Everyone has at some time has had issues with incorrect bills, insurance companies, parking tickets, or any other consumer frustration. Chicago Tribune consumer advocate Jon Yates writes a column on common problems and dealing with the bureaucracy. He will be at the Library on Thursday, September 13 at 7 pm to tell us how he has helped thousands of people take charge of their problems and get satisfaction from airlines, utilities, government agencies, health insurance companies, and more. His readers have already gotten back more than $1 million of their hard-earned money from greedy businesses and agencies.
The Iowa native first got into journalism with the quaint notion that he might be able to help people, but he admits consumer activism kind of “goes against my nature.”
“I was shy,” he says. “I never spoke up in class. Writing the column has really helped me get out of my shell. My approach is to start off nice. If nice doesn’t work, I give ‘em hell. I’m not super-aggressive by nature, but it’s amazing what you can accomplish by asserting yourself.”
Each week, Yates receives about 200 pleas for help. “Some are shocking, some are quirky and others fit universal themes.” Dissatisfaction with contractors, for example, is a category unto itself.
“I contact the complainer, get documented proof of their problem and go to the company they’re complaining about. They’re often unaware of what they did.”
His book, “What’s You Problem? Cut Through Red Tape, Challenge the System and Get Your Money Back” is packed with tips, strategies, and dozens of real life examples and success stories. It will be available at the program.
Please sign up for this free program held in the meeting room on the first floor.