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

CALPIRG’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, CALPIRG’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, CALPIRG 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

News Release | CALPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

California’s new “mini-CFPB” is a victory for consumer protection

 

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Friday creating a new consumer protection watchdog in California, the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI). The new agency will have expanded oversight of companies, including debt collectors and credit reporting agencies.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Public Health, Consumer Protection

Fragrances: The toxic truth hidden behind your favorite scent

Fragrances in personal care products can harm consumer health by masking the presence of toxic ingredients. More than 3,000 ingredients hide behind the term fragrance, so when looking at an ingredient list, you can't be sure what's in your product.

> Keep Reading
News Release | US PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

FTC settles first case against VoIP provider for allowing illegal robocalls

This FTC settlement must be a wake-up call to phone service providers so they do more to protect consumers. If not, the FTC must be vigilant in going after companies that enable the immoral practice of preying on consumers. And the FCC should require providers to block spoofed calls that we all know are scams.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Public Health, Consumer Protection, Solid Waste

CALPIRG legislative victories in 2020 | Claudia Deeg

Here’s a recap of some of the innovative new laws, supported by CALPIRG, that passed the Legislature this year:

> Keep Reading

Pages

News Release | CALPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

California’s new “mini-CFPB” is a victory for consumer protection

 

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Friday creating a new consumer protection watchdog in California, the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI). The new agency will have expanded oversight of companies, including debt collectors and credit reporting agencies.

> Keep Reading
News Release | US PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

FTC settles first case against VoIP provider for allowing illegal robocalls

This FTC settlement must be a wake-up call to phone service providers so they do more to protect consumers. If not, the FTC must be vigilant in going after companies that enable the immoral practice of preying on consumers. And the FCC should require providers to block spoofed calls that we all know are scams.

> Keep Reading
News Release | CALPIRG | Consumer Tips, COVID-19, Consumer Protection

Critical bill to shield Californians from price gouging passes legislature

A key bill to protect consumers from price gouging during the COVID-19 crisis passed the California Senate with a bipartisan 39-0 vote Monday.

> Keep Reading
News Release | CALPIRG | COVID-19, Consumer Protection

CONSUMER COMPLAINTS TO CFPB SET NEW RECORD EACH MONTH OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Today, the U.S. PIRG Education Fund released a new report showing that since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, public consumer complaints have skyrocketed, setting a new monthly record each month.

> Keep Reading
News Release | CALPIRG | COVID-19, Consumer Protection

Statement: Critical Bill to Protect Consumers from Price Gouging Passes Senate Floor

Crucial legislation to protect Californians from price gouging, Senate Bill 1196 (Umberg), passed the Senate Floor with a bipartisan 39-0 vote Friday morning. 

> Keep Reading

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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.

> Keep Reading

Keeping Children Safe From Dangerous Toys

Every year, as consumers begin purchasing toys for the holiday season, CALPIRG Education Fund visits numerous toy stores, malls and dollar stores to find potentially dangerous toys sitting on store shelves. In November 2015, we released our 30th annual report, "Trouble in Toyland 2015." Over the years, our reports have led to more than 150 recalls and other regulatory actions, helping to remove dangerous products from store shelves and keep children safe.

> Keep Reading
Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

What are Californians Fixing?

According to our review of data from iFixit, a self-described “repair guide for everything, written by everyone,” nearly 8 million unique users from California went onto their website, www.ifixit.com, to look up how to repair something in 2018.

> Keep Reading
Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

How Safe Is Our Food?

Americans rely on a vast network of farms and businesses to provide safe food daily.  But in recent years, a string of high-profile recalls ranging from romaine lettuce to millions of pounds of beef to Ritz and Goldfish crackers have called into question the system developed to ensure safe food reaches people’s plates. The ubiquity of the problem can make grocery shopping a game of Russian Roulette where what a family has for dinner could make them seriously sick.

> Keep Reading
Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Equifax Breach: One Year Later

One year after publicly announcing the worst data breach in history, Equifax still hasn’t paid a price or provided the information and tools consumers need to adequately protect themselves. The purpose of this report is to make sure consumers have the information they need to protect themselves as much as possible, review what has happened in the last year, and point out the need for state and federal action to prevent breaches as bad as this one from ever happening again.

> Keep Reading
Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Trouble in Toyland

Among the toys surveyed this year, we found potential choking hazards, and two products with concentrations of lead exceeding federal standards for children’s products. We also found data-collecting toys that may violate children’s privacy laws. This report not only lists the potentially dangerous toys that we found this year, but also describes why and how the toys could harm children.

> Keep Reading
Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Lead In Fidget Spinners

While lead in toys has become less prevalent in recent years, U.S. PIRG Education Fund tested several models of one of today’s hottest toys, fidget spinners, for the toxic heavy metal. Laboratory results indicated that two fidget spinners purchased at Target and distributed by Bulls i Toy, L.L.C. contained extremely high levels of lead. U.S. PIRG Education Fund calls on Target and Bulls i Toy to immediately recall these two fidget spinners and investigate how such high levels of lead were found in these toys. Also, we call on the U.S.

> Keep Reading

Pages

Blog Post | Public Health, Consumer Protection

Fragrances: The toxic truth hidden behind your favorite scent

Fragrances in personal care products can harm consumer health by masking the presence of toxic ingredients. More than 3,000 ingredients hide behind the term fragrance, so when looking at an ingredient list, you can't be sure what's in your product.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Public Health, Consumer Protection, Solid Waste

CALPIRG legislative victories in 2020 | Claudia Deeg

Here’s a recap of some of the innovative new laws, supported by CALPIRG, that passed the Legislature this year:

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Public Health, Consumer Protection

Guest Post: California Fire Resources

Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by these devastating wildfires across our state. We pulled together some resources we have found helpful in ensuring that we all stay as safe as possible.

> Keep Reading

Pages

Blog Post | Consumer Protection

In the wake of the Capital One data breach, Ed Mierzwinski and Adam Garber explain how to protect your credit

Were you affected by the Capital One breach, one of the largest thefts of data from any bank to date?

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

State PIRGs go to Washington for Consumer Lobby Day

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

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Congressional testimony underscores how predatory auto loans are driving Americans into debt

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 CALPIRG and our national network are calling for change.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

California passes strongest net neutrality law in the country, sued by Justice Department hours later

The Trump administration is going to court to stop net neutrality in California.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

1 Year After Equifax Data Breach, Here's Everything You Need To Know

One year after announcing the biggest data breach in history, Equifax still hasn’t been held accountable or provided the information and tools consumers need to protect themselves. Since Equifax won’t help protect consumers, CALPIRG is stepping in.

> Keep Reading
News Release | CALPIRG

 

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Friday creating a new consumer protection watchdog in California, the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI). The new agency will have expanded oversight of companies, including debt collectors and credit reporting agencies.

Blog Post

Fragrances in personal care products can harm consumer health by masking the presence of toxic ingredients. More than 3,000 ingredients hide behind the term fragrance, so when looking at an ingredient list, you can't be sure what's in your product.

News Release | US PIRG Education Fund

This FTC settlement must be a wake-up call to phone service providers so they do more to protect consumers. If not, the FTC must be vigilant in going after companies that enable the immoral practice of preying on consumers. And the FCC should require providers to block spoofed calls that we all know are scams.

Blog Post

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

Blog Post

Here’s a recap of some of the innovative new laws, supported by CALPIRG, that passed the Legislature this year:

Consumer Protection

California Legislature passes key protections against price gouging

The California Legislature has passed a CALPIRG-backed bill which will ensure greater protections for consumers against price gouging during emergencies. Our research partners at U.S. PIRG Education Fund have found that some sellers are still using the COVID-19 pandemic to take advantage of vulnerable consumers by dramatically increasing prices of essential goods.

 

Consumer Protection

California Legislature passes bill to make cosmetics toxic-free

The California Legislature has passed the CALPIRG-sponsored Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, which would ban 12 highly toxic ingredients — including mercury and formaldehyde — in beauty and personal care products statewide. The bill passed by a 59-0 vote and aims to address gaps in increasingly outdated laws regulating toxics in cosmetics.

 

Consumer Protection

California Assembly passes Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act

The California Assembly has unanimously passed the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act. The bill is now one step closer to banning highly toxic ingredients in beauty and personal care products that can cause cancer, infertility and a compromised immune system.

 

Consumer Protection

California lawmakers stand up against price gouging

With some sellers continuing to charge excessive prices for essential supplies during the COVID-19 crisis, the California General Assembly is considering a CALPIRG-backed bill that would ensure greater consumer protections against price gouging during an emergency.

 
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