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

Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Trouble in Toyland 2014

Among the toys surveyed this year, we found numerous choking hazards and five toys with concentrations of toxics exceeding federal standards. In addition to reporting on potentially hazardous products found in stores in 2014, this installment of the report describes the potential hazards in toys and children’s products.

> Keep Reading

Hank Investigates: Excise Tax Bill Errors

MASSPIRG's Deirdre Cummings was interviewed on Channel 7 News to discuss excise tax bills errors by the Department of Transportation

> Keep Reading
News Release | MASSPIRG | Public Health, Consumer Protection, Health Care

Some Good, Some Bad in Obama Executive Order on Protecting Antibiotics

New executive order on antibiotics takes several important steps necessary to control the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it misses the opportunity to call for critical reforms in the agricultural sector that are essential to protect public health. 

> Keep Reading
Report | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND | Public Health, Consumer Protection

Ending the Abuse of Antibiotics in Livestock Production

The overuse and misuse of antibiotics threathen public health.

> Keep Reading
News Release | MASSPIRG | Public Health, Consumer Protection

Stop the Superbugs:

MASSPIRG calls on President Obama to curb misuse and overuse of antibiotics.

> Keep Reading

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

MASSPIRG Supports Proposed Consumer Protections for MA Drivers

Testifying before the Attorney General at a Boston hearing, MASSPIRG’s Legislative Director Deirdre Cummings called the proposed auto insurance consumer protection reforms “long overdue”.

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

Bay Staters Send Message to Senator Brown

To show the continued momentum on Main Street for financial reform, advocates from the Massachusetts delegation of Americans for Financial Reform delivered 4,000 petitions to Senator Scott Brown, urging him to once again vote with Main Street and pass Wall Street reform Legislation.

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

SENATE TAKES HISTORIC STEP TOWARD REINING IN WALL STREET, PROTECTING CONSUMERS

Senate passage last night of the Restoring American Financial Stability Act, S. 3217, was long overdue relief for consumers and taxpayers in Massachusetts and the country.

> Keep Reading

Senate Votes Down Broad Attack on State Enforcement of Wall Street Reforms

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate voted down a broad crippling amendment offered by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) to the Wall Street Reform bill.

> Keep Reading
News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

Consumer Advocates Challenge Wal-Mart's Push for Bailout from State Pricing Laws

As a throng of Wal-Mart executives is set to descend on the State House today to convince legislators to bail them out of a law requiring most grocery items to have price stickers, consumer advocates reminded elected officials that consumer laws like item pricing protect every shopper in the Commonwealth at the checkout.

> 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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