Consumer Protection

Our Amicus Brief Supporting the states of Ohio et al v. American Express

All consumers pay more at the store and more at the pump because anti-competitive rules, practices and card acceptance (swipe) fees by credit companies and networks force merchants to raise prices on all consumers, including cash customers. We've been involved in Congress and the courts for years, on the side of merchants. This is U.S. PIRG Education Fund's friend of the court brief filed in the Supreme Court in support of a bi-partisan coalition of state attorneys general challenging American Express anti-steering rules that prevent merchants from advising consumers of alternative, lower-cost payment methods. We were joined by nine other leading groups, including Public Citizen, National Consumer Law Center and Consumers Union.

Our amicus brief in "English v. Trump and Mulvaney," CFPB leadership case

This is an amicus (or friend of the court) brief filed in U.S. District Court in support of plaintiff Leandra English, appointed acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) by outgoing director Richard Cordray. It was filed today by Public Citizen, Americans for Financial Reform, U.S. PIRG Education Fund and other leading consumer organizations in support of a motion seeking a preliminary injunction concerning who is the lawful acting director of the Consumer Bureau. Leandra English seeks to block the president's conflicting appointment of White House Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney to be acting CFPB director, (while incidentally also continuing to run OMB). The case is Leandra English vs. Donald J. Trump and John M. Mulvaney.

Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Trouble in Toyland 2017

For over 30 years, U.S. PIRG Education Fund has conducted an annual survey of toy safety, which has led to over 150 recalls and other regulatory actions over the years, and has helped educate the public and policymakers on the need for continued action to protect the health and wellbeing of children.

Toys are safer than ever before, thanks to decades of work by product safety advocates, parents, the leadership of Congress, state legislatures, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). 

Among the toys surveyed this year, we found potential choking hazards, and two products with concentrations of lead exceeding federal standards for children’s products. We also found data-collecting toys that may violate children’s privacy laws. This report not only lists the potentially dangerous toys that we found this year, but also describes why and how the toys could harm children. The continued presence of hazards in toys highlights the need for constant vigilance on the part of government agencies and the public to ensure that unsafe toys do not harm children. 

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

32nd Annual “Trouble in Toyland” Survey Finds Dangerous Toys on Store Shelves

Stores nationwide are still offering dangerous and toxic toys this holiday season and, in some cases, ignoring explicit government safety regulations in the process, according to U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund’s 32nd annual Trouble in Toyland report. The survey of potentially hazardous toys found that, despite recent progress, consumers must still be wary when shopping for children’s gifts.

 

 

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

Target Removes Lead-Laden Fidget Spinner From Website, But Still Available For Sale In-Store

Since late yesterday afternoon, Target appears to have made the 33,000 ppm-lead containing Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass unavailable for sale on its website. U.S. PIRG Education Fund staff went to a Target store today and found the Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass was still available for sale in-store, despite the website saying it was unavailable there. Also yesterday, one of the CPSC’s Commissioners, Elliot F. Kaye, re-stated his opposition to the CPSC’s guidance and the acting chairman's statement when he tweeted, “Seems obvious fidget spinners are toys and should comply with all applicable federal safety standards.”

Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Lead In Fidget Spinners

While lead in toys has become less prevalent in recent years, U.S. PIRG Education Fund tested several models of one of today’s hottest toys, fidget spinners, for the toxic heavy metal. Laboratory results indicated that two fidget spinners purchased at Target and distributed by Bulls i Toy, L.L.C. contained extremely high levels of lead. U.S. PIRG Education Fund calls on Target and Bulls i Toy to immediately recall these two fidget spinners and investigate how such high levels of lead were found in these toys. Also, we call on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to classify these fidget spinners as toys and hold them to federal standards for lead in children’s products. 

News Release | Consumer Protection

U.S. PIRG CONSUMER ADVOCATE MIKE LITT TESTIFIES AT CONGRESSIONAL HEARING ON EQUIFAX

Our Consumer Advocate, Mike Litt, was invited by Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, to testify this week at a Congressional hearing on the Equifax data breach. This was a continuation of the committee's previously held hearing on October 5th entitled "Examining the Equifax Data Breach."

U.S. PIRG Consumer Advocate Mike Litt Testifies At Congressional Hearing On Equifax

Our Consumer Advocate, Mike Litt, was invited to testify yesterday at the continuation of the House Financial Services Committee hearing entitled "Examining the Equifax Data Breach."

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

Children’s Toys Victory: CPSC Bans Phthalates In Toys

Children’s toys will be safer after a vote today by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to ban five types of phthalate chemicals from children’s toys and other children’s products. Phthalates are commonly used as a softener for plastic children’s toys and child care articles, such as pacifiers and bottles.

Fact Sheet: Older Consumers in the Financial Marketplace

Check out our fact sheet for the "Older Consumers in the Financial Marketplace" report analyzing complaints, and results, from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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