Topic: Investigative Reporting
The Orlando Sentinel recently profiled Todd Ulrich, a well-respected, long-time consumer investigative reporter with Cox Media’s ABC affiliate WFTV Orlando. “Todd Ulrich is a champion for trust,” said Holly Salmons, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau in Central Florida. “We appreciate his love for transparency and ethics. His tenacity has helped countless consumers and has helped to drive a larger divide between the good guys and the bad guys in business.”
Ulrich receives more than 250 requests per week and reports roughly 100 stories a year. WFTV contacts the business even if a story doesn’t air and keeps a database of complaints so Ulrich can look for patterns. Many stories involve restaurant inspections and used car sales. As Florida is one of the few states with no used-car sales protection, these stories often affect low-income families.
Other recent stories have included local grocery stores with poor inspection histories, a new automobile scam on Facebook and a local man who lost $28,000 in a social media scam. Viewer Kevin Nowak had trouble with his refrigerator from Sears Home Services for more than a year. Within a month of Ulrich’s contact with the corporate office, Nowak received a replacement. Some business people hurl insults at Ulrich when he confronts them. “You’re the biggest piece of garbage, and I’m sure that will be edited out,” said one. Ulrich does not let this bother him. “I consider myself a consumer advocate along with being a consumer investigator,” he said.
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