He told me it was just my perception that I spent seven minutes pushing buttons. Then I called him an asshole, and that was that. It was then that I decided the American consumer needed help battling the forces of corporate arrogance. I felt I was the one to lead the charge. But like most selfless impulses, I thought about it for a while and the feeling eventually passed.
But the Shopping Avenger was born again. He was born again in Toys "R" Us, where none of the employees seemed to know what a potty seat was, and he was born yet again at the Budget Rent a Car counter at La Guardia Airport, where the reservation he had made and confirmed suddenly ceased to exist, and where he got yelled at for his troubles.
And so, this column. Here's how it works. You e-mail your tale of woe--inferior products, ignorant customer service--to firstname.lastname@example.org, and the Shopping Avenger will use his reporting skills, which have been described by some as "almost supernatural in scope" (and have been described by others as "adequate" and "sort of pathetic") to extract on your behalf grudging apologies from faceless bureaucrats at Fortune 500 companies.
First come, first served and, be warned, the Shopping Avenger looks askance at the bearing of false witness. Those companies that deserve praise will be praised. Onward!
P.S.: The Shopping Avenger will also entertain questions about Sufi mysticism.