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Our most inspiring stories of 2014

20141202_GivingTuesday_blogHappy Giving Tuesday– the International Day dedicated to giving back!  In honor of this special day and momentous year, we’re giving away a free usable tote bag for donations of $10 or more.  Give now and tell your friends!

As we finish celebrating our 30th Anniversary in 2014, CUB is looking back at some of the most inspiring consumer stories from the year.

Stories like Joseph Guice’s.  The 87-year-old retiree received a phone call from a collections agency claiming he owed a $1,583 ComEd bill— for a home he hadn’t lived in for five years!

Fortunately, Guice spoke with Consumer Rights Associate Danielle Holmes, who contacted ComEd.  With Danielle’s help, the company determined that Guice was wrongly billed for services he didn’t use.  The $1,583 in charges were waived for the grateful retiree, and the debt was removed from his credit report.

“You don’t think something like that would ever happen to you but it’s a relief to know that someone’s there to help you,” Guice said.

Or how about Tom and Donna Horning of Washington, Illinois?

In January, as the couple repaired their tornado-ravaged home and helped rebuild their neighborhood, Donna and Tom took time to send a $10 donation to CUB. They included this little note: “Sorry for the delay, but the tornado of 11/17/13 tore up our house and our town.”  In gratitude, CUB staff signed a card for the Hornings and sent them an energy efficiency kit.

When asked why he continued to support CUB during such a difficult time, Tom’s answer was simple: “CUB looks after the small guy.”

CUB did just that with the case of Maria of Chicago.

When CUB Consumer Rights Advocate Carla looked at Maria’s power bill she was shocked: Maria’s electricity rate was 34 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh)–more than six times the going utility rate!  It was the worst deal CUB had ever seen since consumers were allowed to shop for power suppliers other than ComEd or Ameren.

After a little investigating, Carla discovered that the alternative supplier Maria was with had ignored state rules and regulations mandating a clear explanation of rates to customers. Maria said she did not realize she was on a variable rate plan that could fluctuate so wildly from month to month.

After some persistence, Carla finally secured for Maria a full $500 refund from the company.

Please consider helping us create more happy endings for Illinois consumers.  Donate today to CUB in honor of #GivingTuesday and tell your friends!  (Don’t forget: Contribute more than $10, and you’ll receive a reusable CUB tote bag!)