TELEMUNDO STATIONS RECOVER MORE THAN $700K FOR CONSUMERS
New “Telemundo Responde” Consumer Investigative Units Are
Fighting for Consumers Rights, Getting Results
MIRAMAR, FL – (November 17, 2014) – The Telemundo Station Group today announced that its new consumer investigative units – Telemundo Responde (Telemundo Responds) – have collectively recovered more than $700,000 for consumers across six markets. Consumers who have fallen victim to financial scams, had trouble collecting funds owed them from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, received bills for deceased loved ones and faced evictions from their homes are some examples where Telemundo Responde teams have stood up for Hispanic viewers in communities across the country.
“Our stations are committed to making a difference in the local communities they serve,” said Manuel Martinez, President, Telemundo Station Group. “One of the ways we achieve this goal is by standing up for our viewers when they have been wronged. Our new Telemundo Responde units are doing a fantastic job fighting for their Hispanic communities and giving them a voice.”
Launched earlier this year, the Telemundo Responde units are charged with advocating on behalf of consumers. Since their launch, the units have collectively received more than 10,000 tips, produced nearly 500 stories and recovered more than $700,000 for consumers in six markets, including Los Angeles (KVEA), New York (WNJU), Miami-Fort Lauderdale (WSCV), Houston (KTMD), Dallas-Fort Worth (KXTX) and San Francisco Bay Area (KSTS). The Telemundo Station Group plans to expand its Telemundo Responde consumer investigative units to five additional markets in 2015.
Below are some examples of how the Telemundo Responde units have stepped in to help consumers:
- After saving their hard-earned money to celebrate their daughters’ “Quinceañera” 15th birthday celebrations, several Los Angeles area families enlisted the help of party coordinators to help plan this momentous occasion in their daughters’ lives. Unbeknownst to them, the soon-to-be coming of age moment for their daughters was nearly tainted by scammers who tried to run away with their money. After receiving a call from the distressed families, Telemundo Responde tracked down the scammers who posed as party coordinators and helped the families recover thousands of dollars. As a result, the families were able to celebrate their daughters’ birthday celebrations with pride.
- A viewer from the New York Tri-State area sought the help of Telemundo Responde after he got tired of waiting for years to receive a final determination for the application he filed with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The viewer worked as a World Trade Center clean up worker, clearing debris at the site of the September 11 attacks. After concluding his work at the site, he fell gravely ill and was diagnosed with asthma and respiratory problems. This resulted in the viewer not being able to work and eventually getting evicted from his apartment. After receiving the viewer’s desperate call for help, Telemundo Responde contacted the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund to inquire about the viewer’s application. Telemundo Respondelearned the viewer was owed nearly $200,000 in compensation, but the funds had not been sent because the viewer did not have a bank account. As a result, Telemundo Responde helped the viewer receive nearly $200,000 for the work he did in clearing debris in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center.
- While grieving over his granddaughter’s death, a viewer from South Florida had membership fees withdrawn from his bank account by a fitness center where his granddaughter had been a member. Although the viewer provided the fitness center with copies of his granddaughter’s death certificate as proof of gym membership termination, the fitness center continued to withdraw the fees from his account. The viewer sought the help of Telemundo Responde, which contacted the fitness center on his behalf. As a result, the viewer’s deceased granddaughter’s gym membership was successfully terminated and the viewer recovered all the fees that had been wrongfully withdrawn from his account.
- In Houston, Telemundo Responde helped a family remain in a house they had called home for the last several years, after their landlord tried to evict them. The family believed they had a “rent-to-own” agreement with the landlord and paid their monthly rent and property taxes on time. The family called Telemundo Responde to help stop the eviction. Telemundo Responde referred the family to a local not-for-profit organization to receive legal assistance. As a result, the family received the legal assistance they needed, a court stopped the eviction and the family successfully entered into a new contract to become the legal owners of the property.
- In Dallas, Telemundo Responde helped raise awareness among the Spanish-speaking residents of North Texas about a private school that offered individuals the promise of earning a high school diploma for less than $100. After paying to enroll in the “home school” program and devoting hours of study to earn a degree that would open new doors of economic opportunities and a brighter tomorrow, a group of local viewers contacted Telemundo Responde because they found out they couldn’t enroll in college, community college or apply for financial aid with the “high school diploma” they had paid and studied for. In this Emmy-award winning report, Telemundo Responde confirmed this particular school was not accredited by the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission, rendering the diplomas they issued useless to the individuals in the story. Through this report, Telemundo Responde raised awareness about an issue that is prevalent in a state where 41 percent of Hispanic adults do not have a high school degree.
Launched earlier this year, 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. Recently, 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 160 new people, the opening of news bureaus in Washington, D.C., Mexico City and Miami and the purchasing of new vehicles and cameras.
About Telemundo Station Group
Telemundo Station Group, part of the NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations division of NBCUniversal, is comprised of 17 local television stations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Producing and broadcasting more than 7,000 hours of unique and relevant local content each year, including award-winning news, public affairs, and entertainment programming, Telemundo Station Group serves Spanish-speaking viewers in the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, New York, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago, San Antonio, San Francisco, Phoenix, Harlingen, Fresno, Denver, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Boston, Tucson and Puerto Rico. In addition, Telemundo Station Group offers support to 52 affiliates across the country and manages dedicated local websites and applications, as well as a robust digital out-of-home operation.