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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
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
"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!
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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.
In fact, I'm looking back through the book now, just to be sure I'm not being unfair. Here are a few examples of what I'm complaining about. In an early chapter in which he is talking about 'how businesses are scamming us', he has a section titled, 'what to do about it'. Now, wouldn't you think he might -- oh, I don't know -- tell you what to do about it? No, he just rants some more, concluding that, "...we instinctively know better than to look to the captains of industry for guidance. So why do we act surprised when any company rips us off?" So what happened to telling us what to do about it? The section is called, 'what to do about it'. How can you call it that and then not tell us what to do about it? And it goes on like that, at least as far as I got. The book seems to me to be one big rant and, despite the author promising practical advice, he never seems to give any. I did flip back through and found this specific piece of advice. "The takeway? Be Skeptical. Very skeptical." That's great advice, but I needed someone else to tell me that? Okay, in fairness, there are some survey results showing that lots and lots of us, business-owners and consumers, are liars and cheats.Read more ›
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 always knew about rigged reviews (even here on Amazon) and usually only read the negative ones, but now know about SEO's and some of the ways big business manipulates all of us and outright lies to us to make sales. Loyalty programs? Well, not anymore for me!!!
I wish I can put into a couple of paragraphs how good, how interesting and how educational this book is....I mean in many ways it just confirmed things I sort of believed but wasn't sure if they were true (ie. which companies have the longest hold times (if I remember right, Continental Airlines wins that distinction) and even why emailing a company is better than calling (or doing both is better?)
I am going to read the book again because the amount of information was so vast and I want to absorb it all. This is a great read and, honestly, I know it will make me a better consumer and avoid being scammed or conned.
The only negative to this book, for me, is that there wasn't an index in the back. I am giving it five stars because it really has so much information and is so easy and enjoyable to read, but I never understand why so many non-fiction books don't add indices. It just makes references things in the book that much easier.
Still, I highly, highly recommend the book!!!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoy Mr. Elliott's travel help column, but in this book he seems to have a vendetta against businesses. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
I have followed Chris and his column the Travel Troubleshooter for years when I was on the road for work. Read morePublished on May 14, 2013 by D.Korb
Good, but certainly have gone into lots of other common scams. Informative, but not comprehensive. Definitely worth reading, and goes into everyday scams we all probably see in our... Read morePublished on March 10, 2013 by Debra B Croft
This book tells is like it is- the truth about how search engines and businesses can "stuff the ballot box" to make things in their favor. Read morePublished on April 21, 2012 by slim
This book gives a modern take on one of the world's oldest professions; tricking people out of their hard earned money. Read morePublished on March 27, 2012 by Sharon Geltner
This book makes me pay more attention to the things that are going on around me. You have to stop and think about stuff, especially when it sounds like an amazing deal. Read morePublished on March 21, 2012 by Bruce C.
Clearly and engagingly written.
No matter how savvy you are, this book can teach you handy tricks for outwitting companies of all kinds. Read more
Some readers may be a bit leery over paying any sum to read a book entitled, "Scammed." After all, it would be so easy for an author to borrow what he exposes. Read morePublished on February 21, 2012 by mariwinn
This book is definitely NOT a scam!
If you buy it, read it, and apply some of its suggestions, you may recover your investment (the book's cost) many times over. Read more