3 On Your Side - KXXV Central Texas News Now

A pricey mattress with flaws is a headache for this Valley couple. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News) A pricey mattress with flaws is a headache for this Valley couple. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News)

Anthem woman says new $8K mattress "sinking"

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When you buy a mattress, you expect it to last for years, but one Anthem woman said her $8,000 mattress lasted about a month before she noticed a problem. Due to back problems, Cindy Horn is in bed a lot. So, looking for the perfect mattress to buy was important.

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Tuesday @ 9 p.m. on 3TV: 3 On Your Side confronts fake contractor

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A fake contractor took $3,000 from a homeowner back in January and then vanished. That homeowner contacted 3 On Your Side and Gary Harper tracked down the contractor. How did the confrontation go? Watch Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. on 3TV.

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3 On Your Side

Buckeye mom discovers baby formula container filled with flour

(Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News)
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"At first, I thought to myself that maybe my husband just didn't shake it up when he put it in there,"S the new mom told 3 On Your Side. "So, I went ahead and shook one up, put it in the microwave, and I fed it to her."

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Update: Fake contractor indicted

The wheels of justice are apparently finally turning following the grand jury indictment of an accused fake contractor by the name of Tom Greenwald. (Source: 3TV) The wheels of justice are apparently finally turning following the grand jury indictment of an accused fake contractor by the name of Tom Greenwald. (Source: 3TV)
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Phoenix Police launched their own investigation into Tom Greenwald and a full year later, a grand jury indicted him.

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Hulk fan 'sees green' over vintage comic book

Kurt Masse is upset over the comic book he bought in Phoenix. (Source: 3TV) Kurt Masse is upset over the comic book he bought in Phoenix. (Source: 3TV)
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A man thought he paid for an unrestored comic book but when he got the comic book home, a friend noticed something that caught his eye.

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Simple tricks to speed up your computer

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A computer is almost like a household staple these days and with school starting there are some things you can do to keep your computer running smoothly and up to date because it can be a daunting task. 

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3 On Your Side

Best Consumer Buys in August

3 On Your Side finds the best deals in August. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News) 3 On Your Side finds the best deals in August. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News)
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Looking for a new laptop? August may be your month.

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Homeowners say contractor took money and is 'gone like the wind'

A Gold Star mother's mission: Random acts of kindness A Gold Star mother's mission: Random acts of kindness
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One homeowner says she's paid more than $70,000, and the inside of her house is a "shell."

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3 On Your Side

3 On Your Side recoups $44K for July, a new monthly record

(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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3 On Your Side recoups a record $44,571 for viewers during July.

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Update: 3 On Your Side gets solar panels removed for Avondale family

(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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3 On Your Side always wants to make sure a company goes through with what they say they're going to do and in this case, they did -- removing solar panels from an Avondale family's home at no cost to them.

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INFOGRAPHIC: 3 On Your Side gets result$ for Arizona's Family

(Source: Shane Morris via 123RF) (Source: Shane Morris via 123RF)
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Gary Harper and the 3 On Your Side team work tirelessly on behalf of Arizonans who, for one reason or another, have lost money -- sometimes lots of money. That diligence pays off -- literally -- in a big way.

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What happens to hand-me-downs these days?

(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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Millennials want new stuff.

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Update: Pool contractor finally completes job

With the help of 3 On Your Side, Carolyn and Terry Howell say their backyard swimming pool is finally done. (Source: 3TV) With the help of 3 On Your Side, Carolyn and Terry Howell say their backyard swimming pool is finally done. (Source: 3TV)
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The Howells say they can now finally enjoy their backyard pool and spa. And, Carolyn says it only happened after contacting 3 On Your Side.

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Scammers using 'lock boxes' to trick and dupe renters

(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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Consumers think they're dealing with legitimate property management companies when they're actually communicating with scammers.

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Gilbert mom fighting medical bills she says she shouldn't owe

Heather Cooper was fighting with Aetna over medical bills she said she didn't owe. (Source: 3TV) Heather Cooper was fighting with Aetna over medical bills she said she didn't owe. (Source: 3TV)
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When she added them all up, her medical bills came to around $18,000, money she shouldn't have been responsible for. Still, she says she wasn’t getting any resolution.

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Computer trick can save you big money on travel and other services

Claudia Krusch recently saved several hundred dollars on a flight, simply by changing the browser for her computer to another country’s. (Source: 3TV) Claudia Krusch recently saved several hundred dollars on a flight, simply by changing the browser for her computer to another country’s. (Source: 3TV)
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We found rates on flights to Brazil for $1,700 when logged in from the U.S. But, after masking our location as Brazil, we found flights for around $700 on airlines that didn’t even appear in our search before.

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Consumers choosing 'Open Loop' credit cards

(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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You go shopping and it’s time to pay. You pull out your favorite credit card, ready to swipe. And even though your card has one store logo on it, odds are you can now use it almost anywhere.

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Homeowners claim Phoenix pool company abandoned job

(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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A Scottsdale couple already had a nice pool, but it needed some updating so, they hired a company which promised to have the project done by May. But here we are in mid-July and it's nowhere near done.

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Arizona getaways on a shoestring budget

We may live in Arizona, but many of us don't take advantage of all Arizona has to offer. (Source: 3TV) We may live in Arizona, but many of us don't take advantage of all Arizona has to offer. (Source: 3TV)
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If you’ve been putting off your summer vacation because you think you just can’t afford it, think again.

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3 On Your Side

Gift card trick scammers are using to rip off consumers

Berk was the victim of a gift card scam. (Source: 3TV) Berk was the victim of a gift card scam. (Source: 3TV)
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Always buy a gift card from a secure location and avoid buying gift cards off the rack.

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Avondale couple not happy going solar

The Chavez family say they feel like they were misled. (Source: 3TV) The Chavez family say they feel like they were misled. (Source: 3TV)
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An Avondale couple says they were lied to about the benefits of going solar so they called 3 On Your Side to get out of the contract.

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Consumers are skipping the 'medical middleman'

It’s therapy time for Michelle Mandoza, a rugby player sidelined because of an injury.   She skipped the traditional E.R. route and went straight to an urgent care, but not just any kind. She went to an orthopedic urgent care facility. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) It’s therapy time for Michelle Mandoza, a rugby player sidelined because of an injury. She skipped the traditional E.R. route and went straight to an urgent care, but not just any kind. She went to an orthopedic urgent care facility. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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It’s therapy time for Michelle Mandoza, a rugby player sidelined because of an injury. She explains, “I took a hit to my knee that kind of made my hip feel wonky.”

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Consumers want to 'boost' their benefits

(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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When you get a job, salary is key, but benefits can be boss. Health insurance gets the lion's share of attention given rising healthcare costs. And, of course, there’s always the sought-after 401K. But experts say there are other work perks you may not be making the most of or not be taking advantage of at all.

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UPDATE: Diet supplement company returns money to Sun City man

Ray Ralston is thankful to 3 On Your Side for getting his money back after signing up for a 14-day "free trial." (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Ray Ralston is thankful to 3 On Your Side for getting his money back after signing up for a 14-day "free trial." (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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Sun City man says he did not read the company's terms and conditions.

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Update: Canadian couple get refund for $360 shuttle fare to Sky Harbor

A Canadian couple is thrilled after getting $360 back from a shuttle service to Sky Harbor Airport that should have been a $36 ride. (Source: 3TV) A Canadian couple is thrilled after getting $360 back from a shuttle service to Sky Harbor Airport that should have been a $36 ride. (Source: 3TV)
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A Canadian couple is thrilled after getting $360 back from a shuttle service to Sky Harbor Airport that should have been a $36 ride.

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Update: Gym refunds money to Surprise woman

Shannon Roden got some of her money back from a gym after canceling her membership. (Source: 3TV) Shannon Roden got some of her money back from a gym after canceling her membership. (Source: 3TV)
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A woman is praising 3 On Your Side after she got most of her money back following her canceling her membership to a gym in Surprise.

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3 On Your Side

Convenience stores luring in 'foodies'

(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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Convenience stores aren't what they used to be.

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Sun City man learns lesson from '14 day offer'

(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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Always read the fine print when considering a company's trial offer.

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Consumer trend: Part-time pets

The Maltese poodle mix’s time is split between Janet Eggen's house and three other families, including Jane Hook’s. (Source: 3TV) The Maltese poodle mix’s time is split between Janet Eggen's house and three other families, including Jane Hook’s. (Source: 3TV)
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Sharing a pet is becoming more acceptable.

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North Phoenix mom alarmed when new washing machine lid shatters

Tori Burgett couldn't believe her washer's glass lid exploded apart. (Source: 3TV) Tori Burgett couldn't believe her washer's glass lid exploded apart. (Source: 3TV)
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A north Phoenix woman paid a premium price for what she thought was a premium washing machine but then the lid shattered and couldn't get a quick fix so she called 3 On Your Side.

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3 On Your Side

3 On Your Side recoups $7,400 during June

3 On Your Side recoups big bucks in June! (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News) 3 On Your Side recoups big bucks in June! (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News)
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For the entire year so far, 3 On Your Side has returned $80,000 to viewers.

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3 On Your Side

Consumers are into buying "fake" milk

(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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Almond, soy and coconut milk sales continue to rise.

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Surprise woman complains gym 'worked out' her wallet

(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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3 On Your Side went to a west side business called Fitness 1 looking for answers.

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Mesa senior citizen fights to get refund for medical bed

Dana Beesley said he ordered a bed then returned it but didn't get his money back. (Source: 3TV) Dana Beesley said he ordered a bed then returned it but didn't get his money back. (Source: 3TV)
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The man was able to return the bed no problem but getting the money back was the tough part.

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FTC says beware of 'tech support' calls

Mory LaShier said somebody called him to fix his computer and is now charging him nearly $500. (Source: 3TV) Mory LaShier said somebody called him to fix his computer and is now charging him nearly $500. (Source: 3TV)
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Microsoft, along with the Federal Trade Commission, says "tech support" calls are an industry-wide problem.

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Canadian couple says shuttle fare not so fair

Arizona Southwest Shuttle reportedly tacked on an extra zero making the trip not $36, but $360. (Source: 3TV) Arizona Southwest Shuttle reportedly tacked on an extra zero making the trip not $36, but $360. (Source: 3TV)
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A Canadian couple says they were overcharged for a trip to the airport and the company hasn't given them their money back.

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3 On Your Side.

'Digital nudging:' Apps to help you save

(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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Setting aside money can be difficult sometimes. However, some Apps are making it easier.

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New 'picture perfect' housing trend

(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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Photo shoots for engagements and weddings are nothing new. But now, there’s a new photo frenzy that’s a speck more “homey.” First-time homebuyers Nathan and Morgan Funke posed for pictures in their new home with a professional photographer and all. 

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'Mobile mechanic' keeps customer's Nissan for 14 months

Dale Shephard says a "mobile mechanic" has his Nissan car and won't give it back. (Source: 3TV) Dale Shephard says a "mobile mechanic" has his Nissan car and won't give it back. (Source: 3TV)
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A Phoenix man says he hasn't seen his car in more than a year, and he has no idea where the mobile mechanic is located.

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Hacked Facebook account used to dupe Phoenix woman

Barb said she's out $3,500 after scammers hacked a Facebook friend's account and convinced her to send them money. (Source: 3TV) Barb said she's out $3,500 after scammers hacked a Facebook friend's account and convinced her to send them money. (Source: 3TV)
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Scammers used a hacked Facebook account for "Grant Scam" and a Phoenix woman is now out thousands of dollars.

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Tax refund missing due to 'one digit off'

Cristina Allen said she messed up putting in her bank account when filing her taxes and now she doesn't have her refund. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Cristina Allen said she messed up putting in her bank account when filing her taxes and now she doesn't have her refund. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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An Arizona taxpayer typed in the wrong bank account number and didn't receive her tax refund.

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Trend for 'on-demand' workers gains momentum

(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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When Leversey Henry gets ready for work, he turns to his phone. He uses an on-demand staffing app to look for available shifts in his area. But not in just one industry and not just driving or delivery.

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East Phoenix-area man frustrated over lost family videos

(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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An East Valley man thought he was doing the right thing by going digital. But in the process, Bob Little lost years of memories and now he can't get them back.

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Arizona family 'sickened' over ER bill

(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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Sam Seylar is 16 and despite a hard fall that broke his collarbone, he still likes skateboarding. "When I fell, my shoulder hit the ground first."

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Chandler man duped out of $6K for backyard project

A Chandler man said he was duped out of $6,000 by a man who said he was a licensed contractor. (Source: 3TV) A Chandler man said he was duped out of $6,000 by a man who said he was a licensed contractor. (Source: 3TV)
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After spray painting a few lines and dumping off some sand, the East Valley homeowner says the hired worker and his guys stopped showing up altogether. 

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3 On Your Side

Phoenix area consumer reimbursed for worthless gift cards

Connie Krc received new gift cards from U.S. Bank. (Source: 3TV) Connie Krc received new gift cards from U.S. Bank. (Source: 3TV)
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It's recommended that you use gift cards within a month of receiving them.

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Consumers are turning to 'digital wallets'

(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Updated:

Being a makeup artist is just one way Claudine Gallagher earns her income. But her payment doesn’t come in cash or check. She counts on a couple apps when it’s time for customers to settle up.

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Consumer Reports reveals best June deals

There are certain things that will be on sale in June. (Source: 3TV) There are certain things that will be on sale in June. (Source: 3TV)
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There are deals to be had in June with several items usually on sale.

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Update: Phoenix-area senior citizen gets vacation refund

A Phoenix-area senior citizen and a family member had to cancel their dream vacation due to an emergency. But they say they couldn’t seem to get their money back even though they purchased travel insurance. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A Phoenix-area senior citizen and a family member had to cancel their dream vacation due to an emergency. But they say they couldn’t seem to get their money back even though they purchased travel insurance. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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“They weren't responding like they should have been but when 3 On Your Side got involved everything changed,” said Anna Bliss. 

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3 On Your Side

Woman discovers 'inactivity fees' on her gift cards

Connie Krc bought gift cards but due to inactivity fees, they weren't usable when she gave them to her granddaughter. (Source: 3TV) Connie Krc bought gift cards but due to inactivity fees, they weren't usable when she gave them to her granddaughter. (Source: 3TV)
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One billion dollars. That’s how much money it’s estimated that goes unused in gift cards every single year. 

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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  • WH insists Trump's no racist as he vilifies another minority

    WH insists Trump's no racist as he vilifies another minority

    Tuesday, August 14 2018 12:26 AM EDT2018-08-14 04:26:12 GMT
    Tuesday, August 14 2018 9:18 PM EDT2018-08-15 01:18:59 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File). FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump, center, is flanked by White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman, left, and  then-Housing and Urban Development Secretary-designate Ben Carson as he speaks ...(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File). FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump, center, is flanked by White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman, left, and then-Housing and Urban Development Secretary-designate Ben Carson as he speaks ...

    Beyond their war of words, the row touched on several sensitive issues in Trump's White House, including a lack of racial diversity, security in the executive mansion and a culture that some there feel borders on paranoia.

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    Beyond their war of words, the row touched on several sensitive issues in Trump's White House, including a lack of racial diversity, security in the executive mansion and a culture that some there feel borders on paranoia.

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  • Man pronounced dead after hitting tree in Falls County

    Man pronounced dead after hitting tree in Falls County

    Tuesday, August 14 2018 9:18 PM EDT2018-08-15 01:18:31 GMT
    (Source: KXXV)(Source: KXXV)
    (Source: KXXV)(Source: KXXV)

    A man is dead after the Department of Public Safety said he drove off the road and hit a tree on Tuesday. 

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    A man is dead after the Department of Public Safety said he drove off the road and hit a tree on Tuesday. 

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  • 'Touch the sun': NASA spacecraft hurtles toward our star

    'Touch the sun': NASA spacecraft hurtles toward our star

    Sunday, August 12 2018 3:36 AM EDT2018-08-12 07:36:08 GMT
    Tuesday, August 14 2018 9:10 PM EDT2018-08-15 01:10:05 GMT
    (Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP). The Mobile Service Tower is rolled back to reveal the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket with the Parker Solar Probe onboard, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Fla. A...(Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP). The Mobile Service Tower is rolled back to reveal the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket with the Parker Solar Probe onboard, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Fla. A...

    NASA has launched a spacecraft to the sun that will fly closer to our star than anything ever before.

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    NASA has launched a spacecraft to the sun that will fly closer to our star than anything ever before.

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