Scammed: How to Save Your Money and Find Better Service in a World of Schemes, Swindles, and Shady Deals [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...

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Scammed: How to Save Your Money and Find Better Service in a World of Schemes, Swindles, and Shady Deals

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Overview

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!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118180150
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/1/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,270,706
  • File size: 607 KB

Meet the Author

Christopher Elliott is one of the nation's foremost consumer advocates. In his nearly two decades of fighting for consumers, he's proven himself as a fearless, fair, and effective mediator, going toe-to-toe with large corporations, litigious business owners, and government agencies.
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Table of Contents

Prologue: Fenced In xi

Scammed—or Just a Bad Deal? xiv

Down That Road Lies Madness xvii

Introduction: You’re Not a Victim xxi

Confessions of a Heretic xxii

Preventive Medicine xxiv

How Businesses Are Scamming Us xxv

How We Are Letting Them xxvi

What to Do about It xxvii

The New Scams xxviii

Part 1 How They Scam Us 1

1. Reputation Management 3

Avoiding Sock Puppets 6

How Companies Manipulate Customers 8

How We Fall for It 10

"SocialSpark Loves Your Blog" 12

Don't Fall for a Managed Reputation 13

2. I SEO You 17

A Scam That Wears Many Hats 19

The SEO Pitch 20

SEO Gone Wild 22

Above the Law? 25

3. Fooled You 27

But Everyone's Doing It 29

Little White Lies 33

Who's to Say What’s Bogus? 36

4. That's Not an Ad 39

How They Lie 42

Pay per Post 46

But Wait! There's More! 47

5. Lying about Your Rights 51

Oops, You've Already Signed It 54

Fine Print Gone Wild 56

Signing Away Other Rights 57

One Word at a Time 57

Part 2 How We Scam Ourselves 59

6. Our Own Damned Fault 61

Losing Your Mind 63

A Scam-or-Be-Scammed World? 65

There's Something in the VitaminWater 66

A Wayward Offer from DirecTV 67

That's Not the Spirit 68

Customer Confessions 70

7. Walled Gardens 73

If the Customer Is Always Right, Why Worry? 79

Trapped in the System of It All 79

Do You Suffer from Walled Garden Syndrome? 81

8. The Price of Loyalty 83

What Loyalty Programs Make Us Do 85

What Makes Loyalty Programs Dangerous 87

The Loyalty Effect 91

You're Complicit 92

Questions to Ask before You Buy 93

9. When the Watchdogs Sleep 95

Where Have the Watchdogs Gone? 98

When Dogs Follow the Wrong Scent . . . 100

Being a Discerning—and Demanding—Consumer 102

10. Tired, Confused, and Apathetic 105

Eyes Wide Shut 108

Decisions, Decisions 110

When You Don't Make a Decision . . . 111

Dereliction of Duty 112

Splitting the Difference 114

Part 3 How to Fix It 115

11. The Enlightened Consumer 117

A Thirst for Knowledge 118

Getting Inside the Mind of a Business 119

Corporatespeak 120

Getting Inside Your Head 124

What Smart Shoppers Don't Do 126

12. It's Dangerous Out There 129

How to Spot a Lowercase Scam 131

How to Spot an Uppercase Scam 135

How to Deflect a Clever Sales Pitch 137

Surviving a Scam 139

13. The I-Can't-Help-Desk 141

How to Escape from Call Center Hell 143

Should You Chat? 147

The Art of the Written Complaint 149

These Letters Go Straight to the Trash 150

Elements of a Winning Style 151

14. Turning a No into a Yes 155

You're Right 156

How to Turn a No Around 157

A Few Thoughts on the Art of Persuasion 161

Sue or Shame? 163

15. Act Now 167

Timing Is Everything 169

Fixing What's Wrong with Business 171

Fixing Ourselves 172

Who Wins? 174

Epilogue: Power in Your Pocket 175

Appendix 179

Who You Gonna Call? 179

How to Find a Manager in Person 180

How to Find a Manager by E-Mail 183

How to Find a Manager by Phone 184

How to Find a Manager through Social Media 186

Bibliography 191

Suggested Readings 205

Acknowledgments 207

About the Author 209

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 23, 2011

    Scammed, the perfect book for consumers, travelers, marketers and CEOs

    I first came across Christopher's writings on CNN, I found them interesting, and started following his blog. I became even more of a fan when I emailed him for assistance with a problem and surprisingly got not only a response but a fast response.

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2013

    This book is informative, but written in a fantastic style that

    This book is informative, but written in a fantastic style that makes it entertaining to read despite being educational; the style reminds me of Penn Jillette, though is not vulgar nor crude as he is. The author delineates a number of common scams, including specific examples in historical context, from a highly informed background and keeps it entertaining throughout. Worth a read as much for information as it is for fun.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2012

    Great read!

    Very interesting! Lots of good tips!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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