Scott W. Vincent

Listen To This Creepy Robocall & See Why 750K People Want Free Robo-Blocking Tools

As if auto-dialed, pre-recorded robocalls weren’t bad enough, scammers are now blasting out robocalls that use poorly synthesized text-to-talk programs in an effort to try to frighten people into thinking they are being sued. [More]

Phillip Bradshaw

Consumers Union Asks FTC To Investigate Mylan For Possible Antitrust Law Violations

The EpiPen is a necessity for people who are at risk of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening type of allergic reaction. They’re a common item in kids’ backpacks and home first-aid kits, and the name has become a generic term that refers to epinephrine auto-injectors. Yet the product itself is only available as a brand-name product that costs hundreds of dollars. [More]

MeneerDijk

New Rules Aim To Regulate Online College Programs

Colleges offering distance education, such as online courses, must receive authorization from each state where it has students in order to receive federal financial aid, according to recently released rules that aim to better regulate the online education industry and ensure students understand what protections they have when attending a college in another state.  [More]

Safety Advocates Applaud IKEA Recall, Hope Consumers Return Or Anchor Dressers

Safety Advocates Applaud IKEA Recall, Hope Consumers Return Or Anchor Dressers

Safety advocates were deeply disappointed earlier this year when the news came that another child was killed that the very popular Malm dresser from IKEA fell on top of him. It’s horrible every time that an ordinary household object kills someone, but this model of dresser was part of a voluntary repair program that IKEA wouldn’t call a recall. Now the dressers have been officially recalled, but that should have happened before another child died. [More]

Anti-Robocall “ROBOCOP Act” Gets New Life In Senate

Anti-Robocall “ROBOCOP Act” Gets New Life In Senate

Two months ago, Rep. Jackie Speier (CA) introduced the ROBOCOP Act, a bill that would compel phone service providers to finally make it easier for customers to block automated and prerecorded robocalls. With that bill sitting idly in committee — and executives like AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson incorrectly claiming they need permission to deploy robo-blockers — maybe it’s time for ROBOCOP 2: The Senate Version. [More]

frankieleon

Florida Implements Law Protecting Consumers From Surprise Medical Bills

Florida is now the second state behind New York to shield consumers from expensive surprise medical bills, as Governor Rick Scott today signed into law legislation that would protect patients from balance-billing in both emergency and non-emergency hospital situations.  [More]

(alexkerhead)

Lawmakers Renew Push To Curb Unwanted Robocalls

In the last few days, legislators in both the House and Senate have once again pushed the issue of nuisance pre-recorded, auto-dialed robocalls back into the spotlight — urging telecom providers to give customers more tools for blocking these calls, and trying to roll back the government’s ability to abuse robocalls for its own debt-collection purposes. [More]

Sapurah Lashari

Advocates: Schools Using Forced Arbitration Shouldn’t Receive Federal Aid

For-profit colleges that require students to sign away their legal rights, forcing them into arbitration in order to enroll in classes should not receive federal financial aid, a coalition of 47 consumer advocacy groups urged acting Secretary of Education John King on Friday.  [More]

Coalition Forms To Fight “Mega Cable” Merger Between Charter, TWC, & Bright House

Coalition Forms To Fight “Mega Cable” Merger Between Charter, TWC, & Bright House

Last year a group of unlikely allies came together to create the coalition called Stop Mega Comcast to, well, stop the creation of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable mega company. This year, a similar group of improbable allies have come together to oppose the latest big-cable merger between Time Warner Cable, Charter, and Bright House Networks.  [More]

TWC has updated its VoiceZone site to include the option of turning Nomorobo on or off with a click.

Time Warner Cable Integrates Robocall-Blocker Into Telephone Service

While traditional phone companies have been reluctant to integrate available call-blocking technology to help consumers avoid unwanted “robocalls,” some six million Time Warner Cable customers will now be able to turn on a free feature that can cut down on these telephonic annoyances. [More]

CenturyLink customers joined Consumers Union's End Robocalls team this morning to deliver a petition to the CL offices in Phoenix.

More Than 500,000 People Ask CenturyLink To Help End Robocalls

Even though the FCC has said that landline operators can offer robocall-blocking technology to their customers, many of them have so far chosen to not do so. That’s why our colleagues at Consumers Union hand-delivered a petition with more than 500,000 signatures to CenturyLink this morning, hoping to drive home how fed-up consumers are with these unwanted interruptions. [More]

(alexkerhead)

Phone Companies Can Filter Out Robocalls, They Just Aren’t Doing It

Even in an age when everyone has Caller ID on their cellphones and landlines, when more than 200 million numbers are listed on the national Do Not Call Registry, our phones are still inundated with unwanted auto-dialed and prerecorded calls. And though state and federal regulators regularly shut down illegal telemarketing operations, it can seem like a game of Whac-A-Mole, with new robocallers popping up to replace the old ones. [More]

Provision In Highway Funding Bill Would Require The IRS To Use Private Debt Collectors

Provision In Highway Funding Bill Would Require The IRS To Use Private Debt Collectors

While federal regulators continually work to crack down on private debt collectors that utilize unsavory, illegal tactics to make consumers pay up, government agencies often contract these entities to collect a variety of debts. That practice could continue if a provision in the Highway Trust Fund Bill receives approval.  [More]

New Campus Banking Rules Hope To Protect Students From High Prepaid & Debit Card Fees

New Campus Banking Rules Hope To Protect Students From High Prepaid & Debit Card Fees

Back in May, the Department of Education proposed rules to govern college prepaid and debit cards in order to afford students proper protections from excess fees and other harmful practices. Fast forward five months, and those rules have are now finalized.  [More]

Lawmakers Introduce Legislation To Curtail Surprise Medical Bills

Lawmakers Introduce Legislation To Curtail Surprise Medical Bills

There are good surprise and there are bad surprise. Falling into the latter category are unexpected medical bills, which affect nearly 30% of privately insured Americans. This week, lawmakers took steps to shield consumers from these often burdensome tabs.  [More]

Consumer, Privacy Groups Urge Federal Regulators To Investigate T-Mobile/Experian Hack

Consumer, Privacy Groups Urge Federal Regulators To Investigate T-Mobile/Experian Hack

A week after Experian revealed that hackers stole personal information for around 15 million consumers from a database of T-Mobile customers and applicants held by the credit reporting agency, a group of 25 consumer and privacy advocates are demanding that federal regulators open an investigation into the breach.
[More]

New Bill Would Punish Corporate Execs With Jail Time For Lying About Deadly Products

New Bill Would Punish Corporate Execs With Jail Time For Lying About Deadly Products

Even though General Motors has acknowledged that more than 100 people died because the carmaker failed to fix defective ignition switches, the recent $900 million settlement with federal prosecutors means that not a single person at GM will see a day behind bars. A newly introduced piece of legislation hopes to hold corporate officers accountable when they conceal information about potentially deadly products. [More]