Consumer rights advocate Gilberto Arvelo, popularly known as Dr. Shoper[sic], announced Tuesday the rebirth of his radio show that will air simultaneously on several stations to, in his words, fill an information gap that consumers have to be able to ride out the current economic conditions.
During a news conference Tuesday, Arvelo also blasted the Consumer Affairs Department, known as DACO, saying the agency has left consumers devoid of protection from pricing trends and other situations that affect their daily lives.
The “Hablando en Plata” radio program will be launched as part of Arvelo’s recently created Consumer Network project, which spurred from “the imperative need consumers have for a voice in a media outlet dedicated 100 percent to the dissemination of the issues,” he said.
“It was always my dream to create an integrated radio show on local stations when, at a specific time, in this case at 2 p.m., they will all link to bring vital information to consumers,” he said, referring to the agreements reached with radio stations WQBS 870 AM and WGIT 1660 AM, owned by AERCO Broadcasting and International Broadcasting, respectively, to create the network.
Through the radio program, Arvelo aims to: fill a need to inform elderly consumers; help consumers face present economic challenges; raise the flag against “hustlers who are not part of the government’s priority;” and, provide unique content.
Arvelo, who has a long track record of standing up for consumers, has been creating his own media spaces since 2005, when he launched the www.doctorshoper.com site and went on to spend more than two years hosting the “Hablando en Plata” talk show on Boricua 740. The show went off the air several weeks ago, after the station was sold.
His outspoken ways have often put him at odds with DACO and countless retailers that have resented his frontal attacks on their policies. Most recently, Arvelo criticized DACO for its alleged inaction during Easter weekend, when local gas prices increased while global fuel prices dropped by 6 cents per gallon.
“During those four days, gasoline wholesalers probably made about $700,000 in additional profit because since DACO was on shut down, they were not obligated to report their prices, as required by law,” he said.
In this new phase, “Hablando en Plata” will feature several segments that address topics such as making smart purchases, avoiding falling for scams, reviewing the best retail offers and tips on “how to live with champagne tastes while on a soft-drink budget.” Arvelo’s plans call for having the program included in the lineup of several other radio stations.
“We’re confident the Consumer Network will have wide acceptance since it is aimed at the more rational consumer who is constantly looking for information to stay afloat while the economy improves,” Arvelo noted.