NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, a division of NBCUniversal, announced Monday that it has recovered more than $30 million for consumers.
Launched in 2014 to help fill a void in the marketplace, the "NBC Responds / Telemundo Responde" consumer investigative units are charged with speaking up for those who may have been wronged. The NBC and Telemundo owned stations' consumer units are often the first resource that consumers turn to for help. Working with the units' Consumer Investigative Center team of producers -- who are tasked with answering every email and call that stem from NBC/Telemundo owned station markets -- the "NBC Responds / Telemundo Responde" units have answered more than 350,000 consumer tips across 18 markets.
"The ‘NBC Responds / Telemundo Responde' units deploy a remarkable level of resources to assist consumers who feel they have been wronged in the marketplace, and have nowhere else to turn. The NBC and Telemundo stations' consumer teams answer every call and email they receive and see every consumer complaint and concern through to the end. Not only do the ‘NBC Responds/Telemundo Responde' teams provide direct help, they deliver vital information to local and social/digital audiences through their units' associated consumer news reports about the issues it uncovers," added Ken McEldowney, Executive Director, Consumer Action.
Recent "NBC Responds / Telemundo Responde" stories include:
• In New Jersey, a consumer called NBC 4 New York's "Better Get Baquero" consumer unit after making numerous calls and visits to her local Social Security Administration office to find out the status of the refund she was owed from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). NBC 4 New York's consumer team reached out to CMS on behalf of the consumer, and as a result, CMS reviewed the consumer's records, processed the refund and the consumer received the money she was owed.
• In North Texas, a multi-year investigation by NBC 5 and Telemundo 39's consumer units into a contractor accused of scamming more than 100 homeowners out of thousands of dollars to fix their roofs and homes resulted in the contractor being sentenced to eight years in prison. The local authorities credited NBC 5 and Telemundo 39's investigation for encouraging families that had been victimized to come forward with their stories, thereby assisting authorities in establishing the pattern of criminal activity.
• In Southern California, a family who lost their home to the Woolsey Fire turned to NBC 4's "Randy Responds" consumer team after their cable company refused to stop billing them for services and threatened collections even though their home had been obliterated by the fire. After NBC4 reached out to the cable provider, the company refunded the family the funds they were owed.
$30 million is a huge milestone for our Responds teams, but we're just getting started.