AmiCOUR IP Group News and Opinions

New Book Tells It
Like It Is For Both Sides

Continued... generation for profit "consumer advocates" like Ed Magedson. Indeed, even when consumers desperately seek help, this is a new world where nearly everyone has been made to feel like the proverbial fool artfully separated from their money asking "What just happened?" As a result, plenty of folks now seem to feel justified ripping a friend's CD or stretching their software license here and there. Axl prophetically sang, "Welcome to the jungle"and, sadly, the seedy business approach of Hollywood Boulevard may have became the American norm... but should it be?

The WWII generation was grateful for train transportation, filthy as the trains were (all that dust they stirred up, soot and so forth).  If a passenger complained about the dirt, the response was: "This must be your first train ride?"  Today, when an airline passenger drops a tray table and it isn't perfectly clean, they're liable to go into hysterics screaming that their flight, and five more after that one, ought to be free of charge. Remember that guy on Jet Blue who grabbed a couple of cold units, pulled the chute, cursed the passengers, and then announced he was outta here? How in the world did we get here?  Elliott appears to have developed a viable theory.

You won't want to put this book down as story after ugly story continues to reveal amazingly artful, sometimes amusing, and often aggravating scams. Standing among the well documented tails of capitalism gone awry was the office supply chain advertising very low computer prices but keeping the stock out of customer reach. Just before going to the stock room, the sales person would ask if the customer wanted the extended warranty. For each customer that declined, the salesman would return with the bad news that the particular model selected had apparently already sold out. Of course, if the customer wanted the overpriced extended warranty, the salesperson would promptly return computer in hand. It isn't clear that the store ever suffered any legal action, but it soon found itself closing stores and consolidating to survive its competition. Of course, the chain also has the distinction of being described in a new book titled SCAMMED, where Elliott freely names them. The low ball price scam, like the others exposed by Elliott, is no longer the office supply chain's dirty little secret of the past.

After all, even Gordon Gekko, the fictional inside trader and stock manipulator in the movie Wall Steet returned from prison and was shocked by the new gamesmanship justified by his famous "greed is good" philosophy. In Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, the outraged Gekko remarks that he served time for amateur play compared to what today's crooks were up to. These days, the Feds rarely bust anyone.

As you read on, inevitably you will stop for just a second to ask the obvious question: "Just how did our culture get itself into this incredible mess?" The former Los Angeles DA endorsed the book and opined, "Not only does he [Elliott] describe who's responsible for this mess - he succinctly explains how to fix the problem." And so it turns out that the first part of the book is telling us something we are already painfully aware of, albeit in a very entertaining and insightful way. Elliott is a Berkeley educated Fulbright Scholar with a Master's degree.  In the second half of the book, he proves it to us when his genuine understanding of ethics and equity would give the smartest lawyer a run for his money. He teaches the correct arguments, fair rules, and how to reach settlement. Elliott explains consumer reality and protecting your rights in a way that equips ordinary humans to survive in the epicenter of this whirling storm we proudly still call American capitalism. This worthy author has been described as "every consumer's best friend"  and he proves it. This said, the part of the book telling you how to survive and stay sane as an American consumer is the part you'll have to read for yourself. After all, the AmiCOUR intellectual property blog isn't Google books. We're not about to pirate away Elliott's valuable wisdom on the slim chance you might click a banner ad (in fact, we don't have banner ads). Sorry folks, you read this far and you might even feel scammed but you'll just have to buy your own copy.  So you don't go away feeing totally cheated, we are willing to share a hint about Elliott's insightful advice to ripped off consumers:  On page 31 of a chapter titled "Fooled You" he aptly advises his readers, "Revenge is best served as a check."  Scammers beware! The Crabby Traveler is back and his new readers might decide to serve you.