Call For Action volunteers have solved roughly a problem a day every weekday over the program's first year of operation with News 3. The consumer mediation efforts have helped get back more than $275,000 for consumers since last April.
"We advocate for the rights of people who have tried to advocate for themselves and can't get anywhere," said Barb C., a volunteer who serves as co-director of the national nonprofit's Madison chapter. "It's amazing when you call an agency or a hospital or whatever it may be and you say you're from Call For Action, there's a respect I think that exists in the community for this program. They know we're not calling because it's some fly-by-night thing or it's something that has no merit. We call about things that have merit that people need help with."
Statistics reveal that since April 1, 2013, volunteers have solved 309 cases successfully. Types of cases they've been asked to intervene on include problems with insurance companies, car dealers, telephone companies and various levels of government.
Volunteers staff a phone bank on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to take consumer complaints. Consumers can also ask for help at any time online.
"No problem is too small and no problem is too large that we can't just go ahead and do something, in some way," said Diane L., the other co-director of the Madison chapter of Call For Action.
This week, News 3 will feature some of the success stories over the last year -- success stories that all started with a consumer deciding to Call For Action.
"It does give people a little stronger voice than they would have individually," said Nancy W., one of the Call For Action volunteers. "If I call and say, 'I'm calling from Channel 3 Call For Action about this problem,’ I think it gets a little more attention."