3 On Your Side
3 On Your Side

3OYS Recovers $39K during August

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Marie Gerdes called 3 On Your Side after getting a bill for an ambulance. (Source: 3TV) Marie Gerdes called 3 On Your Side after getting a bill for an ambulance. (Source: 3TV)
Francis Wood would have been stuck with a $28,000 plumbing bill if it wasn't for 3 On Your Side. (Source: 3TV) Francis Wood would have been stuck with a $28,000 plumbing bill if it wasn't for 3 On Your Side. (Source: 3TV)

Marie Gerdes says she sure is glad she contacted 3 On Your Side. 

In the process of trying to move her mother's belongings, Gerdes says she was spending her all her precious time fighting a bill for more than $1,019.

It was from a collection agency claiming she owed the money for a Rural Metro ambulance bill dating back to 2014.

[ORIGINAL STORY: Scottsdale woman says she doesn't owe $1,019 ambulance bill]

3 On Your Side got involved and discovered that Rural Metro failed to submit Gerdes’ bill to her insurance company in a timely manner, or it would have been paid.

As a result, Rural Metro acknowledged the problem, took Gerdes out of collections and waived that $1,019 bill. 

"I have seen story after story when you get the job done,” she told 3 On Your Side’s Gary Harper. “So, I was so thankful I had someone to turn to with this problem," she said.

Then, there's 87-year-old Francis Wood.

Family members tell us this sweet woman is in the early stages of memory loss, which was evident when we asked her who the President of the United States is right now. 

"Oh gosh, I know. Um, um, the president? Who’s the president? I know but I just, ugh,” Ms. Wood pondered. She never did remember who it is.

That’s important because when relatives called a company called "The Sunny Plumber" to fix a clogged toilet, Wood was home alone and wound up with a plumbing bill for more than $27,000.     

[ORIGINAL STORY: Plumber waives $28K bill]

Apparently, employees with the company claimed a major sewer line under her home had to be dug up and replaced, which they did. 

However, they convinced Wood to do the job for over $27,000. They even had her call a finance company while they were there to take out a loan so they could be paid.

Upset relatives later contacted 3 On Your Side and after talking to the plumbing company's owner, he agreed to waive the entire bill. In addition, he told us he would initiate an internal investigation into his employees and this issue, so it doesn't happen again.

Wood, who lives on Social Security, says she's glad her family contacted 3 On Your Side. 

“I mean I only get $912 a month. How am I going to pay $27,000?” she said. 

She won’t have to now, and the family is relieved.

3 On Your Side was happy to help out Kim Sands. 

She bought a $200 Home Depot card for her husband, but when it came time to use it a few weeks later, they discovered the $200 card had only a $1.97 on it.

Unfortunately, Sands was the victim of an elaborate gift card scam, and she says Home Depot didn't want to do anything to help her out.

[ORIGINAL STORY: Phoenix couple ripped-off in elaborate gift card scam]

But, after 3 On Your Side got involved, Home Depot apologized and issued Sands another $200 card. 

“After Gary Harper sent out the email to Home Depot, I had a voice mail telling me it had been resolved and that they wanted me to give them a callback,” Sands said.

And finally, there's Sam Muala. He bought a cruise for him and his pregnant wife on Carnival Cruise Lines.

But Muala didn't know he had to inform Carnival that his wife was pregnant and paid for the cruise in full.

After the purchase, Carnival informed him that women 24 weeks or further into their pregnancy are not allowed to sail, canceled the couple's trip and then charged Muala and his wife almost $500 in cancellation fees.

[ORIGINAL STORY: Cruise line cancels trip, penalizes couple $500]

But, after 3 on your side got involved, Carnival decided not penalize Muala after all and returned his $500.

Muala says it only after with the help of 3 On Your Side. 

“I’m just so thankful and grateful that the typical person has 3 on your side to have a voice that otherwise wouldn't exist," Muala said. "Thank God I found you guys because otherwise, no one would have listened to me."

When you add up the dollar amount 3 On Your Side was able to help recover or save our viewers for the month of August, it totals more than $39,000. 

For the entire year so far, it amounts to more than $142,000.

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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