San Diego

NBC 7 Responds in 2017: A Look Back at the Year's Big Savings

The team recovered over $180,000 back to San Diego County’s consumers who reached out to the unit for help in 2017

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.

NBC 7's Consumer Bob shares how NBC 7 Responds helped a local church keep its lights on after a massive electric bill arrived.
NBC 7's Consumer Bob shares the story of a woman's request for justice after receiving a bill from the San Diego Water Department that was over $9,000 in this edition of NBC Responds.
After a La Mesa man shut off his electricity due to an electrical fire, SDG&E continued to bill him for electricity service for three months. NBC 7’s Consumer Bob and the NBC 7 Responds team rewired the situation.

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.

Soon after his purchase, Terron Cook took his new car to a dealership service center where a technician alerted him to potential odometer rollback. NBC 7's Consumer Bob and the NBC 7's Responds team turned the wheels and discovered Carfax reports that proved the mileage on the car was incorrect.

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. 

Parents of students at four local high schools are looking for answers, and a refund, from a company they paid more than $140,000 to for a school band trip. NBC 7's Consumer Bob and the NBC 7 Responds team is now working to alleviate the dissonance.
Brad and Margie Matheson own Harmony International, a travel-tour company that organized a band trip to Japan for four local high schools. They faced a San Diego judge Thursday. NBC 7 Responds covers the story.

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. 

NBC 7's Consumer Bob looks into unfulfilled promises made by the city to repair streets in Carmel Mountain Ranch.

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. 

When a Ramona man's wife passed away unexpectedly he was left with the tough task of getting rid of her favorite car, a BMW she had signed a 3-year lease for. They told him he could bring the car back if he also brought along more than $15,000, the amount owed on the car, so he reached out to NBC 7's Consumer Bob and the NBC 7 Responds team for help.

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. 

Do you ever worry about whether those cans and bottles that you place into blue recycle bins make it to the right place? A Mira Mesa man did – and recorded the trash company that services his neighborhood emptying his dumpster. What he discovered made him turn to NBC 7 Responds and Consumer Bob for help.

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. 

A Santee man asked NBC 7 Responds for help fulfilling one of his wife’s last wishes.
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