Meet the Experts Answering Your Consumer Questions This Friday - NBC Chicago
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Meet the Experts Answering Your Consumer Questions This Friday

On Friday, Sept. 13, a panel of experts who know the ins and outs of the Chicago area's top consumer complaints will be at NBC Tower to answer your questions live.

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    On Friday, Sept. 13, a panel of experts who know the ins and outs of the Chicago area's top consumer complaints will be at NBC Tower to answer your questions live.

    "My car has a defective part, and my car dealer won’t repair it."

    "I just got an unfair parking ticket. How can I fight the ticket and actually win?"

    "My contractor took my money and never finished the project."

    What do I do?!

    On Friday, Sept. 13, a panel of experts who know the ins and outs of the Chicago area's top consumer complaints will be at NBC Tower to answer your questions live.

    Here's how it works: Starting at noon on Friday, head to NBCChicago.com and click on the live chat. Enter your question about one of these top eight consumer issues, and an expert will view your question and answer it.

    Throughout the afternoon news on Friday, Consumer Investigative Reporter Lisa Parker will feature some of the questions -- and expert answers -- live on TV.

    Meet the experts you'll be talking to:

    David Kolata, Executive Director, Citizens Utility Board (CUB)

    Ask him about:

    • Wireless providers

    • Prepaid cell phones

    • Cramming

    • Utility complaints

    David Kolata is the Executive Director of the Citizens Utility Board (CUB), which is celebrating 35 years of consumer advocacy in 2019. CUB has helped save Illinois consumers more than $20 billion over the years.

    At CUB, Kolata co-authored "The ABCs of EVs: A Guide for Policy Makers and Consumer Advocates," as well as a study on dynamic pricing: "The Costs and Benefits of Real-Time Pricing: An empirical investigation into consumer bills using hourly energy data and prices."

    Mr. Kolata started at CUB in 2001 as a senior policy analyst, moving to director of policy and government affairs in 2003. He was named Executive Director in September 2005.  

    Jacob Gilbert, Assistant Attorney General, Consumer Fraud Bureau

    Ask him about:

    • Home repair/contractors

    • Internet sales

    • Multi-level marketing 

    Jacob Gilbert is an assistant attorney general with the Consumer Fraud Bureau at the Office of the Illinois Attorney General where he investigates fraud in a variety of industries including: automotive, real estate sales, home repair, immigration services, student lending, internet sales and multi-level marketing.

    Gilbert has been with the Office of the Illinois Attorney General for six years. Gilbert is also an Adjunct Professor at the Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

    Todd M. Kossow, Director, FTC, Midwest Region

    Ask him about:

    • Internet scams (free trial offers, cryptocurrency scams, tech support scams, deceptive marketers, robocalls)

    • Money transfer or gift card (Wells Fargo, Green Dot)

    • Do Not Call list

    • Identity Theft 

    Todd M. Kossow is the Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Midwest Region in Chicago, which is responsible for 11 midwestern states.

    During his tenure, Kossow has litigated and supervised consumer protection cases in federal district court against companies and individuals involved in the deceptive marketing and sale of a variety of products and services, including money transfer services, tax relief services, mortgage relief services, and buyer’s and travel club memberships.

    Before joining the FTC, Todd clerked for Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner on the federal district court in Chicago and then on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

    Steve J. Bernas, President, Better Business Bureau

    Ask him about:

    • Internet scams (counterfeit goods sold online, fake online reviews, tech support scams, free trial scams)

    • Contractors

    • Lemon Law

    • Auto warranties

    Steve J. Bernas is the President and Chief Executive Officer for the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois, Inc. and President of the Better Business Bureau Education Foundation. Over this 31-year career, he has mediated thousands of consumer and business-to-business disputes and also has had extensive training in Alternative Dispute Resolution conflict resolution.

    The BBB is a significant content producer of consumer and business education, information and alerts about marketplace scams. The BBB sets and upholds high standards for ethical marketplace behavior and is a valuable resource for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities.

    Rosa Escareno/Commissioner, Business Affairs and Consumer Protection

    Ask her about:

    • Contractor issues 

    Rosa Escareño is a dedicated public servant with more than 20 years of government experience. As Commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, Escareño is a key member of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration charged with bringing modernization and equity to Chicago’s marketplace. 

    Escareño has made public service her life’s work: She has worked under three Chicago mayors and managed day-to-day operations and implemented policy reforms across City agencies. Throughout her career she’s championed initiatives to support business growth, benefit low-income residents and working families, and improve health and public safety efforts across Chicago. She holds a Masters in Communications degree from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University Chicago. Escareño resides in the Hermosa community on Chicago’s northwest side and is a proud mother to her 12-year-old son Mikey. 

    Juanita B. Rodriguez/Business and Employment Contract Expert

    Ask her about:

    • Construction contracts

    • Employment contracts

    • Labor law 

    Juanita B. Rodriguez is the founder of JBR Law Group, LLC. She possesses substantial experience representing private entities, institutions and governmental bodies in the areas of business litigation, construction matters, contracts, and employment law. Rodriguez partners with executives and businesses, ranging from start-ups to large multi-national corporations, to help them meet their business and strategic goals, while providing counseling on related legal issues, compliance and risk management.

    Gregory H. Moss, Lemon Law Expert

    Ask him about:

    • Used car issues

    • Defective cars

    • Car dealers

    • Warranties

    • Flooded cars not disclosed

    • Odometer rollbacks

    • Automobile title issues

    Gregory H. Moss is a founding partner of The Law Firm of Krohn & Moss, Ltd., a nationwide consumer Protection Law Firm started in 1995 with its principal office located in Chicago. Since its inception, Krohn and Moss, Ltd. has represented over 40,000 consumers nationwide. Mr. Moss serves as President and Managing Partner of the firm. Mr. Moss is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and holds a Juris Doctor Degree from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Mr. Moss is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, The Chicago Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

    Mike Brockway/Parking Ticket Expert

    Ask him about:

    • How to fight tickets and win

    • Red Light Camera issues

    • Changes in parking regulations

    • How to avoid tickets 

    As a driving Chicagoan for nearly 30 years, Mike Brockway has received many, many, many parking tickets and learned how to successfully fight and beat a great deal of those parking violations.

    Using his background in journalism and success in fighting parking tickets, he began The Expired Meter blog in 2008 to try to help other motorists navigate Chicago's arcane and frustrating driving and parking environments.

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