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

Maryland PIRG’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, Maryland PIRG’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, Maryland PIRG 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

Issue updates

U.S. PIRG Applauds House Committee Vote to Advance Landmark Consumer Agency to Replace System that Failed

The U.S. House Financial Services Committee approved landmark reform legislation Thursday, establishing a proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency, despite “often blatantly false attacks from industry opponents.”

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News Release | Consumer Protection

Statement of Johanna Neumann on U.S. Senate Passage of the Credit CARD Act

For too long, owning a credit card company has been a license to steal. Over the last few years, the banks increased their use of abusive tactics, such as changing due dates so they could trick consumers into paying late. The Credit Card Act bans nearly all retroactive rate increases on current balances, it prohibits universal default in the first year and it protects college students from unfair marketing of credit cards.

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News Release | Consumer Protection

Toxic Chemical in Household Products Endangers Children’s Health

An unlikely coalition of nurses, firefighters, consumer advocates and concerned parents have joined forces to call on the Maryland General Assembly to ban a toxic chemical and switch to safer alternatives.

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Eliminating Toxic Mercury

In 2009, we played a role in addressing the largest manufacturing source of mercury in the state.

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News Release | Consumer Protection

Young Children in U.S. Among World' Most Polluted with Fire Retardants

In the first nationwide investigation of chemical fire retardants in parents and their children, Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that toddlers and pre-schoolers typically had three times more of the neurotoxic compounds in their blood as their mothers. The study suggests that U.S. children 1 to 4 years of age bear the heaviest burden of flame retardant pollution in the industrialized world.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG

Everyone should assume that their social security number has been exposed between this breach and breaches of other major companies’ databases, such as Equifax’s. With that in mind, U.S. PIRG recommends all Americans should use their right by law to freeze their credit reports for free

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Our response to Equifax paying a $650 million penalty for exposing the social security numbers of 148 million Americans to identity theft.

Blog Post

Members of Congress hear repeatedly from lobbyists for corporate special interests in their offices and at fundraisers. How can consumer advocates balance the scales?

Blog Post

In most of the country, owning a car is all but required. And we're paying for it—to the tune of $1.2 trillion. This is putting the financial well-being of millions of Americans at risk, and Maryland PIRG and our national network are calling for change.

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Fisher-Price recalled 4.7 million Rock n’Play baby sleepers on Friday. U.S. PIRG Consumer Watchdog Adam Garber issued a response: "“While we’re pleased that Fisher-Price is finally recalling these dangerous sleepers, 30 deaths in 10 years is 30 deaths too many and 10 years too late."

Consumer Protection | U.S. PIRG

Campus debit cards cost students over $24 million in fees

Report shows how campus debit cards — along with how they are marketed — are putting students' financial well-being at risk across the country.

 

Consumer Protection | U.S. PIRG

The real price of medications

The results of our investigation of variations in prescription drug prices may surprise you.

 

Consumer Protection | U.S. PIRG

Driving into debt

The hidden costs of risky auto loans to consumers and our communities

 

Consumer Protection

Congressional investigation concludes that Equifax breach was entirely preventable

The worst data breach in history could have been prevented with some basic security measures.

 
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