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

ConnPIRG’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, ConnPIRG’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, ConnPIRG 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.

SEE ALL CONSUMER RESOURCES

Learn what the General Assembly is doing about Consumer Protection with our Legislative Scorecard. 

Issue updates

30 years of toy safety

For the past thirty years, our sister organization U.S. PIRG Education Fund has taken a close look at the safety of toys sold in stores. Their reports have led to more than 150 regulatory actions. In November 2015, they released our 30th annual Trouble in Toyland report.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

30 Years of "Trouble in Toyland," 30 Years of Safety Improvements | Anna Low-Beer

Every year, U.S. PIRG Education Fund releases Trouble in Toyland, a report on toy safety which examines toys bought at major national retailers, looking for safety hazards including toxic toys, choking hazards, labeling violations, powerful magnets, and excessibely loud toys. We continue to find these hazards on store shelves, which indicates the need for continued vigilance and adequate enforcement of safety regulations. But despite lingering dangers, in the last 30 years, we've come a long way in terms of both policy and compliance with standards.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

PIRGs, Others Ask CFPB & FTC To Investigate Experian/T-Mobile Data Breach

In a letter sent today, a number of state PIRGs and other leading privacy and consumer groups urged the CFPB and FTC to fully investigate the recent breach of an Experian subsidary that exposed 15 million T-Mobile customer and applicant records to the threat of new account identity theft. The letter asked whether the regulators could require Experian and the other two nationwide credit bureaus -- TransUnion and Equifax -- to give victims free security freezes to protect their credit reports.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

As CFPB Advances Consumer Protection, Attacks on CFPB Escalate | Ed Mierzwinski

This week, the CFPB took a major step toward establishing a regulation restricting the use of forced arbitration clauses in consumer financial contracts, which give companies what the CFPB's director said was a "free pass from being held accountable by their customers." Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, powerful bank interests escalated their campaign to defund and defang the bureau, because it works for consumers, not them.

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News Release | ConnPIRG | Consumer Protection

Statement on Experian Breach of T-Mobile Customer Data

In the wake of a massive data breach affecting Experian’s computers holding 15 million files of T-Mobile hacked customers and applicants, we question why the firms are offering credit monitoring instead of paying to place credit, or security, freezes on all three of each victim’s credit reports. Only the security or credit freeze, available in any state, stops new account identity theft. Potential victims should freeze all of their “Big 3” credit reports from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

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With McDonald's Recall, State Cadmium Ban Looking Timely

A legislative ban on the sale of children's jewelry containing cadmium, a heavy metal linked to negative health effects in children, was proposed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Rep. Diana Urban, D-North Stonington, and squeaked through the House of Representatives in the final minute of the legislative session that ended last month.

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CT House Passes Ban on Cadmium in Children's Products

State Representatives Chris Perone (D-Norwalk) announced that the Connecticut House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation that will prohibit the sale, manufacturing, and distribution of children’s jewelry that contains cadmium.

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Citizens United Opinion Widens Corporate "Personhood" Rights

Today’s Supreme Court decision in Citizen’s United vs. Federal Election Commission will significantly expand the role that the most powerful corporations play in election financing. In a shocking burst of judicial activism, the Supreme Court decided that corporations should be treated in the same manner as ordinary citizens and be allowed to spend the massive amounts of money they accumulate on direct attack ads for or against Members of Congress.

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News Release | Consumer Protection

Lead-Laced Toy Book Recalled By CPSC

A toy book that U.S. Public Interest Group discovered contained a dangerous level of lead was recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission on Friday.

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News Release | Consumer Protection

Parents Beware: Many Toys Still Toxic, Hazardous

Dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America’s store shelves, the Connecticut Public Interest Research Group announced on Tuesday in its 24th annual Trouble in Toyland report.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Avoiding the Debt Trap | Evan Preston

The Connecticut Legislature is considering a bill to promote student financial literacy. We support the bill and are running our own financial education program on campuses across Connecticut.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

ConnPIRG Supports Ratepayer Consumer Protection Bill | Evan Preston

There is a hearing today for a ConnPIRG supported bill that would provide important consumer protections on electric bills.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection, Health Care

Here’s that Rx refill you didn’t order | Evan Preston

Is your pharmacy refilling your prescription without your knowledge or approval, and billing your insurance company for the cost? 
If so, it’s the latest example of waste we shouldn't tolerate in our health care system.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

ConnPIRG Testifies in Support of S.B. 1176, “An Act Concerning Electric Rate Relief”

Jennifer Hatch, ConnPIRG Program Associate, testified before the Connecticut General Assembly Energy and Technology Committee in Support of S.B. 1176, “An Act Concerning Electric Rate Relief”.

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