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

Debt Collectors, Debt Complaints: The CFPB's Consumer Complaint Database Gets Real Results for Consumers

Debt collectors trying to collect debt from the wrong person were the top source of complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), according to a report released today by the MASSPIRG Education Fund. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND | Consumer Protection

Mistaken Identity Tops Debt Collection Complaints

Massachusetts Consumers Getting Relief through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Public Consumer Complaints Database

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Credit Reports Should Not be Used for Employment Decisions | Deirdre Cummings

MASSPIRG urges State House Committee to stop the practice of employers using faulty credit reports for employment decisions.

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News Release | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND | Consumer Protection

Report: Capital One Most-Complained-About Credit Card Company in Massachusetts

Massachusetts consumers getting relief through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's public consumer complaints division. 

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U.S. House Passes Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY) bowled a 300 game today, as the House approved her bi-partisan Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights, HR 5244 by an overwhelming 312-112 vote, with all of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation voting in favor of it.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

Consumer Groups Oppose Bill to Remove Prices From Groceries

It soon may be harder for Massachusetts shoppers to find out the price of groceries if a bill just approved by a legislative committee becomes law.

> Keep Reading

The Boston Globe - Puzzle, precaution over plastic

CVS said it will join Wal-Mart, bottle-maker Nalgene, and other companies in pulling tens of thousands of the shatter-proof, transparent products off store shelves. Some parents are tossing hiking bottles into the trash, feeding their babies with glass containers, and searching for a safer alternative to see-through sippy cups. So how dangerous are these bottles? And what should consumers do about the risk?

 

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WCVB TV - Recycle All Bottles

Twenty-seven years after the passage of the Massachusetts bottle bill, the Legislature is considering expanding its provisions to cover noncarbonated bottles and cans of water, iced tea, juices and energy drinks. We think it's a good idea and about time.

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The Boston Globe - Redemption made easier

Broadening the Massachusetts bottle bill to include these other containers has been a top priority for environmentalists. But many retailers worry about the additional processing a broader law would require and have opposed it. Now a container-redemption service in Maine has demonstrated how to recycle large quantities of cans and bottles in a way that does not greatly inconvenience either consumers or stores.

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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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