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 The Public

PIRGIM’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, PIRGIM’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, PIRGIM 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

Lowering your APR might be easier than you think | Kathryn Lee

Many Americans are walking around with a balance on their credit card because of high interest rates, or annual percentage rate (APR) charges for unpaid balances. It's best to pay off your balance in full but if you don't or can't, a higher APR makes your debit grow faster. What most people don’t realize is this APR can be negotiated to a lower rate.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

More Than 100 Groups Insist on No Riders in Spending Legislation

The day before the White House is expected to release its fiscal year 2017 budget proposal, a coalition of more than 100 groups, including U.S. PIRG, sent a letter calling on President Barack Obama and all 535 members of Congress to oppose any federal appropriations bill that contains ideological policy riders.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

100+ Groups Oppose Provisions That Threaten Public Protections | Mike Litt

The White House is expected to release its fiscal year 2017 budget proposal tomorrow. U.S. PIRG and various state PIRGs joined a coalition of more than 100 groups that sent the following letter calling on President Barack Obama and all 535 members of Congress to oppose any federal appropriations bill that contains ideological policy riders. 

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection, Make VW Pay

House Tees Up VW Bailout and Other Attacks on Public Protections, Consumer Rights | Ed Mierzwinski

(Updated 8 January to add vote results): You've probably heard that the House is soon planning to again repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). That bill will certainly be vetoed. But the House has other anti-consumer, anti-environmental bills scheduled for floor action this week and next. The bills take aim at agency health, financial and safety regulations and also consumer rights to band together as a class to take their grievances against corporate wrongdoers to court. That last bill would immunize Volkswagen from having to compensate VW Diesel owners for being deceptively sold cars designed to "defeat" air pollution requirements.

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News Release | PIRGIM Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Consumer Group Alerts Shoppers to Hidden Toy Hazards

The latest Trouble in Toyland report, along with a new interactive tool, will help parents and other toy-buyers avoid some common hazards.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

House Homeland Security Committee Passes Chemical Security Legislation

We applaud Chairman Thompson and the Committee for taking action to protect our communities from dangerous chemical plants. As the Congressional Research Service report released today shows, one hundred facilities endanger more than a million people in the event of an accident or attack; more than 7000 facilities endanger thousands.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

Consumer Groups Applaud Senate on Passage of Strong Bi-Partisan Product Safety Legislation

Today, consumer, public interest and scientific groups applauded the U.S. Senate for passage of the sweeping Consumer Product Safety Reform Act, S. 2663. This bi-partisan legislation represents the most significant improvement in almost two decades to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the agency that oversees the safety of more than 15,000 consumer products in the United States.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

Consumer, Safety Groups Call Foul on False Attacks on Product Safety Reform Bill

Consumer, public interest, safety, and scientific groups today condemned false charges from the office of Sen. Jim DeMint, released through the Republican Steering Committee, against a Senate bill that would overhaul the ailing Consumer Product Safety Commission, and urged Senators to approve the measure.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

Chemical Security Legislation Must include Safer Technologies

We applaud Chairwoman Jackson Lee and the subcommittee for taking action to protect our nation’s chemical plants. More than six years after 9/11, the lack of a comprehensive federal program to regulate chemical plant security leaves a hole in our nation’s defenses and places millions of Americans at risk.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

The CFPB at Three: A Child Prodigy | Ed Mierzwinski

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) turned just three years old Monday, July 21st, but when you look at its massive and compelling body of work, you must wonder: Are watchdog years like plain old dog years? Is the CFPB now a full-sized, 21-year-old adult? The answer is no, not yet. The CFPB is still growing and developing and adding programs and projects. The CFPB is, however, at three years old, certainly a child prodigy. Despite overwhelming public support, however, powerful special interests continue to attack it. Yet, the idea of the CFPB needs no defense, only more defenders.

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