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Michelle Couch-Friedman

Consumer reporter and ombudsman

Michelle Couch-Friedman is the founder and CEO of Consumer Rescue. She is a consumer advocate, ombudsman columnist, mediator, writer, and licensed psychotherapist. Michelle is a public speaker, and her expert guidance has been cited in MarketWatch, Consumer Reports, Travel & Leisure, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Popular Science, CNN, CNBC, Boston Globe, CBS News, National Geographic, Travel Weekly, Reader's Digest and more. You might even catch Michelle on TV reporting on a situation. :) Michelle is also the travel ombudsman columnist for The Points Guy and is the former executive director of the nonprofit Elliott Advocacy. During her six years in that position, she resolved thousands of cases for troubled travelers and other consumers. You can read hundreds of 5-star reviews Michelle earned during her service to the nonprofit since 2016 here on Great Nonprofits. She is also a member of the Society of American Travel Writers. Today, she continues to spend as much time as possible fiercely defending consumers and traveling the world with her family. Contact her at Michelle Couch-Friedman or on Linkedin, Twitter or Facebook.
Norwegian Cruise Line's Viva, NCL refund problem, get passenger's money back

Norwegian Cruise Line sent my refund to my enemy. How can I get it back?

Lynette Hampton was looking forward to a trip aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Viva with her friend Gloria. That is until the two had an irreversible falling out, which caused Hampton to cancel her part of the cruise. Things only got worse between them when NCL mistakenly sent a portion of Hampton’s refund to her newly minted enemy — and she refuses to give it back. Now what?

Agoda mistake, overcharge hotel, hotel billing error, budget hotel in Thailand overcharge

Agoda charged me $5,886 for three nights in a budget hotel. Help!

Two weeks after Robert Perry’s recent stay at a $54-per-night budget hotel in Thailand, he got an unpleasant surprise. That’s when he discovered that Agoda, his third-party booking agent, had made a mistake and charged him $5,886 instead of $162.

United Airlines canceled part of this passengers flight to Australia. So where is his refund?

Can United Airlines really refuse to refund my canceled flight?

When United Airlines canceled part of Brian Ostenso’s flight to Australia, he responded with a request for a refund. But then, just as swiftly, the airline sent him a $6,824 future flight credit for the missed trip instead.

But Ostenso didn’t want a future flight credit. He wanted a refund for the entire flight that United Airlines canceled.

So what went wrong?

Why did American Airlines call this passenger a no show for a flight it canceled?

Why did American Airlines call me a no-show for a flight it canceled?

How could American Airlines consider a passenger a no show for a flight it canceled? The answer to that question is, of course, it can’t. Yet that seems to be precisely what happened to Sherri Gleason – and at the worst possible time for the grandmother-to-be.

Zelle mistake spells instant financial disaster, struggling college student Zelles the wrong person

A struggling student made a $2,500 Zelle mistake. Can we fix this?

College student Shlome Goldenberg made a shockingly expensive but not at all uncommon, Zelle mistake recently. While attempting to repay a loan to a friend, he sent $2,500 to a complete stranger by accident. Worse, when he asked Chase Bank to refund the payment, he learned for the first time that voluntary Zelle transactions aren’t reversible. 

A coffee plantation in Bali, growing coffee beans, buying coffee beans, getting scammed at the coffee plantation.

This traveler didn’t buy $4,800 of coffee beans. Or did he?

Simon Khin is a victim of a scam aimed at international travelers. He’s sure of it. While touring a Balinese coffee plantation, he bought two small tins of fresh beans for $48. He didn’t think much about that purchase until several weeks later. That’s when his Capital One statement revealed that the merchant had actually charged his credit card $4,800.

But the worst was yet to come.

Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Solving cruise ship passenger problems, Cruise fiascos and fixes

Where are the earrings I bought on my Royal Caribbean cruise? Help!

While jewelry shopping aboard Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, cruise passenger Robin White purchased a beautiful pair of earrings. The gems were to be shipped directly to her home in time for her wedding day, which was just weeks away.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and White walked down the aisle in an alternative pair of earrings. So what happened to the $1,600 baubles that she bought?