Protecting Consumers

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

Arizona PIRG’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 years, the state PIRGs’ Trouble In Toyland report has surveyed store shelves and identified choking hazards, noise hazards and other dangers. To date, our report has led to at least 150 recalls and other actions to get dangerous toys off store shelves. Click the link to read our report.

BIGGER BANKS BIGGER FEES

In April, the state PIRGs 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.

Issue updates

Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Building A Better Health Care Marketplace

Consumers across the state know that the health insurance marketplace is broken. Insurers don’t compete for their business, instead offering take-it or-leave-it deals. Important information about coverage is buried in the fine print, making it hard to know what’s really covered. Instead of working to lower costs and improve quality, too many insurers focus on covering healthy enrollees and dumping the sick. And costs are continuing their unsustainable rise.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Financial Reform

Two Years After Passing the Credit CARD Act, Congress Steps Up Attacks on Consumer Cop Designed to Enforce It

The Credit CARD Act of 2009 has eliminated numerous credit card tricks and traps without causing skyrocketing interest rates or any of the other horrible side-effects that the banks once warned would happen.  In spite of that success, the banks and their Congressional allies are now seeking to eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the new consumer cop created to enforce the CARD Act and protect consumers from other tricks of the trade, like deceptive mortgage practices and unfair overdraft fees.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Financial Reform

Professor Elizabeth Warren and New Consumer Bureau Launch Website – ConsumerFinance.gov

The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has something new for American consumers. ConsumerFinance.gov is a government website that actually says ‘come on in and talk with us’ instead of one that says ‘go away, we cannot help.’

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Financial Reform

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Track

Six months after Wall Street reform legislation creating the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was signed, a leading coalition released Halfway to the CFPB: An AFR Progress Report on “Standing Up” the New Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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Report | Arizona PIRG | Financial Reform

Halfway to the CFPB

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Implementation Team staff are making significant progress in their efforts to both build an effective agency and be ready to perform required functions by the transfer date (July 21, 2011).   Based on our analysis of several key metrics, on the date halfway between passage and startup, the CFPB Implementation Team is properly focusing on key goals and outcomes.  Moreover, the high-quality of its early hires will give it the CFPB the ability to significantly broaden and accelerate its activities over the next six months.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Consumer Protection

Consumer Groups Call for Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Investigation of Online Advertising and Consumer Tracking and Targeting Practices

The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG), two of the leading public-interest advocacy groups working on behalf of a more diverse and competitive online environment, filed a complaint today with the Federal Trade Commission calling on the commission to undertake an immediate, formal investigation of online advertising practices.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Consumer Protection

Water Quality Legislation Moves To Senate

Representative Tom O’Halleran and representatives of the Arizona Public Interest Research Group (Arizona PIRG) and the Northwest Arizona Watershed Council joined together today to urge swift adoption of water legislation that recently passed the House and is now before the Senate. Arizona PIRG also released a new policy paper, "Our Water, Our Future: Policy Options to Safeguard Water Resources in Arizona." The policy paper documents the main threats to Arizona’s water supply and details policy recommendations to ensure enough water for our future.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Consumer Protection

Arizona State University Students Kick Off Student Debt Alert Campaign

Today students at the Arizona State University (ASU) kicked off the Student Debt Alert campaign to encourage the Commission on the Future of Higher Education to recommend increases in grant funding and solutions to make loan debt more manageable. 

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Consumer Group Alerts Shoppers To Hidden Toy Hazards

Hazardous toys continue to be sold in stores across the country, according to the 20th annual toy safety survey released today by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

New Report Documents Dangerous Chemicals in Baby Products

Toxic chemicals can be found in common baby products, according to a new report released today by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund. “The Right Start: The Need to Eliminate Toxic Chemicals from Baby Products” documents toxic chemicals, including phthalates and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), in teethers, bath books, and sleep accessories.

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