Consumer Protection

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.

Testimony In opposition to HB 1023

By | Deirdre Cummings
Legislative Director

HB 1023, I believe, is an attempt to bring more insurance companies into the state, unfortunately at a cost that is too high – the elimination of critical consumer protections. Specifically it will: 1. cause higher premiums in general, 2. allow insurers to give much less weight to driving record than currently required and to use discriminatory rating factors,  and 3. cause premiums to increase even for the best drivers in many urban communities.

Current estimates put the Commonwealth’s spending at $1.2 billion per year on prescription drugs. The results of these growing prescription drug costs are more people without access to necessary drugs, higher premiums for those fortunate enough to have prescription drug coverage, and an increasing burden on the state and other programs to assist those who cannot pay for drugs themselves

Toxic Pollution And Health

Industries across the United States pump billions of pounds of toxic chemicals into our air, land, and water each year, many of which can cause cancer and other severe health effects. The Environmental Protection Agency's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program provides Americans with the best information about toxic chemicals released in their communities.

Report | Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation | Consumer Protection

The Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Study Group

The Commissioner of Insurance should examine alternatives to move towards competitive rating using flex-bands while maintaining affordability for all drivers, minimizing disruption to the market and maintaining consumer protections.

MASSPIRG Urges Senate To Oppose Anti-Consumer Bill

By | Deirdre Cummings
Legislative Director

This bill would turn back the clock on consumer protection over a quarter of a century by once again requiring an out-of-pocket loss of money in order for a consumer to collect damages under the state Consumer Protection Act, Chapter 93A. It would also eliminate consumers’ rights to join together to fight unfair practices.

Exposing the Textbook Industry

Today's college students are under enormous financial pressure. The gap between tuition and fees and financial aid leaves many students working long hours through college, struggling to make ends meet, and graduating with large debts. The high cost of textbooks is yet another financial burden. The cost of textbooks is not just a drop in the bucket of tuition and fees; the average student spends about $900 per year on textbooks, which is nearly 20% of tuition and fees at a four year public institution. Moreover, textbook prices are rising at about four times the rate of inflation.

Demanding Action From Big Tobacco

Lives have been saved by the Fire-Safe Cigarette Bill MASSPIRG helped to pass in 2006. The law requires cigarette manufacturers to make cigarettes with paper that burns slower to prevent fires started by cigarettes.

Trouble In Toyland

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). Nevertheless, as parents venture into crowded malls this holiday season, they should remain vigilant about often hidden hazards posed by toys on store shelves.

The Division of Insurance should use their authority and resources to Identify and adopt a comprehensive plan to reduce the state's underlying costs, including our high accident rate. The reforms to reduce the state's costs and accident rate must involve state and local government, the insurance industry, police, drivers and insurance regulators.

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Tell your senators to oppose the “Financial CHOICE Act,” which would gut Wall Street reforms and destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as we know it.

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