Protecting Consumers

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 THE PUBLIC

WISPIRG’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 26 years, WISPIRG’s Trouble In Toyland report has surveyed store shelves and identified choking hazards, noise hazards and other dangers. One year, our research led to the recall of a cloth children’s book that we found contained lead.

BIGGER BANKS BIGGER FEES

In April, WISPIRG 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.

Issue updates

Report | WISPIRG Foundation | Consumer Protection

Trouble in Toyland 2011

Dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America’s store shelves, according to the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group’s (WISPIRG) 26th annual Trouble in Toyland report.

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Report | WISPIRG | Consumer Protection

Recipe for Disaster

According to this study, 54 recalls have occurred in Wisconsin due to contamination by Salmonella and other bacteria related to food borne illness in the last 14 months.

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News Release | WISPIRG | Consumer Protection

WISPIRG Study Finds Cell Phone Companies Have Failed Consumers

Consumer complaints about cell phones and service are skyrocketing, far outpacing the significant growth of the industry, according to a study released today by the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group (WISPIRG). Can You Hear Us Now? A report on how the cell phone industry has failed consumers, chronicles the proliferation of confusing calling plans, billing errors, hidden fees, dropped calls, spotty signal coverage, inadequate customer service and excessive contract termination fees.

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News Release | WISPIRG | Consumer Protection

President Signs Historic Food Safety Bill

Statement of U.S. PIRG Public Health Advocate Liz Hitchcock on the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act that President Obama signed today, strengthening the Food and Drug Administration’s food safety authority for the first time in seventy years.

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Keeping Kids’ School Lunches Safe

For years, Wisconsin’s schoolchildren ate substandard chicken and beef—of such poor quality that fast-food chains wouldn’t even serve it. WISPIRG stood up for kids, and the USDA set stronger standards for school lunches.

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News Release | WISPIRG | Consumer Protection

Retailers Misleading Consumers on the Digital Television (DTV) Transition

In one year, 22 million Americans who rely on free over-the-air analog broadcasting – including many elderly and other vulnerable populations – will be at risk of losing access to TV, which for many is a primary source of news and emergency information as well as entertainment.

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TOY SAFETY TIPS ON-THE-GO

From toxic chemicals to choking hazards to dangerous magnets, see what dangerous toys to watch out for while you shop.

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