Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

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  • Inventors Suing InventHelp Want to Know Why George Foreman Represents the Company

    Customers of InventHelp paid thousands of dollars – many took out loans through a company associated with InventHelp – sinking into debt without ever realizing either product or profit.
  • WKMG News 6 Gets Results for Drivers during SunPass Upgrade Meltdown

    In June of 2018, The Florida Department of Transportation and its state vendor, Conduent, underwent a massive upgrade to the state’s tolling system known as Sunpass. It failed miserably, causing the SunPass computer system to crash and led the entire billing process into turmoil. For more than 2 months, drivers were not billed for their toll charges, leading to a backlog of nearly 330 million transactions. That created a consumer nightmare, with customers dealing with a deluge of backlogged tolls, computer glitches, duplicate billing, questionable and erroneous toll charges, and long wait times for help both on the phone and in person. WKMG News 6 kept viewers informed on every problem, every development, and even offered solutions and an interactive tutorial on how to check their accounts for duplicate or erroneous toll charges. We also created a timeline of events, exposed when the SunPass Website failed to allow customers to turn off auto-pay online, had the wrong date and time stamp on millions of toll transactions, and delayed sending out toll by plate invoices due to continued issues with toll data accuracy.
  • OPB: This Solar Startup Spent Big, Then Left Customers In Limbo

    A two-part radio series uncovers financial mismanagement and ponzi scheme tactics at one of the country's fastest growing solar companies, which cratered and owed millions of dollars to its customers, vendors and employees across Oregon, Nevada and Utah.
  • Flood of Distrust: A Story on San Diego’s Mismanaged Water Department

    “Flood of Distrust” is the culmination of our year-long investigation into the San Diego water department. We found the department was unable to perform basic functions for citizens of the country’s eighth largest city. Our work prompted the city to refund tens of thousands of dollars to customers and caused significant changes in the department’s management, including the abrupt exit of the department’s director. “Flood of Distrust” exposes a mismanaged and unsupervised public utility department, a department that cost San Diegans thousands of dollars and is in desperate need of repair.
  • Democrat and Chronicle: Rochester food truck builder burns customers nationwide

    When reporters at the Democrat and Chronicle received a call from a distressed food truck owner who had been burned by a local food truck builder, a quick records check revealed a surprising tally of lawsuits and tax liens for what had been regarded as a prominent local business. That led to a six-month investigation that revealed a business in a downward spiral, bringing down customers across the country as they cut corners on workmanship and accepted deposits of $10,000 to $42,500 and strung customers along for months. The gripping narrative painted a sobering downside to the hot food truck industry.
  • Daily Herald: Illinois tollway series

    The Illinois tollway, governed by a nonelected board of political appointees, is the only option to get around the Chicago region for millions of drivers who spend $1.3 billion annually to use the system. While hardworking customers paid tolls, tollway executives and board directors were quietly hiring political insiders for high-paying jobs, handing lucrative contracts to firms where their relatives worked, and weakening bylaws to water down the tollway board’s conflict-of-interest rules. As the Daily Herald exposed nepotism, patronage and excessive spending at the tollway, the agency’s leaders fought back. Tactics included denying FOIAs, concealing information and accusing the newspaper of harassment. The Daily Herald’s investigation caught the attention of other media, two governors and state lawmakers who ultimately fired the tollway board of directors in early 2019. Legislators credited the Herald’s investigative series with alerting the public about what Gov. J.B. Pritzker referred to “unethical behavior.”
  • Power Price Spike; State Takes Action

    In this half-hour special, the I-Team re-visits some of its more than 40 stories during 2018, investigating Maine's largest utility company and a mysterious spike in usage. Thousands of Central Maine Power customers said their bills doubled or tripled and they couldn't figure out why. The I-Team asked to see those bills and hundreds of customers submitted copies. The I-Team spent days analyzing those bills and provided the data and analysis to state regulators. Hours after the data was turned over, state regulators launched an investigation.
  • Verizon: Fighting Data Overages

    Many Verizon Wireless customers are being billed for unexplained data overuse. In September, The Plain Dealer wrote about a few people who questioned exorbitant charges. Those stories quickly led to 4,000 Verizon customers from around the country contacting the paper with similar concerns. The reporters have stayed on the story, trying to determine what is wrong. All the while, Verizon says there is no widespread problem with its billing software -- while often erasing the charges that customers complain about.
  • Maine Power Grab

    A Bangor Daily News investigation found that hundreds of thousands of Maine customers of competitive electricity providers have paid $50 million more than they needed to for power since 2012.
  • The Wet Prince of Bel Air

    During a time of severe drought, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting wanted to learn more about the users of the most water in California. Reporters found that one homeowner in Los Angeles’ posh Bel Air neighborhood had used 11.8 million gallons of water in a single year during a drought emergency and that 4 of the top 10 known mega water users were also in Bel Air. But city officials wouldn’t reveal who those customers were. So in a follow-up story, Reveal used satellite analysis and public records to identify the seven most likely culprits. https://www.revealnews.org/article/the-wet-prince-of-bel-air-who-is-californias-biggest-water-guzzler/