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#GivingTuesday kicks off today!

20151111_ThankYou_CADBlack Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone. Now it’s time to welcome Giving Tuesday—a global day dedicated to giving back.

We’re celebrating this special day by sharing a few stories of how our consumer advocacy team comes to the rescue of Illinois consumes every day. In 2015, the team has generated $30,000 in savings for individual consumers who called CUB with a utility complaint.

Victory #1: The case of the ballooning bill

For example, Kay, a Rockford resident, was surprised to receive a $2,230.54 ComEd bill for using 18,223 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity in just one month.

After making six calls to the utility, Kay said she filed an online complaint with Sandra Marcelin-Reme, a 21-year veteran of the consumer advocacy department. Sandra asked ComEd to review Kay’s past meter readings which revealed she was being charge for 14,329 kWh of power she had never used.

With Sandra in her corner, Kay was rebilled the proper amount of $343.16—saving her $1,887.38.

Victory #2: Father knows best (at least when it comes to CUB)

Has your cable/Internet/phone bill ever jumped inexplicably? Lisa knows all about that. Her father, Harold, suggested she call CUB after her Internet, cable and phone bundle from Comcast jumped from $147 to $202.

Lisa spoke to CUB Consumer Rights Associate Carla Colamonici, who contacted the company. Within days, Comcast reached out to Lisa and agreed to renew her bundle at the original $147 price.

That’s when Dad sent us a note expressing his gratitude for our quick action: “She was very impressed, as was I.”

Victory #3: CUB doesn’t mess around

Our team again took quick action in the case of Arlene. The retiree was at a loss for words after her AT&T statement said she owed $81— instead of $64—for telephone and Internet service.

Arlene thought the situation was handled after a company representative promised to restore her old Internet rate. But one week later, another bill arrived with the same $81 total.

It was only after Arlene talked to CUB’s Ivonne Ortiz that AT&T  decided to renew her current rates for another year—and keep her bill at $64 a month!

“What I loved [about CUB] was there was no messing around,” Arlene said. “[Ivonne got to the heart of the issue and got something accomplished.”

Victory #4: The $3,000 power bill 

Henry, of Chicago, received a ComEd bill for $3,000—for an apartment he never even lived in!

The bill was actually for a residence previously occupied by his mother, who passed away  years before. Consumer Rights Associate Danielle Homes took on Henry’s case and helped him dispute the bill. After the utility looked into the matter, it removed the full $3,000 amount.

We could fill a book with these types of stories–but we couldn’t do all this good work without your wonderful support. Thank you! We’re so grateful, that this week we’re giving out a free CUB winter mug for donations of $20 or more.

Don’t forget to tell your friends and spread the word about #GivingTuesday!