This year proved to be a big one for NBC 7 Responds. In 2017, the team recovered over $180,000 back to San Diego County’s consumers who reached out to the Responds unit for help. Here’s a look at some of the most memorable cases we covered this past year.
Utility Bills Through the Roof
Utility problems were high on our list this year. From a Lakeside church that received a $9,000 electric bill for a rate increase they were never told about to a Sabre Springs woman who had her water shut off after the city said they hadn’t set her account up right for three years and she owed $8,000. And a La Mesa teacher said he was getting monthly bills even though his electricity had been shut off for months after a house fire. All three turned to NBC 7 Responds and we delivered, having all of their bills wiped away clean.
Odometer Rollback Suspected
“He said to me Mr. Cook, I think we need to talk,” Terron Cook told Consumer Bob back in March. When Terron bought a new car, he said he couldn’t be happier until he found out the odometer had apparently been rolled back. NBC 7 Responds dug into the car’s history and after presenting our findings, the dealership agreed to buy back the car.
Band and Choir Members Owed Thousands by Travel Company
“It was going to be an experience the kids wouldn’t forget,” high school band parent Brandy Martinoli told Consumer Bob in May. It began when parents from four local high schools contacted NBC 7 Responds saying their band students were owed thousands of dollars after a band trip to Japan, organized by the travel company Harmony International, was suddenly canceled. Our local coverage was picked up across the country where we found groups in four other states owed refunds by the company. Last month, the couple behind Harmony International, Brad and Margie Matheson, were arrested and extradited to San Diego after charges were filed including embezzlement and failing to provide refunds.
Neighborhood Frustrated Over Delayed Repairs on Popular Road
Neighbors turned to NBC 7 Responds to try and get their Carmel Mountain road repaired. A council member and city staff said the road is slated to be repaired in 2018.
Dealer Allows Widower Out Of Car Lease Early
A Ramona man turned to NBC 7 Responds after a dealership wouldn’t let him out of a three-year lease his wife entered just a few months before she died. Charlie Spicuzza’s wife died in a tragic car accident and he struggled to see her leased car sitting in the driveway every day. After NBC 7 Responds spoke to the car’s manufacturer, the local dealership agreed to let Charlie out of the lease.
Trash and Recycles Mixed Together
A Mira Mesa man called NBC 7 Responds after he recorded trash truck drivers mixing his trash and recycles into the same truck on multiple occasions. The company told NBC 7 Responds they would re-educate their staff after seeing the videos.
Bracelet Reunited With Vietnam Veteran’s Family
NBC 7 Responds helped a Santee man fulfill a promise he made to his dying wife after the couple found a copper bracelet at a swap meet. The bracelet had the name of a Vietnam War pilot who had been missing in action. NBC 7 Responds found out the pilot had died in action. We traced the pilot’s family tree over the years and delivered the bracelet to the pilot’s nephew in Tucson, Arizona.