Judge Orders F.D.A. To Make Plan B Available To 17-Year-Olds

Judge Orders F.D.A. To Make Plan B Available To 17-Year-Olds

Great news, 17-year-olds! A federal judge has ruled that you can now avoid accidental babies by partaking in the emergency contraceptive wonder that is Plan B. Back in 2006, the Food and Drug Administration limited the contraceptive to women 18 and over, and ordered pharmacists to hide the drug behind their counters away from other common contraceptives. Judge Edward Korman ruled this week that the agency’s decision was based on politics not science, and that it constituted an unacceptable public health buzzkill.

Woman Who Missed Obama's Inauguration Starts $10,000 AmEx Chargeback

Woman Who Missed Obama's Inauguration Starts $10,000 AmEx Chargeback

American Express has given her an “interim” refund in full, pending a review that will involve the credit card company presenting to PIC officials all of Blessman’s documentation on the services she feels she was denied.

Banks Didn't Pay Into FDIC Coffers From 1996 To 2006

Banks Didn't Pay Into FDIC Coffers From 1996 To 2006

For 10 years—including the boom times banks enjoyed in the first half of this decade—the FDIC was prevented from collecting fees from 95% of financial institutions, which it would have used to further build up its safety net in the event it would someday have to bail out a bunch of stupid losers who confused banking with alchemy.

Everyone Wave Goodbye To Outgoing FCC Chief Kevin Martin

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is calling it quits as of inauguration day. The Chairman, who could have served for three more years, is heading to the Aspen Institute, a preserve for endangered spectacles masquerading as a “nonprofit leadership group.” Martin’s tenure was a mixed bag for consumers…

Consumers Union Asks Nancy Nord, CPSC To Do A Better Job Explaining These New Toy Testing Rules

Consumers Union Asks Nancy Nord, CPSC To Do A Better Job Explaining These New Toy Testing Rules

In this letter (PDF) sent to CPSC chair Nancy Nord, and released to the public, Consumers Union and a bunch of other consumer interest groups ask the CPSC to please do its part to clear up all the confusion over the coming Toy Testing Apocalypse. Don’t want to read the whole thing? Here’s a much shorter summary:

GM's Prez Begs Customers To Plead On GM's Behalf

GM's Prez Begs Customers To Plead On GM's Behalf

Consumerist reader Darkrose writes, “I just got this in my e-mail. Thought you guys might be interested in it.” In the email, GM’s president Troy Clarke is in high PR mode, pointing out the grave consequences and emphasizing that GM wants not “a bailout but rather a loan that will be repaid.” We thought other readers who aren’t GM customers would find it interesting.

Amazon Lists Barack Obama Mask Under "Terrorist Costume"

Amazon Lists Barack Obama Mask Under "Terrorist Costume"

The LA Times says that Amazon.com had a mask depicting democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama listed under the search term “terrorist costume.” The listing has since been pulled but the LA Times has a screengrab.

Palin Takes Protecting Polar Bears "Very Seriously"

Palin Takes Protecting Polar Bears "Very Seriously"

For the sake of balance, vis-à-vis Obama’s Taking It Seriously, here’s one for Sarah Palin.

Obama's Promises To Consumers

Obama's Promises To Consumers

Obama just gave his acceptance speech to become the Democratic candidate for the next President of the United States of America. Here’s what was in it for consumers, he promised to:

Nestle Paying $230 To Suck Millions Of Gallons Of Water From Florida Until 2018

Nestle Paying $230 To Suck Millions Of Gallons Of Water From Florida Until 2018

Despite fierce opposition from the local water management district staff, and concerns that it would deplete an already scarce natural resource from the people who live there, Nestle managed to secure a deal to pump nearly 1.5 million gallons of water a day into their Deer Park bottling plant for the next ten years. Nestle pays no other fees for the water beyond the $230 license—in fact, “Nestle has received two [tax] refunds totaling $196,000 and requested a third tax refund.” To make the matter even more offensive, the plant hasn’t delivered on its commitment to employ 300 workers, and it so far has failed to bring in the estimated $12 million-a-year to the local economy. The St. Petersburg Times has a rich, infuriating history of the Nestle fiasco and how they’ve conned Floridians out of their own water with the help of state politicians.

Do Presidential Candidates Care About Credit Card Reform?

Do Presidential Candidates Care About Credit Card Reform?

All Presidential candidates should have a plan to wean America off its credit card dependence. We collectively owe almost $1 trillion to credit card companies, but only the Democratic candidates have written plans to reform the credit card industry. Alpha Consumer wrote an excellent summary of their competing plans to strike at some of the industry’s most harmful practices.

Study Says Payday Lenders More Prevalent In Areas Of High Christian Conservative Power

Study Says Payday Lenders More Prevalent In Areas Of High Christian Conservative Power

A law professor and associate professor of geography set out to create the most comprehensive map of U.S. payday lenders to date. What they found, to their surprise, was “a surprising relationship between populations of Christian conservatives and the proliferation of payday lenders.” And it’s not a side effect of a poor population that happens to be Christian, according to the authors: “Our research showed that the correlation between payday lenders and the political power of conservative Christians was stronger than the correlation between payday lenders and the proportion of a population living below the poverty line.”

http://consumerist.com/2008/02/05/a-look-at-where-the/

A look at where the candidates stand on the sub-prime mortgage meltdown and credit crisis. [Bankrate]

Fuel Surcharges Nearly Double Cost Of International Airfare

Fuel Surcharges Nearly Double Cost Of International Airfare

Last week, a United Airlines flight from the US to Tokyo cost $400, plus $300 in fuel surcharges. Airlines say they’re passing on higher fuel costs, but some see it as an excuse to jimmy a hidden fare hike. The Los Angeles Times writes, “You can argue forever about whether this is justified, but how they are doing it shows their worst nature,” [Joesentme.com, a business traveler website] said, noting how, for instance, a surcharge is not eligible for a corporate discount.” Companies love to stuff their operating costs into the fees, taxes and surcharges on your final bill. It means they get to advertise artificially low prices, lure deal hunters, then soak them later.

http://consumerist.com/2008/01/28/president-bush-is-expected-to/

President Bush is expected to use his State of the Union address to tell the Senate to STFU and pass the stimulus package already. [Associated Press]

http://consumerist.com/2008/01/10/tony-blair-will-join/

Tony Blair will join JPMorgan Chase & Co Inc, the third largest bank in the U.S., as a senior advisor. We wonder if Countrywide is courting President Bush for a similar position in 2009.

Do Presidential Candidates Care About Consumer Issues?

Do Presidential Candidates Care About Consumer Issues?

Most Presidential candidates could not care less about consumer protection, but several have taken a stand on one of the sexier consumer issues: toy safety. Let’s break down where they stand.

CPSC Head Nancy Nord Officially Thanks Congress For Consumer Product Safety Vote

CPSC Head Nancy Nord Officially Thanks Congress For Consumer Product Safety Vote

Last week, the House of Representatives voted 407-to-0 to approve a consumer product safety bill that greatly increases the scope and power of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).