Q With the holidays looming, I wonder where I can go online to complain about problems I know I'll incur during the next few weeks. Can you help? -- Calvin Consumer
A Dear Mr. Consumer: Thanks to Readers Digest and my own experience, let me offer eight sites where you can rant at ease and not only get problems off your chest, but also get results.
• www.airlinecomplaints.org tells the world you're upset and won't take it anymore.
• www.BBB.org is the Better Business Bureau's online venue for complaints and other areas.
• www.consumeraffairs.com includes consumer news and recall information.
• www.consumerist.com is a part of Consumer Reports. To better enable the staff's follow-up, submit tips on bad deals, shoddy service and defective products.
• www.eopinions.com rates lots of topics with a five-star system (includes cars, electronics and much more).
• www.ripoffreport.com lets you report and learn current scams. (This site is dear to my heart.)
• www.tripadvisor.com reviews and lets you complain about travel industries, such as hotels, restaurants, and much more.
And Readers Digest offers my personal favorite: www.fastcustomer. A free iPhone and Android app that calls customer service numbers for you, it also steers you through phone tree options, and then notifies you when a real, honest-to-goodness LIVE customer service rep is on the line.
Ellen Phillips is a retired English teacher who has written two consumer-oriented books. Her Consumer Watch column appears every Saturday. Email her at consumer watch@timesfree press.com.