SATISFACTION GUARANTEED: The Ultimate Guide to Consumer Self-Defense by Ralph Charell

SATISFACTION GUARANTEED: The Ultimate Guide to Consumer Self-Defense

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Charell, a Galahad of the consumer circuit (How I Turn Ordinary Complaints into Thousands of Dollars, How to Get the Upper Hand), devotes the first part of this latest spiel to supposed general techniques of brazening out a case over ""mutants and other like-minded sellers,"" the second part to some specific targets of consumer ire: from medical care and stock transactions to home repairs and mail-order muddles. Most of Part One is for people who see magic in reconnoitering company personnel structure via switchboard supervisors, pinning down deadlines for clothing alterations before picking out a garment, carrying around small instant cameras to record uncooperative sales clerks and mastering the art of greasing palms without feeling like even more of a chump. There's a bit more meat on the bones of Part Two, but not much. Scraps of concrete if hardly new advice--look up your new prescription in the Physicians' Desk Reference Manual, arm yourself with a Blue Book figure for your used car, check the home-improvement contract against one provided by the nearest Department of Consumer Affairs--are sandwiched in between real inanities. On sizing up a prospective stockbroker: ""It's also a plus if your broker doesn't smoke and isn't alcoholic or obese."" On visiting a car showroom: go during dinnertime, when the ""younger and more inexperienced barracudas"" are holding the fort. The writing abounds in treasurable moments like ""Lawyers are the most maligned professionals in the world, not without much justification."" For the put-down: pretty slim pickings.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1985
Publisher: Linden/Simon & Schuster