Consumer Protection

PROTECTING CONSUMER SAFETY—Toys should not be toxic or dangerous for children to play with. Our food should not make us sick. The terms for banking and credit accounts should be clear and easy to understand.

LOOKING OUT FOR CONSUMERS

CALPIRG’s consumer program works to alert the public to hidden dangers and scams and to ban anti-consumer practices and unsafe products.

TROUBLE IN TOYLAND

For 30 years, CALPIRG’s "Trouble In Toyland" report has surveyed store shelves and identified choking hazards, noise hazards and other dangers. Our report has led to at least 150 recalls and other regulatory actions over the years.

Get our tips for avoiding dangerous toys.

BIGGER BANKS, BIGGER FEES

In April, CALPIRG released a report in which we surveyed more than 350 bank branches and revealed that fewer than half of branches obeyed their legal duty to fully disclose fees to prospective customers, while one in four provided no fee information at all. We also found that despite widespread stories about the “death” of free checking, free and low-cost checking choices are still widely available, if consumers shop around.

Find out how to beat high bank fees.

SEE ALL CONSUMER RESOURCES

Issue updates

Blog Post | Consumer Protection

As House Holds Oversight Hearing, 340 Groups Call For Defense of CFPB | Ed Mierzwinski

Today, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray will present the CFPB's sixth semi-annual report to the House Financial Services Committee, whose majority members have been harsh critics of the successful consumer agency. Americans for Financial Reform, joined by the state PIRGs and a total of 340 national, state and local groups, sent Congress a letter explaining why the idea of the CFPB needs no defense, only more defenders.

> Keep Reading
News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

FCC NET NEUTRALITY ORDER PROTECTS THE OPEN INTERNET

Today the FCC took not one but two critical actions to make sure that the Internet works for everybody. First, it issued a "Net Neutrality" order guaranteeing a free and open Internet. This Internet freedom order will prevent the phone and cable companies from granting fast lanes or other preferences to already powerful firms. The FCC also acted to override state laws that prevented local governments from building out broadband networks to compete with the phone and cable companies.

> Keep Reading

FCC's net neutrality plan alarms critics, but it's nothing new

"For more than 20 years, wireless phone companies have not only survived but thrived under similar FCC rules for voice communication," said Emily Rusch, executive director of the California Public Interest Research Group. "The FCC's new proposal on broadband protects an open Internet for all consumers."

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Advice for Consumers After the Anthem Data Breach | Emily Rusch

CALPIRG experts provide tips for consumers on what to watch out for and how to respond to last week's announcement that up to 80 million Anthem customers had their personal information stolen in a data breach. 

> Keep Reading
Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Trouble in Toyland 2014

Among the toys surveyed this year, we found numerous choking hazards and five toys with concentrations of toxics exceeding federal standards. In addition to reporting on potentially hazardous products found in stores in 2014, this installment of the report describes the potential hazards in toys and children’s products.

> Keep Reading

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News Release | CALPIRG | Consumer Protection, Food

CALPIRG Supports Consumers’ Right to Know About Genetically Engineered Foods

CALPIRG endorses Prop 37, joins over 1,000 other consumer, environmental, labor, farmer, health and business groups in the call for the labeling of genetically engineered food.

> Keep Reading
News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Statement on the Recall of Bumbo Child Seats

Statement of Public Interest Research Group,  Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Kids In Danger, and Public Citizen on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Recall of Bumbo Seats.

> Keep Reading
News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Statement on the Recall of Bumbo Child Seats

Statement of U.S. Public Interest Group,  Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Kids In Danger, and Public Citizen on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Recall of Bumbo Seats.

> Keep Reading
News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection, Higher Ed

FDIC Orders Higher One to Repay Students $11 million in Campus Debit Card Settlement

FDIC announces an $11 million civil penalty of Higher One, the largest campus financial aid disbursement and debit card company, for alleged “unfair” and “unsafe” practices.

> Keep Reading

Reuters: How you can benefit from the Capital One settlement

Ed Mierzwinski, U.S. PIRG consumer program director, comments on the first enforcement action by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, which is about to hit its first anniversary.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection, Tax

CFPB launches new consumer Q&A resource page | Jon Fox

The CFPB launches a new interactive online tool that helps consumers find answers to their basic financial questions.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection, Tax

Paying Taxes, Safe and Sound | Jon Fox

With less than a month left to “Tax Day”, that special time of year when taxes are due, CALPIRG releases a new Questions & Answer guide to paying taxes.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Don’t Freeze our Public Health and Consumer Safety Protections | Jon Fox

In the 175 days that the U.S. House of Representatives was in session during 2011, it passed more than 190 anti-regulatory bills. Congress put profits over public safety and they are still at it.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

50 Years Ago This Week, JFK Ushered in Modern Consumer Protection Era | Ed Mierzwinski

I've got a new column at Huffington Post, "50 Years Ago This Week, JFK Ushered in Modern Consumer Protection Era." I discuss President Kennedy's visionary "Special Message to the Congress on Protecting the Consumer Interest" announced on March 15, 1962. He declared that consumers have rights and government should protect them. Read the full column after the jump.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

FTC Releases Top Complaints for 2011, Identity Theft Tops the List | Jon Fox

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its list of top consumer complaints received by the agency in 2011. Unsurprisingly, identity theft complaints topped the list.

> Keep Reading

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