consumer advocacy

11 Stories

Paying Cash? Credit Cards Are Still Costing You Money

Rebates drive up prices for all but reward only users of plastic: Economist

(Newser) - Credit card rebates and rewards may seem like a great thing—like getting free money. The problem is that they're driving up the prices of everything we buy, writes economics professor Larry Harris. What's worse, people who pay cash—maybe because they're too poor to qualify for... More »

That Energy Star Label Might Be Lying

It's common, along with other green marketing fibs

(Newser) - Green-themed false advertising is everywhere: More than 95% of consumer products on the market make some sort of unproven claim or outright lie about environmental benefits, a new study shows. In fact, about 12,000 examples of so-called greenwashing (unsubstantiated claims of being "all-natural" or free of BPA chemicals,... More »

Dangerous Chemical in Zhu Zhu Pet: Watchdog

Maker denies stuffed hamster contains unsafe level of antimony

(Newser) - The manufacturer of Zhu Zhu Pets is defending Mr. Squiggles against charges the stuffed hamster contains unsafe levels of a dangerous chemical. The robotic toys are the big hit of the holiday shopping season—or they were, before GoodGuide said one model has more than the permitted level of antimony,... More »

US Squelched Data on Car Phone Danger

(Newser) - In 2003 a federal agency compiled hundreds of pages of research on the dangers of using cell phones while driving, but suppressed the findings because of pressure from Congress. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a part of the Transportation Department, also planned a long-term study of the risks of... More »

Hasbro, Discovery Join to Launch Kids Channel

Toy maker plans to use kids network to promote merchandise

(Newser) - Hasbro and Discovery have struck a deal to revitalize the flagging Discovery Kids Network, the Los Angeles Times reports. Hasbro, manufacturer of Transformers and GI Joe, will buy a 50% stake in Discovery Kids for $300 million. The company plans to emphasize merchandise based on programming on the network, which... More »

You Can't Binge on This Anymore

Food makers shrink packages instead of hiking prices

(Newser) - The half-gallon of ice cream is going the way of the soda fountain, as many manufacturers shave ounces off the size of prepackaged foods—without reducing prices, reports the New York Times. The practice, a response to the bump in transportation and ingredient costs, isn't novel, but the reaction is,... More »

Turf-Makers Sued Over Lead

As fake grass ages, toxin levels 20 times legal limit

(Newser) - California has sued three top turf-makers, claiming they are deliberately hiding the fact that their products contain lead, the Los Angeles Times reports. State law requires labeling of products containing the metal, which gives a "natural" green color to fake grass. Lead can cause cancer, birth defects, and damage... More »

Docs Pay Patients to Post Surgeries on YouTube

But critics worry that payoffs skew testimonials

(Newser) - When her doctor offered her a $100 discount to post her Lasek surgery on YouTube, Michelle Wilder was perplexed. “I was wondering, ‘Who wants to see my surgery?’” she says. But the money talked, and now you can see Wilder, and thousands of others, go under the... More »

Appeals Court Strikes Down NY's Passenger 'Bill of Rights'

Federal deregulation law takes precedence

(Newser) - A New York law, known as the airline “passenger bill of rights,” was rejected today by a US appeals court, Bloomberg reports. The measure required airlines to provide food and water when their delayed plane has sat on the tarmac for more than three hours. The court said... More »

In the Works: Wireless Bill of Rights

States fight feds over who will regulate

(Newser) - Wireless carriers seem to have angered a few too many consumers with hidden fees and surprise charges. Politicians in 22 states are considering various versions of a wireless consumers’ bill of rights, reports BusinessWeek. But the wireless industry, daunted at facing different regulations in every state, is throwing its weight... More »

Nader Will Reveal Election Plans

He'll announce decision on 'Meet the Press' Sunday

(Newser) - Ralph Nader will announce this weekend whether he intends to run for president again. He's been talking to “lots of people on all sorts of levels” about a potential bid, said Nader's spokesman from the 2004 race. The announcement comes Sunday on "Meet the Press." “Obviously,... More »

11 Stories