WCCC comes through on contest promise


Michele Mele of Newington, CT won a radio station contest to fix her car but her dream turned into a nightmare, until the WVIT-TV Hartford (NBC) Troubleshooters stepped in.

A Troubleshooter investigation found a local radio station had not followed up on a contest she recently won.  That contest promised up to $10,000 worth of car repairs for a person in need.

“It was supposed to be a dream come true and it turned into a big nightmare,” said Mele.

Three local businesses teamed up for that contest which was sponsored and promoted by Marlin Broadcasting’s Rock WCCC-FM.  Mechanical repairs were done to the car, but Mele, disabled, said after 21 days, the promise of a wheelchair lift and paint job went unfulfilled and she needed her car back.

Just one day after the original story aired, a competing station, Red Wolf Broadcasting’s Rocker WMRQ-FM Radio 104.1, made Mele an offer she couldn’t refuse.

“Radio 104.1 offered to finish the job.  I’m just thrilled beyond belief that somebody came and right the wrong that was done to me,” said Mele.

The story doesn’t end there however.  Even though Radio 104.1 is taking care of her car with the help of their sponsors, WCCC has now made things right with Mele as well.

Station owner, Woody Tanger, called the Troubleshooters very concerned about what happened and eager to fix it as quickly as possible.  In an email to NBC Connecticut, Tanger wrote “You made every effort to find all the facts and we dropped the ball by not getting back to you in a timely manner.”

WCCC Sales manager Jay Schultz told WVIT-TV why initial calls for comment on the contest were not returned: “I was just trying to make sure I was in command of the facts before I talked to you guys.”

Schultz says it was important for the radio station to take care of Mele and they quickly did.

“We had a talk about everything that happened and they offered me compensation that I’m very grateful for.  I thank them from the bottom of my heart for that. They made it right,” said Mele.

WCCC touts a 15-year record of community service and says it has run thousands of contests, promotions and giveaways in the past with few if any hitches.  Management said this situation was an unfortunate oversight.

“I think communication is something we needed to do better.  We had a lot of people involved in this process and I should have been overseeing it more tightly and we should have had communication,” Schultz told WVIT.

Mele said she will continue listening to WCCC, but she’s also a Radio 104.1 fan now as well.  Even though she will be without her SUV for two weeks, this time she was given a rental car to get her to and from therapy sessions.  She will also receive daily updates on the progress of her car makeover.  Not only that, Zibby Krizewski from PN Auto, one of the businesses involved in the WCCC contest, offered to help Mele with any car troubles within the next year.

“NBC rocks you know?  You guys came out, did the story accurately and like I said, turned it all around and made it awesome!” Mele said.

See the WVIT/NBC Connecticut story here.

RBR-TVBR observation: Interesting media triangle in the State of Connecticut—it could have been much more messy but was handled well. We have to say that any TV station that offers free help and problem-solving to viewers, such as WVIT, is a home-run in their market—it is a major draw for viewers, it generates goodwill for the station and can make advertisers look like heroes. Radio stations should offer this good service as well—no matter the format.