Help Squad: Introducing Cathy Cunningham

Cathy Cunningham
Cathy Cunningham

Dear Readers,

You may have noticed in the past few weeks Help Squad has a new contributor focused on getting your consumer wrongs righted and offering tips on how to save money while addressing life’s everyday expenses.

That new contributor is me, Cathy Cunningham.

Prior to taking on the role of Help Squad columnist, I was most recently a freelance journalist. Before that I came from the dual worlds of promotions and problem solving. I spent several years as a public relations and marketing communications professional before getting my MBA and moving to the field of business process improvement consulting.

In both of these careers it was my job to identify and resolve problems while ensuring processes ran smoothly. Sometimes that meant explaining a new product or idea to consumers via the media, other times it meant persuading a constituency to consider a new point of view, and still other times it meant identifying and redesigning redundant or terribly broken business processes. In all cases it meant advocating on behalf of my clients to obtain a positive end result.

I have worked for large, bureaucratic corporations and small, boutique firms, and my clients have ranged from tiny, single-person, entrepreneurial start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. I have also, for the past decade and a half, been a parent, allowing me — on a daily basis — to hone my financial, social and emotional advocacy skills. (Fellow parents, I know you know exactly what I’m talking about!)

And now I am here to advocate for you.

In fact I’d like you to consider Help Squad your personal consumer advocate. When you feel like you have pursued all viable avenues to get a purchasing, refund or other financial injustice addressed — with the merchant having denied your every attempt at resolution — send me an email at HelpSquad@pioneerlocal.com. The team here will evaluate your situation. If we take it on, the result of which will be published in this column and online.

If you’re unsure of just what Help Squad is all about, take a look at the summary below that lays out Help Squad’s mission:

Did a utilities company overcharge you? Did a boutique deny your request for a return? Are you the victim of fraudulent business practices? Is someone just exhibiting bad business behavior? Let Help Squad make the call for you. Send your letters, complaints, injustices and story ideas to HelpSquad@pioneerlocal.com and we will be happy to help you.

And we mean it. Just like the name implies, Help Squad is here to help. So whether you require assistance getting your money back, you have a great idea for how to obtain a product or service at a better price, or you find yourself struggling to crack a business’ arcane pricing code, we want to hear from you!

I look forward to the challenge and the privilege of advocating for you weekly.

Regards,

Cathy Cunningham

P.S. In future columns I will occasionally be asking for your direct input on how to save money on specific products and/or services because I know many of you have figured out tips and tricks of your own. So stay tuned and be ready to share! And if you think of a brilliant money-saver in the meantime, don’t hesitate to send Help Squad an email.

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