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

Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Bumbo, CPSC Recall Baby Seat Linked To Skull Fractures | Diane E. Brown

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Bumbo, maker of a baby seat linked to at least 84 incidents involving at least 21 skull fractures since a previous 2007 recall to add labels, have announced a broader repair recall.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

HR 4078 A Bill that will Shutdown all Public Health and Consumer Safeguards | Diane E. Brown

HR 4078 yesterday passed a floor vote in the House, this bill if passed by Congress will shutdown the U.S. regulatory system as we know it. It will halt or delay virtually ALL rule making and public health protections and do absolutely nothing to stimulate the economy or new job opportunities.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Consumer Protection

POLL SHOWS VOTERS FAVOR STRONG OVERSIGHT OF WALL STREET

Financial reforms enacted in response to the financial meltdown remain popular with those likely to vote in 2012, a new opinion poll shows. Saturday, July 21, 2012 will mark the two year anniversary of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a new agency with a strong record of successes for consumers despite facing constant political attacks in its first year of work.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Consumer Protection

Common-Sense Refinancing Options Could Help Arizonans and Stabilize Housing Market

Data released today by the Arizona Public Interest Research Group (Arizona PIRG) and the Center for Responsible Lending finds that making it easier for homeowners to refinance their mortgages could give consumers more options, save money, and stabilize Arizona’s housing market. In Arizona alone, over 300,000 households would qualify, saving them about $937 million.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

The Campus Debit Card Trap

Banks and other financial firms are taking advantage of a variety of opportunities to form partnerships with colleges and universities to produce campus student ID cards and to offer student aid disbursements on debit or prepaid cards. In addition to on-campus services, such as student ID functions offered on the card, some cards offer traditional debit card services linked to bank accounts; other cards provide additional reloadable prepaid card functions. The disbursement of financial aid and university refunds is the most significant partnership identified.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Financial Reform

Chairman Dodd’s Moves Wall Street and Consumer Protection Reform Legislation

Arizona PIRG applauds Chairman Dodd of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee for moving forward towards passage of legislation to protect American consumers and increase the stability of the economy. We expect that Wall Street bankers who wrecked havoc on the economy and were then bailed out by the taxpayers will continue to try to delay or kill this reform designed to protect people on Main Street.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Financial Reform

U.S. House Stands With Consumers Against Big Banks

The new financial reform legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday is an important step towards protecting consumers and taxpayers from reckless financial practices, according to the Arizona Public Interest Research Group (Arizona PIRG).

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

24th Annual Toy Safety Report - Many Toys Still Hazardous

Dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America’s store shelves, according to the Arizona PIRG Education Fund’s annual Trouble in Toyland report.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Financial Reform

CONSUMER ADVOCATES TO FED: STOP EVASIONS BY CREDIT CARD COMPANIES

Advocates from state and national consumer groups today urged the Federal Reserve Board to close loopholes in its proposed rules to prohibit credit card companies from using new tricks and traps to get around the protections of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosures Act (Credit CARD Act).

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Financial Reform

Arizona PIRG Applauds U.S. House Committee Vote to Advance Landmark Consumer Agency to Replace System that Failed

Today, the U.S. House Financial Services Committee approved landmark reform legislation establishing a proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA), despite attacks from industry opponents. Although several exceptions to the agency’s coverage must still be addressed on the House floor or in the Senate, overall, according to the Arizona Public Interest Research Group (Arizona PIRG), the CFPA bill as passed creates an independent agency with broad authority to protect consumers in the financial marketplace.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Trouble in Toyland 2005

“While we can report substantial progress after 20 years of advocacy on behalf of America’s littlest consumers, we are still finding trouble in toyland,” said Diane E. Brown, Executive Director of the Arizona PIRG Education Fund.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

The Right Start

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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