an email from Ticketmaster stating I could hold the tickets or request a refund until either the event was rescheduled or cancelled. I did wait a little while but then got very sick again and received the diagnosis.
Ticketmaster was refusing a refund even though the event had not been rescheduled nor cancelled.
I found Chris Elliott on social media and contacted the Help Desk. Michelle responded immediately and informed me of the easy process to request assistance. One week later I have my full refund from Ticketmaster!!!
Please if you have a customer service issue let them know as I was in a panic and Michelle was absolutely amazing!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Michelle and Elliot Organization are the best!!!. I am glad I found you and out of words to say THANK YOU!!!. Michelle returned the smile to my face, she is far beyond expectations. I had a claim case with NLC for a cruise I did not enjoy after NCL denied embarkation to my entire family because I was traveling with my 11 years old daughter fully vaccinated. After a month trying to claim to NCL and being declined. I was very upset, and barely sleeping. All my effort to try to find someone that could help me where fruitless until I found Elliot Organization through a google search. Michelle helped me very diligently. She responded to my help-request within hours and took my case. She did a lot of research on Covid-19 vaccination policies for children in Canada (we are a family from Canada) to properly represent my claim. The case resolution was fast and to my entire satisfaction. I felt like a friend was holding my hand to walk a difficult path. Michelle not only dealt with the professional part of the claim, she also dealt with my stress level and calm me down :0)
Michelle and Elliot Organization THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Michelle from Elliott Advocacy was extremely helpful when I found myself at a dead end with Hertz. I had followed Hertz instructions to contest a large incorrect charge but found myself completely without a resolution. I spent countless hours on this myself, phone calls, emails, etc. and then eventually enlisted Michelle's assistance. She got to work on my case immediately and within a week I had a fair resolution (the refund I had hoped for) and a call from Hertz. I was so thankful for Michelle's assistance as I could not have gotten the problem resolved myself! Thank you Michelle!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been a loyal reader of Christopher Elliott's column in the Washington Post as well as Elliott Advocacy's newsletters, but I never imagined needing them. Until now.

I encountered a rather shocking shutdown with Legoland New York, after they made a booking error when I booked a weekend visit for my family. They said they didn't bill me for park tickets and I could pay or cancel. Many attempts to resolve myself only resulted in me being stonewalled. On the last day they should have replied to me the 3rd time, my latest Elliott newsletter arrived and a lightbulb went off.

I couldn't have imagined how quickly the team would reply to me with a request for backup and get to it! Although they kindly cautioned that it might take longer, this was resolved in about 3 days — and I'd already spent more than a month just trying to get a reply! Legoland NY updated our reservation to include both the hotel and park, as originally advertised. Devastated children crisis averted! And the entire team was just so easy to work with; I was almost moved to tears that this frustration was resolved with their help. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Awesome experience. Michelle helped me and my wife with a ruin Anniversary, we planned through vacations to go. She worked a miracle and helped use get future credit rather than losing over $3000 on a trip we were unable to make. Thank you so much.Words can’t express our gratitude.
W. Williams, Virginia

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This nonprofit organization is amazing. I sent them an email to complain about Vivid Seats. Michelle helped me with all my questions, concerns and respond to all my email inquiries in less than 24 hours. With the assistance of Michelle and her team they were able to convince Vivid Seats to refund me since they postponed and rescheduled my event for a later time in which I am unable to attend. I have been fighting with Vivid Seats to refund me my money since August as the location of the event had high Covid numbers and the event was postponed. Michelle was able to get my refund within 24 hours. I am beyond grateful and bless I can’t thank her and the company enough. Thank you Michelle for everything you have done for me and will continue to do for others in the future. I will never forget you.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been reading Christopher Elliot's consumer advocacy columns for several years and recently had an experience that made me think of him. In brief, my husband and I were charged for damage that we did not cause to a condo at the Castle Kaha Lani Resort in Kauai. We had photos that we took right before we checked out that proved that we left the unit in great shape, but the manager of the condo complex was unwilling to budge. He insisted that we caused the damage, despite the fact that his photos were taken more than 48 hours after we checked out.

I looked up Mr. Elliott and was delighted to find out that he had founded a non-profit consumer advocacy group. I immediately contacted the group and heard back that same day from the Executive Director, Michelle Couch-Friedman. Over the next few weeks, Ms. Couch-Friedman worked very hard to get our money returned to us. There were an awful lot of complex pieces to the story, and she patiently waded through every detail. I know that she had to contact the condo manager several times, and she also followed up with me frequently to gather further details and evidence, and to keep me posted on her progress. Ultimately, she succeeded in getting our money refunded.

I've since read many of Ms. Couch-Friedman's articles, and the Elliott Group is very lucky to have her on board. She is a great writer, she is a relentless advocate for consumers, and she cares greatly about her work and her clients. I enjoyed working with her, and I truly appreciate the work that this organization does to protect and inform consumers.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Shut me down before even helping me. Do this do that didn’t listen. I really hate agencies that say they can help but in reality can’t or won’t. Told me my photos of the dirty motel won’t help much. I guess a business owner no matter how filthy has more rights then the consumer. Thanks for nothing.

Comments ( 1 )

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MichelleCouchFriedman 03/22/2022

Unfortunately, as our team explained to you, if you complete your stay at a hotel, we can't get you a refund later unless you've followed our problem-solving guidance. If the situation at a hotel is egregious and you want a refund, you can't stay the night. You must take photos, document your conversation with the management and then leave and find alternative accommodations. Then when you contact us, we have a foundation to mediate a refund with the property.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Huge thanks and appreciation go to Elliott Advocacy who helped us get our money back. In November 2019 we paid several thousand dollars to Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) for a cruise that would take us on the Pride of America around the Hawaiian Islands at the end of March 2020. About 2 weeks before our cruise, NCL sent a Peace of Mind notification that we could cancel our cruise without penalty. We did this. The day after we did this they allowed people to get a full refund. However, because we had taken advantage of the Peace of Mind the day before, our money ended up in “Future Cruise Credits” (FCC)”. In September 2020, we booked another cruise using our FCC for May 2021. In February 2021 NCL canceled this cruise. We still couldn’t get a refund – our money was stuck in the eternal “future cruise credit” arena. In April 2021, NCL issued a letter that those who had two cruises canceled (as well as other criteria), that we could now get a money refund. We submitted the form, received confirmation and were told we would have to wait 90 days. 90 days came and went (that was the middle of July). Then, upon contacting them we were told we would have to wait another 90 days! So, we contacted Elliott Advocacy as it almost seemed impossible to get our money back. Working with Michelle Couch-Friedman, who worked with the Elliott team, we are relieved and very thankful to report that the money has now been put back on our credit card. We know if it wasn’t for Michelle and the Elliott team we still would not have our money back. We highly recommend Elliott Advocacy and will be forever grateful for their help.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Elliot’s Advocacy is the greatest consumer empowerment non-profit organization in existence and I am profoundly grateful for their help. The first time I asked for help was a Refund of a flight ticket purchased in FEB 2020 and the second time for tickets purchased through Ticketmaster. I spent innumerable hours and many days trying to get my money back, but Elliot’s - through Dwayne Coward and Michelle Friedman - made it happen in a matter of hours!! Amazing!

Client Served

Rating: 5

On 8/18/2021, I contacted Elliott Advocacy about a refund problem I was having with Grand Circle Travel regarding two reservations for 2022 travel. These trips were set up for 2020 but because of COVID they were postponed several times into 2022. The amount was for $5,824. I kept a paper trail of US mail and emails. Michelle Couch-Friedman came to my rescue and guided me on how to send the info via her email. She patiently helped me send, via clipboard, screenshots of my travel account and contract. Everything happened quickly and Grand Circle called me the same day to tell me they would process the refund in about 30 days.

Thank you Michelle!!!

Ernest Belzil

Yekis F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are a Dominican-American family that came to spend most of the summer in the Dominican Republic with our pet (cat). After arriving Santo Domingo we found that couldn't bring our beloved nineteen-year-old back to the US. Due to a dog travel ban. I spent weeks trying to communicate with anybody at JetBlue to solve this terrible issue. This morning I reached Elliot Advocacy and within hours Michelle got us an exemption pass for my cat to go back home!
I'm beyond grateful of Elliot Advocacy! They gave us hope and delivered excellent results!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Elliott.org has taught me to advocate for myself effectively when I have an issue with a business. When that has been unsuccessful, their advocates are awesome at getting a fair resolution.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I highly recommend Elliott Advocacy if you feel like you're not being treated fairly by a big company. TJ Maxx gave me quite a hard time. I returned a pricy item I bought online, and could not get my refund for over 2 months. After multiple attempts of reaching out to the CS resulted in nothing, and the PayPal failed to dispute my money, I discovered Elliott Advocacy website and their team's help was quick and efficient. I got my refund along with some apologies.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Michelle was absolutely amazing in resolving my return issue with a CBD company. I had returned the item unopened and received a RMU code. The Company then refused to return the money to my card, saying they couldn’t credit back my card, that it would take 6 weeks to receive a check, they would add a restocking fee on the unopened item, and they wouldn’t put anything in writing because their email department wasn’t working that day. Then they stopped returning my emails. Michelle fixed my issue and I’m forever grateful for this nonprofit. They’re utterly amazing.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Michelle was instrumental in getting my refund that was outstanding for over 1 year with a Italy shuttle company. Excellent Advocacy agency!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Michelle helped me with a Zelle dispute. Without her involvement, I’m not sure I would have achieved the eventual positive result. She was incredibly responsive and helpful. I would highly recommend working with Michelle and her team if you have a consumer protection issue and you don’t know where to start!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Elliot Advocacy was a true beacon of light for me, when I had exhausted every other reasonable option. To make a very long story short, I got charged nearly $1,000 by Hertz for a car I didn't rent. Essentially, I got charged for the rental period of the next customer AFTER I returned the vehicle. While the local agency immediately acknowledged the billing error, they did not refund the money I had been erroneously billed. This should have been very simple to resolve. I got charged for a transaction that wasn't mine and I had very detailed records to prove it. In an effort to resolve this on my own, I spoke to the local agent on the phone six times, I called Hertz Corporate billing, I sent Twitter DMs and finally sent an email to the HERTZ CEO and Sr VP of customer service. After five weeks of feeling completely helpless, I contacted Elliott. Michelle Couch-Friedman answered within minutes. Even with Michelle's help, this took three weeks to resolve. At first Hertz overlooked her message and then it took dozens of messages from Michelle for them to ultimately refund the overbilling in three refund transactions. Michelle was incredibly patient, professional, responsive and reassuring. Had it not been for Michelle at Elliott, I'm unsure what I would have done. Knowing I had them in my corner was an amazing feeling. I still am in shock of the utter lack of customer service and responsiveness from Hertz, considering I'm a loyal and frequent customer of theirs.

Joanna H.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough about what this organization does and what their work on our behalf meant to my family this month.

I am having a difficult time with my health, and as a bit of reprieve, we lobbied hard for some time off of work so my husband could take our 11 year old daughter and I on a trip to California to for some fresh air and to see the Redwoods. We had a very narrow allotment of days off and booked tickets through Expedia well in advance. About a month before our trip, we called Expedia and had our return trip changed from LAX to SFO. Expedia changed the trip and issued us new documents — or so we thought.
On the night before we were to fly home, I went to check in for our flight and was told by the airline that we had no tickets. Internally, Expedia had never actually booked the changed flight. I missed the grand finale of our trip, spending hours on the phone with Expedia trying to get them to fix their mistake and find us a replacement flight home. Twice I was told they would call me back with a supervisor to figure out how to get us home, but they simply never called back. Because I couldn’t get a response and we were stranded, we ended up having to book last-minute flights independently through the airline at several times the cost of our original flights, and the only flight available got us home the following day, causing us to have to both miss work, extend the hotel and car rental, parking, pet sitter, etc — all with our child who has become ill during the trip. We were both urgently due back at work and facing professional consequences for not getting back as planned. All said and done, including the original cost of the tickets and the lost wages from missing work, we were out over $2k — a loss I was not in a position to absorb. Expedia was not answering my persistent emails or returning my calls. The one reply I did get said simply “I am unable to confirm your request.” I was incredibly frustrated and at a loss regarding what to do, as my voice seemed so small and inconsequential trying to get the attention of this giant global company. Then I remembered Christopher Elliot’s column in the Washington Post and that he ran a consumer advocacy nonprofit.

I submitted my situation to the Elliot Advocacy website and got a reply within an hour. It was a weekend and an evening but after receiving the paper trail they requested, one of their advocates, Dwayne, responded to me immediately with his questions. It was the first person who had listened to me since the fiasco took place.

After reviewing everything closely to get a clear picture of exactly what happened, Dwayne reached out to Expedia on my behalf. I was asking for reimbursement for the tickets they never issued, the replacement tickets, and the costs of the extra hotel and rental car day. Within a week, I got an email from Expedia admitting their error and saying they were processing a reimbursement for the exact claim amount I had submitted to Elliot Advocacy. I received the funds yesterday. Despite the fact that this was a clear and egregious failure of Expedia, I have zero doubt that I would never have gotten a reply or a resolution without Dwayne and Elliot Advocacy. Companies have gotten too big and powerful, and when they take consumers’ money and don’t deliver —and repeated appeals to them to make it right go ignored —we have little recourse and little power to fight them. For many companies, indeed this seems to be a part of their whole profit model. Elliot Advocacy helps even out the power dynamic and get things resolved. And they do it for free. I can’t thank them enough and will support them in any way I can.