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News Release | US PIRG

The hidden costs of ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’

 

U.S. PIRG reviewed data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and found that the most common complaints about “Buy Now, Pay Later” plans include hidden fees, high interest rates and problems when it comes time for debt collection.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

Dark patterns: A step-by-step guide to protect your privacy on your phone | Isabel Brown

Dark patterns are one way apps and websites steer consumers into making the choice that’s right for the app or website but wrong for the consumer.

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Report | US PIRG | Consumer Tips

DARK PATTERNS: A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY ON YOUR PHONE

Dark patterns are one way that apps and websites steer consumers into making the choice that’s right for the app or website -- but wrong for the consumer.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

National Consumer Protection Week 2022 | Teresa Murray

Every day during the first week of March, PIRG is providing consumer protection tips and tools to help Americans address some of the most common consumer issues.

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

CFPB focuses on consumer pain points | Ed Mierzwinski

Yesterday’s announcement of a new report finding stupefying amounts of medical debt on consumer credit reports continues the Biden CFPB’s focus on identifying and responding to consumer pain points caused by a financial marketplace that doesn’t always work for consumers. The CFPB has your back!

Photo courtesy Americans for Financial Reform, All rights reserved.

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News Release | US PIRG | COVID-19

STATEMENT: President Biden’s new COVID-19 plan should help curb rampant spread of delta variant

President Joe Biden announced a sweeping plan Thursday to combat the highly transmissible delta variant of the virus that causes COVID-19.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

Post-Ida Tips: Don’t compound tragedy by getting scammed, or poisoned by a generator

After making landfall in Louisiana on Sunday, Hurricane Ida tore a path of destruction from the Gulf Coast all the way to New York and New Jersey. With billions of dollars in damage from flooding, wind and tornadoes, far too many people must make insurance claims, repairs and begin rebuilding.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

Consumer Advocates Urge Court to Block Use of Findings of Unlawful Trump-Era CFPB Taskforce

Democracy Forward, the attorneys for U.S. PIRG, the National Association of Consumer Advocates and Professor Kathleen Engel, filed a motion for summary judgement Friday in U.S. Court in our lawsuit against the Trump-era CFPB's so-called Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips, COVID-19

STATEMENT: Nursing home vaccine mandate will save lives

"We applaud the move to get more nursing home staff vaccinated. This will save lives."

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News Release | US PIRG | Consumer Tips, Consumer Protection

Back to school: financial literacy tips for college students, teens

During this time of year, families are thinking about the children going back to school, and for parents who are sending their kids to college, it can be a bit overwhelming. A key to addressing those concerns is making sure their teens are prepared for “adulting” -- in other words, taking care of their own lives.

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Report | MontPIRG Education Fund | Budget

Following the Money 2015

Every year, state governments spend hundreds of billions of dollars through contracts for goods and services, subsidies to encourage economic development, and other expenditures. Accountability and public scrutiny are necessary to ensure that the public can trust that state funds are spent as well as possible. 

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Report | MontPIRG | Transportation

The Innovative Transportation Index

This report reviews the availability of 11 technology-enabled transportation services – including online ridesourcing, carsharing, ridesharing, taxi hailing, static and real-time transit information, multi-modal apps, and virtual transit ticketing – in 70 U.S. cities. It finds that residents of 19 cities, with a combined population of nearly 28 million people, have access to eight or more of these services, with other cities catching up rapidly.

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Report | MontPIRG | 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.

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Report | MontPIRG and Demos | Democracy

The Dominance of Big Money in the 2014 Congressional Elections

In 2014, large donors accounted for the vast majority of all individual federal election contributions this cycle, just as they have in previous elections. Seven of every 10 individual contribution dollars to the federal candidates, parties, PACs and Super PACs that were active in the 2013-2014 election cycle came from donors who gave $200 or more. Candidates alone got 84 percent of their individual contributions from large donors.

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Report | MontPIRG and Consumers Union | Public Health

Prescription For Change

Our September 2014 survey of physicians paints a grim picture of the growing problem of antibiotic-resistant infections. The overwhelming majority of surveyed doctors reported that one or more of their patients had been diagnosed with a presumed or confirmed case of a multi-drug resistant bacterial infection in the past twelve months. They also expressed concern about the use of antibiotics in livestock production facilities on healthy animals in order to promote growth and prevent disease.

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Blog Post

How to reduce your foodprint for your 2022 New Year’s resolution | Danielle Melgar

Many of us use this time of year to reflect on what we want to do differently in the year ahead. One resolution that could really help the planet? Reducing your foodprint.

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Blog Post

What's wrong with buy now, pay later? The risks of the newest tool to pull you into debt | R.J. Cross

Buy now, pay later apps give consumers the flexibility of paying for purchases in installments, but that convenience comes at a cost. Besides being unregulated and full of fine print, these companies have one ultimate goal: get you to buy more stuff, and go into debt to do it.

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Blog Post | Solid Waste

10 steps Whole Foods can immediately take to reduce single-use plastic | Juliana Clejan

The national chain prides itself on being a green grocer, but in reality, their promises fall short. Here are 10 steps that Whole Foods should take – many of which have already been taken by other retailers – to be more sustainable and ultimately be an industry leader once again.

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Blog Post

Why Is Big Tech moving into payments? One reason: So you’ll buy more. | Ed Mierzwinski

The CFPB is looking at the impact of Big Tech's entry into the payments space. It asked Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Paypal (owner of Venmo) and Square (owner of Cash App) for answers. PIRG and the Center for Digital Democracy have filed a comment on the threats Big Tech entry poses to consumers, competitors and the banking system. This blog also links to comments by other colleagues.

Cover image Fintech by CafeCredit.com via Flickr, some rights reserved.

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Blog Post

Drinking Water Shut Off In All Detroit Schools Due To Lead

As school started for the year, many students in Detroit returned to schools with drinking water containing lead—a toxin that can impact how they think, learn and behave.

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Blog Post

'This Infection is Resistant to Everything We Have'

Those are not words any patient wants to hear.

But a surgeon at The Johns Hopkins Hospital tells U.S. PIRG Education Fund that he and other doctors are being forced to deliver that message. He points to the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture as a major culprit.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

1 Year After Equifax Data Breach, Here's Everything You Need To Know

One year after announcing the biggest data breach in history, Equifax still hasn’t been held accountable or provided the information and tools consumers need to protect themselves. Since Equifax won’t help protect consumers, MontPIRG is stepping in.

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Blog Post

 U.S. PIRG Education Fund and PIRG’s affiliated mutual fund company Green Century Capital Management, have been pressuring McDonald’s about environmental and public health issues for several years. Now, we’re working to hold McDonald’s accountable to its promises to improve factory farming conditions and reduce antibiotic use in the beef it buys. 

Blog Post

Donald Ross passed away on May 14 after a recent illness. He was 78 years old.

Consumer Protection

GM heeds consumer groups' advocacy, commits to not sell used cars with safety issues

We commend General Motors for its new commitment not to sell used vehicles with unrepaired safety recall defects on its soon-to-be-launched used car platform, CarBravo.

 

Health Care

Victory: Medical debt to be scrubbed from consumers' credit reports

One in 5 American households report having medical debt. Now, new credit industry policies will help keep that debt from hurting their credit.

 

Safe Energy

Report: Electric school buses are a win for our kids and our energy grid

What if we could keep pollution out of our air, help stave of climate disaster, and move toward a cleaner energy grid — all by investing in electric school buses for our kids?

 

Consumer Tips

In the market for a new phone or laptop? This scorecard will tell you which popular products are built to last.

Products that carry unnecessary restrictions on access to repair tools lead you to spend money replacing your devices instead of repairing them. And they harm our planet by contributing to our rapidly growing electronic waste problem.

 

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