Good news, Iowans! Your legislature has decided to enact a consumer bill of rights giving you the power to sue businesses that commit fraud. Unless, of course, you’re going after banks, attorneys, insurance providers, doctors, cable companies, telecoms, utilities, veterinarians, realtors, charities, architects, or certain retailers. Still, the bill isn’t entirely useless…
A Connecticut mall has to pay $259,000 in settlement fees to consumers who bought gift cards that had monthly inactivity fees.
Last month, several consumer groups sent President-elect Obama a letter detailing a pro-consumer agenda for the new administration and Congress. One of those suggestions, supported by an editorial in today’s New York Times, is reinstating the position of special assistant to the President on consumer affairs, also known as the consumer czar.
If the recent economic meltdown has a bright spot, it is the possibility that smart regulation may return. There will always be those who will cheat if they can, putting both consumers and the market at risk. It cannot function properly without regulation to prevent cheating and ensure consumers are getting a fair deal. But without a private right of action and attorney fees, consumer protection regulations are nearly worthless. A “private right of action” means…
On activism: You want a better country, you’ve got to spend more of your time more time away from american idol, and more time on your members of Congress. We’re millions of people, but corporations don’t have a single vote, and members of congress are there because of our votes, so make those votes count.
The temporary law powering the CPSC has expired, reducing our supposed watch-dog agency to a neutered shadow that can’t adopt new safety standards, order mandatory recalls, or enforce existing consumer protection laws. The Commission could get back to work with three small tweaks.
The Credit Card Bill Of Rights Act, which was introduced on Thursday in the U.S. House of Representatives, would limit interest rate hikes and late fee penalties that credit card companies use to unfairly squeeze profits from customers.
A Home Depot store has been fined $1500 for refusing to issue rain checks for items that were advertised on sale, but were not available for purchase. Many communities have regulations that state that if an item is advertised as being on sale without mentioning a specific limited quantity, the retailer has a legal obligation to issue a rain check that will allow the customer to purchase the item later for the sale price.