Consumer Protection

Good Housekeeping - Give the Gift of Safe Toys

GH asked the experts how you can make wise choices — and still make your children's dreams come true.

 

The Sun Chronicle - On the hunt for toxic toys

This year Cheryl Gaudino may be getting a late start on her Christmas shopping, but her spring cleaning is months ahead of schedule. After reports of high level of toxins and a tsunami of recalls in children's toys, the North Attleboro mother gathered her 11-year-old autistic son's toys and sent them packing.

Trouble in Toyland

For several years, we have reported that toys are safer than ever before, thanks to decades of work by product safety advocates and parents and the leadership of Congress, state legislatures and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Yet, as many have noted, 2007 has been described as the “year of the recall.” Millions of toys, including famous playthings like Thomas the Tank Engine and Barbie, have been recalled in 2007. Many of these toys have been from leading manufacturers like Mattel, and most were imported from China. Most of the recalls have been for hazards previously identified in this report—excessive levels of toxic lead, dangerous small magnets, and choking dangers.

The Boston Globe - Clean Goes Green

Though not as sexy as fighting acid rain, global warming, or the desecration of rain forests, the environmental movement is turning its attention to indoor pollution, warning of dangers that may lurk in cleaning products used on living room furniture, in toilet bowls, and on desktops.

Tetstimony on Private Passenger Motor Vehicle Insurance Rates

By | Deirdre Cummings
Legislative Director

For the first time in over 30 years, insurance companies will be allowed to use discriminatory factors in selling auto insurance. While banning some of the most obviously unfair factors, the proposed regulations permit insurers to use many other factors that could harm low-income and minority drivers, including factors that act as proxies for the very factors that are banned. In order to protect against discrimination and to ensure that driving record is the primary factor insurers use in setting premiums and in underwriting, it is necessary to list expressly all the rating and underwriting factors that may be used by insurers.

Consumers Guide to Credit Cards

The credit card industry has stepped up marketing and changed the rules to trap consumers into a cycle of high fees, penlaty, interest charges and other unfair practices. The following are tricks and tips to know to avoid credit card debt.

In addition, the Governor’s “study group” on auto insurance which issued a report on March 15, 2007, of which I was a participant, recommended that the assigned risk plan not be adopted until further review and evaluation of the new CAR rules aimed at improving the system. Specifically, the commission recommended, “ the Commissioner should delay implementing any assigned risk plan until able to meaningfully evaluate the results of the 2006 redistribution of exclusive (producers) agents and subsequent revisions to the Commonwealth Automobile Reinsurers rules.”

MASSPIRG strongly supports the continued fixed and established rating process for 2008 because at this point it will better protect Massachusetts drivers than a “deregulated” or competitive process.

The rising swell of customer dissatisfaction with the cell phone industry demonstrates a need for basic, common-sense consumer protections. While the FCC has taken a "hands-off" approach to wireless regulation, states, including Massachusetts, can play an important role in establishing a set of basic service quality and customer service standards.

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