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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Report: Airlines’ refund policies, scheduling problems irk flyers

When the COVID-19 pandemic turned life upside down in early 2020 and commercial flights came to a near-halt, the U.S. government gave the airline industry $50 billion to save jobs and keep the industry afloat. Since then, despite surviving because of their customers’ tax dollars, the airlines repeatedly have canceled and delayed flights, denied refunds and failed at customer service, according to complaints filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Not First Class: Flyer complaints soar as airlines cancel flights, deny refunds, ruin plans

When the COVID-19 pandemic turned life upside down in early 2020 and commercial flights came to a near-halt, the U.S. government gave the airline industry $50 billion to save jobs and keep the industry afloat. Since then, despite surviving because of their customers’ tax dollars, the airlines repeatedly have canceled and delayed flights, denied refunds and failed at customer service, according to complaints filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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Blog Post

The bikes that last 4 months | Nathan Proctor

How to spot an unfixable bike designed for the dump

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Antibiotics

Medical professionals urge McDonald’s to reduce antibiotic use in its beef supply chain

More than 125 medical professionals organized by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund sent a letter to McDonald’s Thursday urging the company to meet its 2018 commitment to reduce antibiotic use in its beef supply chain. The coalition delivered the letter at the start of World Antibiotic Awareness Week to stress the urgency of taking action to stop overusing our life-saving medicines in agriculture. Otherwise, the drugs may no longer heal sick people. 

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

New holiday cooking safety guide offers tips on how to avoid unhealthy air pollution from gas stoves

The holiday season often entails spending a lot of hours in the kitchen cooking. As millions of Americans prepare holiday meals to share with their families, a new guide from PIRG’s research partner PIRG Education Fund offers tips on how to minimize unhealthy air pollution from cooking with gas in your home.

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News Release | US PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

Statement: New congressional report paints scary picture of toxic metals in baby food

A congressional report released Wednesday found the problem of toxic heavy metals in baby food is even worse than many suspected.

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

STATEMENT: Boppy Co. recalls more than 3 million newborn loungers after eight babies died

A year after the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warned parents not to use nursing pillows and loungers for infant sleep, the CPSC and The Boppy Co. announced a recall Thursday of 3.3 million newborn loungers.

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

Report: Only one-third of largest phone companies have completely adopted anti-robocall technology

A looming deadline should finally force all U.S. phone companies to take stopping robocalls seriously. However, only one-third of the largest mobile and home phone providers nationwide -- and a more disappointing percentage of smaller telecommunications companies -- have installed caller ID verification aimed at squashing illegal robocalls.

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News Release | US PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

Clarity on food dating labels could curb waste

The labels “Best By,” “Sell By” and “Use By” have different meanings, but people who assume they’re all expiration dates commonly throw out food and drink that’s still good to consume.

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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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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Deere in the Headlights

Modern farm equipment runs on software. But when manufacturers restrict access to the software tools needed to repair broken tractors, farmers are left out in the cold. They are forced to rely on dealerships to fix their equipment, which can lead to lengthy delays and inflated repair bills. With fields to be plowed, planted and harvested, farmers don’t have the time to wait for a dealer. They need to be able to fix their own stuff.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Higher Ed

Fixing the Broken Textbook Market, Third Edition

 COVID-19 has raised the barriers students face both financially and technologically to access course materials, even if it has not necessarily made course materials more expensive. Students who lost jobs due to the pandemic or who lacked reliable internet access were hardest hit by course materials costs. These problems will persist past the public health crisis without increased funding and implementing long term policies that prioritize access and affordability.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Superfund Underfunded

In 1980, Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), informally called Superfund. The Superfund program was given the authority and funds to hold polluters responsible for cleaning up contaminated waste sites or clean up the sites themselves if no responsible party can be found or afford the cleanup. These toxic waste sites house some of the most “hazardous chemicals known to humankind.” The Superfund toxic waste program protects people from these contaminants and the serious health problems associated with them.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Accelerating the Transition to Electric School Buses

This new report explains how school districts and utilities can work together to acclerate the switch to electric school buses, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the health of the kids that ride them everyday. 

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Report | US PIRG Education Fund | COVID-19

Nursing home safety during COVID: Staff shortages

For most of last year, more than 200,000 people at any given time were in nursing homes that themselves acknowledged they were suffering from staff shortages.

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Blog Post

We need to set our priorities straight | Danielle Melgar

The EPA has banned chlorpyrifos from our food. It doesn’t belong where Americans golf either.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Resources I used to prepare my advance directive | Mike Litt

Advance directives are legal instructions that include a living will (different from a regular will) and a health care proxy. In them, you state what treatments you do or don’t want at the end of your life and who you want making health care decisions for you if you can’t. 

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

How to spot fake online reviews | Hannah Rhodes

With the overwhelming number of reviews found both on website listings and social media, we pulled together the best tips to spot fake reviews when shopping online.

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Blog Post

Surprise air ambulance bills: A bird’s eye view of sky-high prices | Alex Sherman

The No Surprises Act will work to protect consumers from surprise air ambulance bills beginning in January 2022.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

What I decided to do after shopping for long-term care insurance | Mike Litt

Before listening to In Case You Get Hit By a Bus, I didn’t know about insurance that covers the costs of long-term care, such as home health care or nursing home care, for people who need assistance with daily living activities. 

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Blog Post

Of the 23 deaths reported in connection with products recalled in 2021, 19 actually occurred in previous years. It can take months or years for the public to be warned about dangerous products because federal laws favor corporations, not consumers.

Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

2021 reminds us the system is broken. Federal laws favor corporations, not consumers, and it can take months or years for the public to be warned about dangerous products.

Blog Post

The No Surprises Act went into effect on January 1, 2022. This patient guide is an easy way to understand your new patient protections. Important phone numbers and links to the federal complaint form are included. Put an end to surprise medical bills by knowing your rights under this new consumer law. 

Solid Waste

New federal bill calls for U.S. to move beyond plastic

On Feb. 11, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall and U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal introduced legislation that would phase out unnecessary single-use plastics, which commonly end up clogging our landfills and polluting our environment. It also provides funding for recycling and composting infrastructure, and would shift the financial burden of managing waste and recyclables from town and city governments to the manufacturers.

 

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