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Scammed: How to Save Your Money and Find Better Service in a World of Schemes, Swindles, and Shady Deals Hardcover – December 27, 2011
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From the Inside Flap
Maybe not. As longtime journalist and customer advocate Christopher Elliott reveals in Scammed, sometimes today's con-jobs arrive via poorly spelled spam or fast-talking hustlers, and sometimes they come from well-dressed MBAs, intricate legal contracts, or management-approved corporate policies. Scammed shows how many businesses manipulate and mislead in order to not give you what you paid them for. You'll discover how you can protect yourself from this unfair behavior. If you feel doomed to suffer hidden fees, escape clauses, and shoddy products, Scammed gives you the tools to fight back, make yourself heard, and have your complaints resolved on the double.
Learn the latest techniques businesses use to give you a bad deal, as well as their most effective countermeasures. Scammed pulls back the curtain on:
How companies shape online perception, including "reputation management," "sock puppet" reviews, content mills, and "black-hat" search engine techniques
Typical hidden clauses in end-user software licenses, credit card contracts, and other customer agreements
The behavioral science behind sophisticated customer manipulation, and how to recognize and correct for it
How to find good, fair-dealing companies and guard against bad ones
Real-life stories of customers successfully fighting bad deals, and how they did it
Effective techniques for communicating with companies and accelerating their response to your problem
From the Back Cover
Praise for Scammed
"Christopher Elliott is every consumer's best friend. I count on Chris to be the first place I turn to when looking for the latest gotchas. Not only is he smart and easy to read, but more importantly, his passion for saving people money and fighting for fair play come across in every paragraph."
—Bob Sullivan, author of Gotcha Capitalism
"Scammed is a book that immediately grabbed my attention and never let go. It's eye-opening and incredibly relevant to how we live today. Read this book in one sitting because it's information that you need now!"
—Joe Calloway, author of Becoming a Category of One
"Christopher Elliott's deep-seated concern is for the consumer. He stands up and says what needs to be said."
—Richard Laermer, coauthor of Punk Marketing
"Christopher Elliott has written a groundbreaking exposé about the dysfunctional relationship between American businesses and consumers. Not only does he describe who's responsible for this mess—he succinctly explains how to fix the problem."
—Gil Garcetti, former Los Angeles County District Attorney
"With another scam around every corner—some a lot sneakier than others—Scammed is a great handbook to understanding the threats we all face as consumers. Knowledge is our power."
—Mitch Lipka, consumer columnist, The Boston Globe and editor of TheConsumerChronicle.com
Most of us wouldn't buy that bridge in Brooklyn that some guy wants to sell us. We wouldn't wire money to people who send us an email that promises to shower us with millions once they save a Nigerian diplomat. Used car salespersons? Not our friends. We're savvy customers who can spot a fast one, right?
Shady dealers expect you to resign yourself to getting burned. Restore your power as a customer, make better choices, demand what you pay for, and hold onto your money with Christopher Elliott's winning advice. Don't get scammed; get Scammed, and get wise!
Top customer reviews
When his book came out, I had a feeling it was going to be pretty good. I was expecting some more stories about other consumer's that got scammed, however this book talks more about how to be a smart consumer, gives some interesting statistics, and also covers some of Christopher's own experiences as well as his background, which was a nice fill in, if your familiar with his work.
This is the kind of book, that you can read chapter after chapter without wanting to put it down. Its packed with consumer advise, tricks corporations and businesses will try to pull, as well as a number of humorous points. In the book you will learn the do's and don'ts when you want your complaint resolved, and Christopher tells this in a unique way, in which even the experienced consumer will like.
As a business owner with strong customer service values I really enjoyed and highly recommend this book.
As a previous reviewer said, "three stars for the book, plus one for the website." I am content that this purchase helped support Chris's other work.
I am a fan of Chris and his site but this book really changed my perspective and made me a better consumer. I know what to look for even more in a company I am about to do business with and want to know which companies really take accountability for their actions.
There is so much information out there and having a voice for the consumer makes a huge difference. It's your money you are spending, why shouldn't companies respect that as much as you do.
Three stars for the book plus one star for the website.
If you buy it, read it, and apply some of its suggestions, you may recover your investment (the book's cost) many times over.
I have been following author Chris Elliott's Internet blogs for several years. He is very effective in aiding consumers who have experienced problems in most any aspect of the travel industry.
In SCAMMED, Elliott reaches beyond the travel industry. He gets to the "whys" and "wherefores" of how some businesses manipulate and mislead customers in order to simply grab their money.
He explains the on-line methods many companies utilize to enhance their reputations, such as using "sock puppets" to post positive reviews about their experiences.
Further, he cautions consumers about the hidden clauses in software licenses, language in credit card contracts, and other agreements.
Elliott offers advice on making better choices as a consumer... how to demand way you pay for... and how to hold on to your hard-earned money.
Book sections titled "How they scam us" and "How we scam ourselves" lead to "How to fix it."
A great book!
Most recent customer reviews
No matter how savvy you are, this book can teach you handy tricks for outwitting companies of all kinds.Read more