Senators Introducing Bill Making It A Crime For Companies (Like GM) To Cover Up Dangerous Defects

Senators Introducing Bill Making It A Crime For Companies (Like GM) To Cover Up Dangerous Defects

GM has spent the year in trouble: their massive recall has come with a slew of investigations, fines, congressional hearings, and lawsuits. But the company has been able to claim incompetence and avoid other potential penalties. Now, two U.S. senators are introducing a bill that will make it much more difficult for the top brass at companies that don’t report lethal errors to plead stupid in the future. [More]

Senators Hope To Block New Student Enrollment At For-Profit Corinthian Colleges

Senators Hope To Block New Student Enrollment At For-Profit Corinthian Colleges

Days after the U.S. Dept. of Education brokered a deal with Corinthian Colleges — the operator of for-profit school chains like WyoTech, Heald Colleges, and Everest — that would allow these programs to remain open while it faces numerous state and federal investigations, a dozen Senators have asked the Education Secretary to block continued enrollment at Corinthian-owned schools. [More]

AT&T Says DirecTV Merger Will Save Money, But Not For Customers

AT&T Says DirecTV Merger Will Save Money, But Not For Customers

While the folks at AT&T and DirecTV try to claim that their proposed merger is different from the pending marriage of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, both deals have one bit of double-talk in common, with the companies all saying their respective deals will help them be more efficient and save money while no one is willing to commit to passing those savings on to customers. [More]

Regional Sports Channels Highlight Problem With Comcast/TWC Merger

For Dodgers fans in L.A. without Time Warner Cable, going to see a game live may the only way to catch a game. (photo: Atwater Village Newbie)

When Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal questioned Comcast and Time Warner Cable execs about how the merger of these companies would impact regional sports programming, the two cable operators shrugged it off as a silly question. But it’s not, and here’s why. [More]

Why Every Driver Should Care About The GM Ignition Recall

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The massive ongoing recall of General Motors vehicles with faulty ignition switches (and the dozen years the company spent not issuing a recall) has made headlines, launched lawsuits, angered legislators, but many consumers who don’t own a recalled car have shrugged and said, “Glad I don’t drive one of them.” [More]

Comcast To Senate: “Bigger Is A Good Thing”

Comcast To Senate: “Bigger Is A Good Thing”

This morning, executives from Comcast and Time Warner Cable attempted to make a case to the Senate Judiciary Committee for the proposed $45 billion merger of the two companies, and the skeptical panel of lawmakers wanted to know what benefits this combination of the country’s two largest cable/Internet providers would bring to anyone other than the companies’ shareholders and the TWC execs who will be given huge paychecks to leave the merged company. [More]

Believe It Or Not, Outlawing Payday Loans Will Not Lead To Looting & Pillaging

Believe It Or Not, Outlawing Payday Loans Will Not Lead To Looting & Pillaging

Critics of payday lending say the practice traps many borrowers in a debt spiral, forcing them to take out additional loans to pay back the first. Yet these short-term loans do have proponents (many of them profiting from the industry) who claim that without this pricey option for quick cash, desperate consumers will turn to more unsavory means, leading to increased crime rates and other doom and gloom predictions. But does that really happen? [More]

Senator Asks Justice Department To Hold GM Responsible For Ignition Fire Lawsuits

Senator Asks Justice Department To Hold GM Responsible For Ignition Fire Lawsuits

Earlier this year, GM issued a massive recall of nearly 1.4 million vehicles due to problems with the ignition switch. GM apparently knew about those problems — which have caused several fatalities — for up to thirteen years before issuing the recall, and reportedly also ignored piles of consumer complaints in that timeframe. Consumers’ entirely predictable lawsuits against GM have already begun, but those lawsuits are facing a big potential snag. [More]

Connecticut Walmarts Charged Sales Tax On Tax-Exempt Gun Safes

Connecticut Walmarts Charged Sales Tax On Tax-Exempt Gun Safes

Since 1999, shoppers in Connecticut have not had to pay the state’s 6.35% sales tax on gun safes and other firearms-safety items, but someone forgot to tell the Walmarts of Connecticut, which have been improperly charging the tax to customers. [More]

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New Law Would Modernize Nutrition Labels, Clarify Terms Like “Healthy” & “Natural”

While food production has gotten more sophisticated and complex, and we now know much more about how the human body is affected by a wide variety of ingredients, there haven’t been any changes to the food labeling provisions of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act since 1990, and some sections of the law have not been updated since 1938. So in an effort to bring nutrition labeling into the 21st century, lawmakers in both the House and Senate have introduced legislation that would require clear front-of-package labeling while clarifying when companies can use marketing buzz words that may be misleading. [More]

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Lawmakers Call Out Energy Drink Makers For Inconsistent Labeling, Shady Marketing Practices

Despite repeated reassurances to the public that their energy drinks are safe and not marketed to kids, a group of lawmakers is calling the manufacturers of those drinks out for a variety of concerns listed in a new report. From labeling practices to potentially unsafe amounts of caffeine, the report details widespread labeling inconsistencies, questionable marketing practices and how much caffeine is in those beverages. [More]

This is what the real memorial page for Victoria Soto looks like.

Months After Newtown School Shooting, Facebook Finally Gets Around To Dealing With Scammy Tribute Pages

It’s been more than two months since the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, and just as long since heartless, greedy scammers immediately jumped on the event as an opportunity to enrich themselves with fake Facebook pages. Now the site is finally doing something about it. [More]

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Senators Take Another Stab At Eliminating Paid Medical Debt From Credit Reports

This happens all too frequently: Someone with good credit suddenly incurs a large number of medical bills. Sometimes it’s too much money for the person to pay off in time, sometimes one bill will get overlooked and the debt is sent to collections. That person’s credit will now carry that stain for up to seven years. [More]

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Professor Tries, Fails To Defend Payday Lending As Legitimate Form Of Credit

Most regular readers of Consumerist know that we’re not exactly fans of payday loans, which charge upwards of 25 times the interest of a high-interest credit card and hundreds of times the interest on a standard loan. And yet, there are people — well-educated people at that — who stick with the argument that payday loans are a good thing. [More]

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Senators Call For An End To Payday Lending By Banks

Four of the nation’s largest banks — Wells Fargo, Fifth Third Bank, U.S. Bank and Regions Bank — are involved in high-interest, short-term loans that may not always be called “payday” loans but might as well be. Thus, a group of five U.S. senators have asked regulators to put a stop to the practice altogether. [More]

Senators Call For Investigation Into Employers Asking For Facebook Access

Senators Call For Investigation Into Employers Asking For Facebook Access

Last week, Facebook came out swinging against the practice of employers asking employees or potential hires for access to their social network accounts, in order to dig around and find out more about them. And now, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Charles Schumer are pushing the government to investigate the matter further. [More]

Today Is World Consumer Rights Day… Where Are All The Doorbuster Sales?

Today Is World Consumer Rights Day… Where Are All The Doorbuster Sales?

On March 15, 1962, President Kennedy addressed Congress and called for everyone to recognize four basic consumer rights — the right to safety, the right to be informed, the right to choose, and the right to be heard. It’s a message worth repeating. [More]

Lawmakers Call For End To NFL Blackouts; Jacksonville Jaguars Fan Rejoices

For fans of football teams with poor stadium attendance, Sunday afternoons can be a dreary experience of having to watch Cheers re-runs while occasionally checking the score of the game you’d be watching if it weren’t blacked out. But if a quintet of senators get their way, these black outs would come to an end. [More]