SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) - From tax issues to refund frustrations and everything in between, our Call For Action volunteers are celebrating another year of helping consumers and businesses connect the dots to solve problems.
The CFA team took on more than 4500 consumer cases in 2013.
One case was even life-saving!
SAVING A LIFE
"I knew it was wearing down, and I was running out of time," said Douglas Starkey.
The Oxford retiree needed his implanted heart defibrillator replaced, but he didn't have the money to get the surgery.
He contacted our Call For Action team, and they figured out his life and death dilemma could be solved at little to no cost -- thanks to his military background.
We pointed him in the direction of the Veterans Affairs Medical System.
A few months after enrolling, he had the surgery.
"If I hadn't called Channel7, well, they saved my life," he said softly.
We also saved many people from losing money.
We heard from 75-year-old Bertha Colbert-Provost.
Her state tax refunds were held for four straight years by the city of Detroit.
The city claimed she owned $204.00 from 1987!
She was thrilled when the Call For Action team got her almost all of her withheld refund money.
Emmett Hynes wanted his family's memorial brick recovered after it was removed from the Michigan State Fairgrounds following the fire at World's Largest Stove.
"When I got the call that they had the brick, it was almost like an impossible thing, you know. They have thousands of bricks there. How did they find mine?" he marveled after we secured his brick.
The Call For Action team's work prompted the Michigan Land Bank to launch an effort to connect hundreds of other people to the bricks they had donated.
FIXING BILLING ERROR
A 99-year-old Dearborn woman's family called the Call For Action team after a hospital termed her post-surgery stay as "observation" -- which is not covered under Medicare.
Our volunteers contacted the hospital on Kay Vartarian's behalf.
Sure enough, the hospital found that there was a billing discrepancy.
So, Vartarian's bills were paid in full.
STOPPING THE RUN-AROUND
Another success story involved a retired West Bloomfield kindergarten teacher.
Barbara Stryk tried to cancel an insurance policy, but she got fed up with the run-around.
"7 Call For Action got in one day what it took five, over five months for me to try and get -- my check back," said Stryk.
Easing fears about falling limbs was another job.
Pearlene Jackson wanted Detroit to cut down a dangerous tree on city property that was hanging over her front lawn and driveway.
Only after contacting Call For Action did she finally get results.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you Channel 7," said Jackson.
YEAR END TOTALS
In 2013, the Call For Action team helped recover a total of more than $463,767.00 for consumers.
We want to thank our volunteers who work tirelessly each week to help people right here in metro Detroit.
If you have a consumer complaint or concern, reach out to our Call For Action volunteers.
They answer the hotline three days a week – Mondays though Wednesdays – from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
The number is (248)827-3362.
You may also email our team by filling out an online complaint form here: