Opinion

A Word with Howard Croft

Howard Croft is a retired publisher, now writer, who possesses a keen insight into the ways of the world. From across the pond, Howard will offer his opinionated thoughts and perspectives on everything from lifestyle to politics.
 
Have a question for Howard? Submit your topics and questions to: howardcroft@colliersmagazine.com

The euro was from its inception a vanity project...
International political etiquette has been cast aside in the fast approaching French Presidential Election.
Howard's encounters with the British Royals through the years, detailed on the eve of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Howard ruminates on Olympic success from several angles.
Post World War II order and stability in Europe, made possible through a peace guaranteed by the United States, does not have deep roots.
Low turnouts at elections are as big a threat to democracy in both our countries as anything external agencies wishing us harm can manage

Go Ask Mauree

 I have been working as a consumer advocate in the healthcare field for the last 9 years.  Informally, I have been doing some form of consumer advocacy for most of my life.
Long before I started my professional career, I was a consumer advocate.  Growing up in a family where everyone expressed opinions without hesitation, I watched my parents as they dealt with household consumer issues.  I watched them define the problem, get to the right person to resolve it, and negotiate to make things happen.  Soon, I became the designated speaker in the family, and later, for friends, when there was an issue to be settled.
Have a problem, complaint, or concern I can help you with? Send in your questions and quandaries to: AskMauree@colliersmagazine.com

Go Ask Mauree

There's nothing more important than teaching your children well to help them be successful and reach full potential.
Speaking up is worth it to get changes made, even when it comes to the little things.
A few simple concepts that can get results out of a seemingly hopeless situation.
Phone bills these days are far from simple and always require a closer look (Part One of the Cell Phone series).
What service exactly do upgrade fees finance? It never hurts to take a closer look and find out (Part Two of the Cell Phone series).
Springtime means grilling but when it came time for a new one, we made sure to look at all options.
My husband's search for a button and my friends search for snaps and tags both sound simple but only one really was.
Sometimes, you need to take things into your own hands to rectify a situation (Part One of the Vacation series).
It's time to skip the intermediaries and realize that no one is more qualified to express your problems to the person in charge than you are (Part Two of the Vacation series).
Arrange deliveries carefully, keep the nostalgia going, and when it all gets overwhelming, go out and save money!
When confronted with parrots and robots who don't know what they're doing, save time and just go up higher on the ladder! (Part Three in the Cell Phone Series)
Taking the time to look for the right resource and the right resolution is worth it.
Whether you are the CEO of a large corporation or a store clerk in a local bank, attention to customer service is always important.
Sometimes, as the consumer, you have to look at the big picture in order to deal appropriately with the problem. Not all customer service problems involve the same approach.
Dealing with consumer issues in healthcare is in a league of its own.