Colleges Are Now Required To List Textbooks During Class Registration

Colleges Are Now Required To List Textbooks During Class Registration

Finding the best textbooks prices just got a whole lot easier now that colleges are required to provide students with a list of required textbooks when they register for classes. The requirement was mandated back in the 2008 as part of the Higher Education Opportunity Act, but only took effect this year. [More]

Mandatory Binding Arbitration Is Almost Dead

Mandatory Binding Arbitration Is Almost Dead

A provision buried deep within the recently passed Wall Street reform bill has the power to finally kill off mandatory binding arbitration, one of the more dangerous anti-consumer practices still sanctioned by law. While the bill includes a limited provision banishing arbitration agreements from mortgages and home equity loans, it also gives broad powers to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to kill off arbitration in all other consumer financial products. [More]

Internet Sales Tax Bill Introduced Again

Internet Sales Tax Bill Introduced Again

Last week, Massachusetts Rep. Bill Delahunt introduced a bill called the “Main Street Fairness Act,” which is a stupid name for a bill. The text of the bill hasn’t been released yet, but if passed, it would presumably set up a process where sales tax could be collected on purchases made over the Internet. As anyone who has shopped online over the past decade is probably aware, this has been an ongoing and thorny issue, since billions in online sales tax would provide a welcome revenue stream for struggling states. [More]

House Of Representatives Says "Okay" To Financial Reform

House Of Representatives Says "Okay" To Financial Reform

It doesn’t look like it’s going to make President Obama’s July 4 deadline, but the financial reform bill did manage to squeak through the House of Representatives on Wednesday with a final vote of 237-192. [More]

Congress Won't Let Traders Gamble On Hollywood Box Office

Congress Won't Let Traders Gamble On Hollywood Box Office

If you were planning on putting your kids through college based on your foreknowledge that Toy Story 3 was going to rock the box office, you’ll need to do your gambling on the black market, because Congress has banned Hollywood box office futures trading. [More]

Financial Reform Bill Oks Minimum, Maximum Credit Charges

Financial Reform Bill Oks Minimum, Maximum Credit Charges

The financial reform compromise may keep our financial system from reprising Chernobyl anytime soon, but it will also change the way consumers use their credit cards. Merchants will soon be allowed to refuse plastic for purchases of less than $10, a rate the Fed can boost as they see fit. Both the Fed and universities will also gain the power to set maximum credit charges. That means no more free flights to Europe after charging your kid’s tuition to your rewards card. The changes will go into effect the day after the compromise is signed into law. [More]

15 Ways To Kick Ass When Testifying

15 Ways To Kick Ass When Testifying

If you are victimized by corporate behavior and asked to testify before a legislative body in order to tell your story and help get a pro-consumer bill passed, it can be really scary. You only have a few minutes to make your case. Are you gonna choke it, or clinch it? Just follow these 15 tips I just learned in a Consumers Union Activist Summit workshop: [More]

Congress To GM: Please Stop Destroying Documents While We Still Own You

Congress To GM: Please Stop Destroying Documents While We Still Own You

Though General Motors has made a big deal about allegedly paying back their bailout loan to the federal government, the fact is that most of the bailout money was turned into equity, which means the government — and ultimately the taxpayers — are the majority shareholder in the car maker. That’s why some members of Congress are a little upset about GM’s continued practice of destroying important documents. [More]

Congresswoman Hints That Comcast May Have Tried To Buy Her Support

Congresswoman Hints That Comcast May Have Tried To Buy Her Support

As the merger of Worst Company In America 2010 and only-worth-watching-for-Biggest-Loser network NBC continues to limp forward through the bureaucratic maze, a California Congresswoman hinted not so subtly yesterday that the cable giant had contacted her in a not-exactly-professional manner. [More]

Congress Putting Genetic-Testing Companies Under Microscope

Congress Putting Genetic-Testing Companies Under Microscope

While Walgreens may have voluntarily chosen not to sell home genetic testing kits in the face of an FDA investigation, its action has brought attention to the entire for-profit testing industry, and others may not have the luxury to quietly shut down on their own. A congressional committee is looking into the business, and could end up regulating the industry. [More]

FDA Announces Widespread Investigation Of McNeil After Tylenol Recalls

FDA Announces Widespread Investigation Of McNeil After Tylenol Recalls

Remember the recalled liquid Tylenol and other children’s medicines last month? Or the stinky drugs that were recalled back in January? Or the children’s Tylenol that was recalled last September? The FDA remembers, which is probably why it’s “conducting a company-wide investigation of McNeil Consumer Healthcare’s drug manufacturing practices to determine whether similar problems exist throughout the company.” Also, a date has now been set (May 27) for the House Committee hearing where the CEO and chairman of parent company Johnson & Johnson are expected to testify. [More]

Cash4Gold Supports Regulations Proposed By Congress

Cash4Gold Supports Regulations Proposed By Congress

Cash4Gold supports legislation designed to regulate it and its competitors, according to a letter from the company’s president, Jeff Aronson. “Cash4Gold supports HR 4501, the Guarantee of a Legitimate Deal Act, and the provisions outlined in the bill,” Aronson wrote to two congressman who are backing the bill.

FCC Leaks Summary Of National Broadband Plan

FCC Leaks Summary Of National Broadband Plan

The FCC has released a scan (PDF) of the five-page executive summary of the National Broadband Plan that it will present to Congress in two days. Although the summary is packed with recommendations, here’s a couple that a lot of broadband customers might be interested in: the FCC wants to develop “disclosure requirements for broadband service providers” so that consumers can make the best choice for service, and it wants to map broadband services across the country to better identify “specific geographies or market segments” where there’s not enough competition. [More]

Toyota Boss Accepts Invite From Congress, Unsure Of What To Wear

Toyota Boss Accepts Invite From Congress, Unsure Of What To Wear

Setting up what is sure to be a thrilling showdown like something out of a Highlander movie, Toyota’s President and CEO Akio Toyoda has decided to accept Congressman Ed Towns’ formal invitation to appear before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. [More]

Toyota's Toyoda Gets Formal Invite To Appear Before Congress

Toyota's Toyoda Gets Formal Invite To Appear Before Congress

In the weeks since it was announced that the U.S. Congress would be holding hearings on the current massive recall of Toyotas, the car giant’s president, Akio Toyoda, had been saying “Thanks, but no thanks,” to the idea of appearing before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. And then yesterday, he softened a bit, saying he would consider attending the hearing if given a formal invitation. Well, Mr. Toyoda… Ask and ye shall receive. [More]

Toyota Boss Slams Brakes On Speaking To Congress

Toyota Boss Slams Brakes On Speaking To Congress

Even though there’s been talk of issuing a subpoena to Toyota President Akio Toyoda, compelling him to speak before Congress, the big boss at the recall-happy car manufacturer has decided to let others do the talking for him. [More]

Senate Introduces Bill To Rein In Early Termination Fees

Senate Introduces Bill To Rein In Early Termination Fees

Yesterday, four senators introduced legislation to make cell phone early termination fees be actually related to the cost of the phone. [More]

Congress Investigates Airline Fees In Search Of Tax Revenue

Congress Investigates Airline Fees In Search Of Tax Revenue

Congress is concerned about the new fees that airlines seem to enjoy piling on their passengers. But not out of any sense of concern for consumers’ wallets. The problem is the lost tax revenue that airports are missing out on when airlines increase their prices through the use of fees instead of by raising fares.