Thursday, January 15, 2015

New 'Telemundo Responde' Consumer Investigative Unit Launched in San Antonio

Telemundo stations recover more than $1 million for consumers

KTMD Telemundo Houston staff shot

NBC is heavily investing in its Telemundo stations and the fruits of the network's labor are being seen. Here is the full release:

The Telemundo Station Group today announced that its consumer investigative units – Telemundo Responde (Telemundo Responds) – have recovered more than $1 million for consumers across seven markets only nine months after launching. Consumers who were owed compensation for participating in medical research projects, fell victim to identity theft, got scammed by tax preparers and were owed cell phone rebates are some examples of how the Telemundo Responde teams are fighting for their local communities. The Telemundo Responde consumer investigative teams are charged with standing up for consumers who have been wronged.

The Telemundo Station Group also announced plans to launch four new Telemundo Responde consumer investigative units in 2015 at the following stations: Telemundo Chicago (WSNS), Telemundo Phoenix (KTAZ), Telemundo Tucson (KHRR) and Telemundo Puerto Rico (WKAQ). The local station serving Spanish-language viewers in the San Antonio market, Telemundo 60 San Antonio (KVDA), launched a new Telemundo Responde unit in December 2014.

“We launched Telemundo Responde last year because our local stations feel an obligation to stand up for consumers who have been wronged,” said Manuel Martinez, President, Telemundo Station Group. “The fact that our Telemundo Responde units have collectively recovered more than $1 million for consumers in less than a year is incredible, but we have more work to do. Expanding Telemundo Responde to other markets will help our local stations stand up for even more consumers and give the Hispanic communities they serve a stronger voice.”

Launched in 2014, the Telemundo Responde units have collectively received more than 13,000 tips, produced nearly 700 stories and recovered more than $1 million for consumers in seven markets, including Los Angeles (KVEA), New York (WNJU), Miami-Fort Lauderdale (WSCV), Houston (KTMD), Dallas-Fort Worth (KXTX), San Antonio (KVDA) and the San Francisco Bay Area (KSTS).

Below are the most recent examples of how the Telemundo Responde units have stepped in to help consumers:

The Telemundo Responde team in Los Angeles answered the call of a local viewer who was owed nearly $1,000 after she participated in a medical research project to prove the effectiveness of vitamins. The viewer contacted Telemundo Responde after her numerous calls to the medical research company went unanswered for nearly a year. Telemundo Responde tracked down the company and learned that in addition to owing the viewer her compensation, the company also owed approximately $300,000 to others who had participated in the research project. The viewer has received the funds that were owed to her.

A viewer from the New York Tri-State Area who had fallen victim to identity theft sought the help of Telemundo Responde after his financial institution failed to credit him for an unauthorized charge of $1,200. Although the viewer had followed the proper procedures required by his financial institution, it had failed to provide the viewer with the proper assistance. As a result, Telemundo Responde contacted the viewer’s financial institution and the $1,200 that was owed to the viewer was promptly credited to his account.

A viewer from the South Florida area sought the assistance of a local tax preparer to file her income taxes. After learning about the tax preparer’s high-priced tax filing fees, the viewer canceled the transaction and asked that her taxes not be filed with the Internal Revenue Service. Instead, the viewer sought the help of a different tax preparer. After waiting for nearly 10 months for her federal tax refund check to arrive, which totaled approximately $5,000, the viewer learned from the IRS that her refund check had already been cashed and that there were two tax filings for her for the tax year in question. Exasperated and confused, the viewer contacted Telemundo Responde to get answers about her tax refund. As a result, Telemundo Responde learned that the first tax preparer filed the consumer’s taxes, the viewer’s refund check was cashed by a third-party electronic payment company and $900 were directed to the tax preparer that the viewer had canceled . In the end, Telemundo Responde helped the viewer, who is a single mother, rightfully receive the tax refund she was desperately waiting for.

After moving to a new rental home, a family from the Dallas area had to wait 22 days in the dark to get their electricity up and running. Although the family had complied with their electric company’s requests for documents numerous times, the family could not get their electric service set up. For nearly three weeks, the family couldn’t keep fresh food in the house or feed their baby fresh milk. After running out of options and documents to send, the family contacted Telemundo Responde for help. The same day that Telemundo Responde reached out to the electric company, the electricity was turned on in the family’s new home.

A viewer from the San Francisco Bay Area learned from a cell phone company that he was eligible for two $200 cell phone rebates if he opened two new phone lines. Excited about this offer, the viewer opened two new cell phone lines. After receiving only one rebate, the viewer made several attempts to obtain the second rebate that was promised to him to no avail. Tired of facing red tape, the viewer contacted Telemundo Responde and, as a result, Telemundo Responde learned the cell phone company had made a mistake by processing one of the viewer’s cell phone lines as a contract extension instead of classifying it as a new line. The viewer has since received the $200 cell phone rebate he was promised.

Launched in 2014, the Telemundo Responde consumer investigative units are a result of a major investment made by NBCUniversal to enhance its 17 Telemundo stations and better serve Spanish-language viewers all across the country. Late last year, the Telemundo Station Group expanded their local news coverage by adding a new 30-minute early evening newscast across 14 markets. In addition to supporting local news expansions, the investment has enabled the hiring of over 160 new people, the opening of news bureaus in Washington, D.C., Mexico City and Miami, the purchasing of new vehicles and cameras and the launch of TeleXitos, a new national multicast network that offers viewers a mix of action adventure television series and films in Spanish.

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