Feds: Green Energy Ponzi Scheme Duped Consumers Out Of $54.5M

Feds: Green Energy Ponzi Scheme Duped Consumers Out Of $54.5M

When someone makes a promise that seems too good to be true: like saying you’ll be “stinkin’, filthy rich” if you invest in their green energy technology, it’s a good idea to look into that proposition with a little more scrutiny. That kind of attractive, yet ultimately worthless deal cost consumers nearly $54.5 million, federal prosecutors say. [More]

Nearly 80% Of Americans Hold Some Form Of Debt, But It Isn’t Always Bad

Nearly 80% Of Americans Hold Some Form Of Debt, But It Isn’t Always Bad

When most people think of debt, they probably conjure up a vision of consumers struggling to make ends meet after making unwise financial decisions. But that actually isn’t the case for most Americans. In fact, like other things, debt in moderation is actually a good thing. [More]

(Sybren Stüvel)

Nearly 70% Of Consumers Rely On Online Reviews Before Making A Purchase

Everyone has an opinion, and nowadays most people are willing to share it; for better or worse. So it shouldn’t be surprising then – what with the sheer number of outlets available in which consumers can express their feeling about products and services – that nearly seven-in-ten consumers actually base their purchases on the digital recommendations of strangers. [More]

Many Americans Still In The Dark About Overdraft Fees & Other Bank Practices

Many Americans Still In The Dark About Overdraft Fees & Other Bank Practices

While millions of consumers contribute to the $32 billion in overdraft fees collected each year, a new video shows that many checking account holders don’t fully understand the way overdrafts work or how much they spend on the fees each year. [More]

(Van Swearington)

NHTSA Reviewing Petition To Open Investigation Into Ford Vehicle Lighting Issues

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened and closed an investigation into lighting issues in several models of Ford vehicles back in 2008 without demanding a recall. That decision apparently isn’t sitting well with a consumer group that has petitioned the agency to reopen the case after receiving additional complaints. [More]

(Andy Jones)

Nearly 7% Of Americans Say Their Smartphone Is Their Only Way To Get Online

We may often joke that losing our smartphone would mean being cut off from the outside world. While that’s likely an exaggeration for many consumers, a new report from The Pew Research Center finds Americans’ reliance on smartphones to stay connected with the rest of the world is very real, especially when it comes to accessing the internet. [More]

(eyetwist)

Outline For Payday Lending Rules A Good Start, But Not Enough To Fully Protect Consumers

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released the first details of long-awaited regulations governing payday loans and other small-dollar lines of credit known to thrust consumers into a devastating cycle of debt. While consumer advocates were quick to applaud the Bureau’s work, and those in the financial industry to voice displeasure with aspects of the potential rules, both groups agreed that the coming months will involve more time and effort to craft meaningful protections for both sides of the issue.  [More]

Can New Payday Loan Rules Keep Borrowers From Falling Into Debt Traps?

(Adam Fagen)

Nearly one in four consumers continue to turn to high-cost, short-term financial products like payday loans, auto-title loans and other pricey alternatives when struggling to make ends meet, even though research shows these expensive lines of credit often leave consumers worse off than when they began. After nearly three years studying the issue, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is now announcing its first attempt to protect consumers from predatory lenders. [More]

A desktop 3D printer on display at the MakerBot booth during the 2015 CES.

3D Printers: Should They Be In Every Consumer’s Home?

It would be an understatement to say that 3D printing is a big draw at the 2015 CES. The industry is well represented with small startups and well-known companies shilling the latest and greatest technology for creatively minded consumers. But aside from jewelry makers, hobbyists and educational institutions, we’re left wondering why would the average consumer want a 3D printer and what would they actually use it for? [More]

Which Is Worse To Get Caught Drunk Eating On Video: Styrofoam Or Chips Off A Train’s Floor?

(MissMassey on YouTube/LiveLeak

There’s something about today that is bringing in evidence of some behavior we’ve all likely been guilty of: Eating while drunk and feeling like whatever you’re consuming is just the best darn [insert preferred drunk food/cheese] you’ve ever ingested. But in the two videos the Internet has dumped ashore today, we’re pretty sure these people take that guilty pleasure to new heights. [More]

Survey: Consumers Willing To Pay More If It Makes Them Feel All Warm And Gooey Inside

Survey: Consumers Willing To Pay More If It Makes Them Feel All Warm And Gooey Inside

What do clean water, locally sourced labels and certified organic products have in common? Tough one, right? They are all thing consumer are willing to pay more money for in order to feel as if they’ve made a difference in the world. [More]

Distracted Shoppers Buy More When There's Some Negative Info

Distracted Shoppers Buy More When There's Some Negative Info

Established wisdom is that you should only talk about how awesome your product is. But a new study finds that shoppers in distracted settings tend to buy more when products are marketed with a touch of negative info, what is known as “the blemishing effect.” [More]

Brain Cells In Fear And Rage Sector Change When You Shop

Brain Cells In Fear And Rage Sector Change When You Shop

Single brain cells become altered in unison when you’re shopping, a new study finds. [More]

Consumers Are Ditching White Bread For Wheat Bread

Consumers Are Ditching White Bread For Wheat Bread

Rejoice Michael Pollan, it’s finally happening: wheat bread is almost more popular than white bread. Consumers are increasingly skipping past the Wonderbread for healthier-looking fare that either has “natural” in the name or whole grains visible through the packaging. [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]

Savings Rate Goes Up, But Spending Doesn't

Savings Rate Goes Up, But Spending Doesn't

As a nation, we saved more of our paychecks last month than any time since last September–nearly 4% of income went unspent. That worries economists, because it means we’re not spending at a high enough rate to support an economic recovery. But as the Washington Post notes, since unemployment remains high and most of the recent wage growth came from the government, consumers aren’t exactly comfortable with buying something shiny and new just because it’s on sale. [More]

Consumers Have More Trust In Companies That Tweet

Consumers Have More Trust In Companies That Tweet

A new survey shows that 75% of consumers think companies that tweet or post Facebook updates are more deserving of their trust than companies that don’t. The CEO of Fleishman-Hillard, which conducted the survey with Harris Interactive, says he thinks it shows that companies need to respond to crises much more openly and quickly than in years past: “Not in a 24-hours news cycle, but in minute-to-minute monitoring.” [More]