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

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 Education Fund | Consumer Protection

BANKS SKIM MILLIONS IN FEES FROM STUDENT AID USING DEBIT-CARD-LINKED STUDENT IDS

The Campus Debit Card Trap, a new report released by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, finds that banks and financial firms now control or influence federal financial aid disbursement to over 9 million students by linking checking accounts and prepaid debit cards to student IDs.  According to the report, financial institutions now have affinity partnerships with almost 900 campuses nationwide, grafting bank products onto student IDs and other campus cards to become the primary recipient of billions in federal financial aid to distribute to students.

 

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Consumer Protection

Arizona PIRG Tells Congress: Don’t Freeze our Public Health and Consumer Safety Protections

Last year, in the 175 days that the U.S. House of Representatives was in session, it passed more than 190 anti-regulatory bills. Next up is H.R. 4078, the “Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act of 2012,” a bill that wrongly calls for a halt on all public health and consumer safety protections until the unemployment rate reaches six percent.

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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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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Arizona PIRG Education Fund Urges Support of a Broadband Plan That Serves the Public Good

As the state and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) begin to consider a long-term strategy to innovate infrastructure, the Arizona PIRG Education Fund and the Media and Democracy Coalition issued A Public Interest Internet Agenda, to serve as a guide to direct decision makers towards consumer protective policy solutions that will connect every citizen to the Internet.

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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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TOY SAFETY TIPS ON-THE-GO

From toxic chemicals to choking hazards to dangerous magnets, see what dangerous toys to watch out for while you shop.

CONSUMER ALERTS

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