Consumer Protection

PROTECTING CONSUMER SAFETY—Toys should not be toxic or dangerous for children to play with. Our food should not make us sick. The terms for banking and credit accounts should be clear and easy to understand.

LOOKING OUT FOR CONSUMERS

MASSPIRG’s consumer program works to alert the public to hidden dangers and scams and to ban anti-consumer practices and unsafe products.

TROUBLE IN TOYLAND

For 30 years, MASSPIRG’s "Trouble In Toyland" report has surveyed store shelves and identified choking hazards, noise hazards and other dangers. Our report has led to at least 150 recalls and other regulatory actions over the years.

Get our tips for avoiding dangerous toys.

BIGGER BANKS, BIGGER FEES

In April, MASSPIRG released a report in which we surveyed more than 350 bank branches and revealed that fewer than half of branches obeyed their legal duty to fully disclose fees to prospective customers, while one in four provided no fee information at all. We also found that despite widespread stories about the “death” of free checking, free and low-cost checking choices are still widely available, if consumers shop around.

Find out how to beat high bank fees.

PROTECTING YOUR SECURITY AFTER DATA BREACHES

Data breaches expose victims to serious personal and financial risks. Fortunately, there are steps consumers can take to protect themselves before and minimize the damage done after their personal information has been exposed. 

See all consumer resources.

Issue updates

News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Food

Majority of State Legislators Support GMO Food Labeling

Today, a coalition of consumer, community, farming and public health organizations working to pass a GMO food labeling law announced that a strong majority of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate have signed on as co-sponsors of GMO food labeling legislation.

> Keep Reading
News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

Court Sides with MASSPIRG, AG Healey, and Others in Rejecting Anti-Consumer Merger

Superior Court Judge Janet L. Sanders rejected a settlement agreement which would have allowed Partners Healthcare, the largest and most expensive health system in the state, to acquire three more community hospitals and add hundreds of additional doctors to its network.

> Keep Reading
News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

Retailer pulls dangerous toy off shelves following Trouble in Toyland Report

Following the release of MASSPIRG's 29th annual Trouble in Toyland report, one retailer has removed a toxic product from store shelves.

> Keep Reading
News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Survey Finds Dangerous Toys on Store Shelves

Dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America’s store shelves, according to the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group’s 29th annual Trouble in Toyland report. The survey of hazardous toys found that, despite recent progress, parents and caregivers must still be wary when shopping this holiday season.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

Warehouse Clubs' "Guess the Price" Bill on Governor's Desk

Tucked away as inconspicuous amendments to the economic development bill now on the Governor’s desk are several provisions that will strip warehouse club shoppers of their basic rights to price disclosure and protection from scanner overcharges, according to consumer groups.

> Keep Reading
News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

Consumer Groups Urge Lawmakers to Keep Price Disclosure Law Intact

Consumer groups urged state lawmakers to reject a special interest loophole that would exempt warehouse clubs from any state oversight and requirements for price disclosure and sign accuracy in their grocery departments.

> Keep Reading
News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

Historic Wall Street Reform Passes Senate

Today the Senate passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act by a count of 60 to 39. The bill is a response to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

> Keep Reading
News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

Senator Scott Brown Stands Up for Main Street

Senator Scott Brown announced his plans to support the Wall Street reform bill when it comes up for a vote later this week.

> Keep Reading
News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

Senator Scott Brown Must Vote for Wall Street Reform

Senator Scott Brown remains uncommitted to voting for Wall Street reform, saying only that he will review the legislation over the July 4th recess next week.

> Keep Reading

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Report | MASSPIRG

It’s that time of year again when parents, grandparents, caregivers and others feeling generous begin shopping for toys for the kids in their lives. Toy safety has come a long way, thanks to years of work from consumer advocates, public health experts, elected officials and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). These days, examples of dangerous toys contaminated with lead or toys with small parts that pose a choking hazard to young children are more difficult to find in the United States.

Despite this progress, dangerous toys are still on the market. As we approach the ninth month of the COVID-19 pandemic, many parents and caregivers in the United States still work from home while their kids participate in virtual learning some or all of the time. With siblings of all ages playing and spending more time together and parents juggling responsibilities with limited support, some dangerous toys are more difficult to supervise, and others are better left out of the home altogether.

News Release | MASSPIRG

MASSPIRG Education Fund’s Trouble in Toyland report has helped identify dangerous toys for 35 years. But 2020 is unique, and as Americans have worked, learned and played from home to protect themselves from COVID-19, children could be more susceptible to certain toy-related hazards.

News Release | MASSPIRG

BOSTON -- Consumer complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regarding vehicle loans and leases have increased sharply during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report by the MASSPIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group. The analysis suggests that consumers in Massachusetts and across the United States are facing abusive and deceptive practices from the automobile lending industry. 

Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund

Consumer complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regarding vehicle loans and leases have increased sharply during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report by the MASSPIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group.

Blog Post

Here’s a guide to your rights depending on how you pay

Consumer Protection

Auto Loan Complaints Rise

A review of complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Consumer Complaint Database reveals a sharp spike in consumer complaints about auto purchasing, leasing and finance since the beginning of the pandemic.

 

Consumer Protection

MASSPIRG, Sen. Markey and other advocates call for air travel refunds

MASSPIRG, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (Mass.), Consumer Reports and other public interest advocates are calling for airlines to return cash to travelers who canceled their plans due to COVID-19. The groups delivered nearly 250,000 petition signatures urging major airlines to provide full refunds for these cancellations.

 

Consumer Protection

Food recall failure

Most grocery store chains are not warning their customers about dangerous food recalls. Find out if your store makes the grade.

 

Consumer Protection

More than 165,000 life-threatening infant sleepers recalled

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced on Jan. 29 that four companies have issued recalls for more than 165,000 inclined infant sleepers, which fail to meet the safe sleep guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The CPSC's recall is an important step forward — we're continuing to urge manufacturers to stop producing these sleepers for good.

 
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MASSPIRG is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.