consumer protection

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FTC to Ad Firms: Get a Real 'Do Not Track' Option Online

Consumers need to be able to opt out of being monitored, watchdog says

(Newser) - When consumers say they don't want their online activity monitored by companies mining data out of their every click they mean it, the Federal Trade Commission warned yesterday. The consumer protection agency said that if technology and advertising companies can't voluntarily create an effective and easy to use... More »

Obama Will Appoint Cordray Watchdog

Bucks GOP with recess appointment

(Newser) - President Obama is thumbing his nose at Republican opposition and will today name a new US chief consumer watchdog: Richard Cordray. Yep, the same Cordray who Senate Republicans blocked early last month. Obama's decision to make a recess appointment is certain to cause an uproar—he's essentially declaring... More »

Car Owner Spurns Lawyers, Takes On Honda Herself

She's going to small-claims court over hybrid mileage

(Newser) - The Los Angeles Times says it has the potential to become a "small-claims flash mob"—and a major headache for the auto industry along with attorneys looking for a fat payday: A California woman is spurning a proposed class-action settlement and instead taking Honda to small-claims court because... More »

Credit Card Fine Print Remains Indecipherable

... but at least there's hope on the way

(Newser) - Read any good credit card agreements lately? Didn't think so. A follow-up to a July report on the readability of those contracts finds some improvement, but they're still mostly indecipherable and, in fact, beyond the reading comprehension of the average American, reports CreditCards.com . Consumers groups hope the new protection... More »

White House Plans Internet Privacy Watchdog

New consumer protection laws to be drafted

(Newser) - The Obama administration is stepping up efforts to increase regulation of the Internet and protect users' privacy. New laws to bring protections in line with today's technology are being drafted, along with plans to create a new position to oversee the administration's efforts, sources tell the Wall Street Journa l.... More »

Gift Cards Can't Expire for 5 Years

Feds issue new protections for consumers

(Newser) - The Federal Reserve issued new rules today to protect Americans from getting stung by unexpected fees or restrictions on gift cards. Under the rules, consumers must have at least five years to use the cards before they expire. Services fees can go into effect only after the first year, and... More »

GOP Opposes Consumer Agency as 'New EPA'

Senate Repubs resist independent agency as a business-killer

(Newser) - Get ready for a bruising showdown over the consumer protection agency the Democrats are trying to create: GOP senators are pledging to kill a standalone body, which is critical to the Dems' plan. A strong, independent CFPA is anathema, says Utah Republican Robert Bennett: "Can you say EPA?" Bennett... More »

Credit Reform May Drain $9B in Holiday Sales

Consumer protections result in lower limits, less spending

(Newser) - The impending enactment of new credit card law is poised to rob retailers of $9 billion in holiday sales compared to last year. The law, designed to protect consumers from rates being raised on the sly and sneaky fees, already has led to lower credit limits and more rejected applications... 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 »

Bloggers on JPMorgan Chase CEO Replacing Geithner: Nah

Jamie Dimon not in tune with Obama, too invested in big banks

(Newser) - A report today that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has the inside track to replace Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary is getting mostly guffaws online, with even the conservative Wall Street Journal admitting that Dimon’s way too much an insider for the job just now. Indeed, chuckles Daniel Indiviglio... More »

Blue Dogs Offer Own Spin on Finance Reform

Float alternative to Obama's financial protection agency

(Newser) - Blue Dogs are digging in against the idea of creating a “consumer financial protection agency,” a key provision in Barack Obama’s financial regulatory reform plan, Politico reports. Instead, they want existing regulators to collaborate by way of a “consumer financial protection council.” “We’re... More »

Fox to Yard Salers: Unloading Wrong Toy Could Cost You $15M

CPSC launches push to stop the resale of recalled toys

(Newser) - Selling the wrong toy at a yard sale could lead to a fine of up to $15 million under a new government policy, Fox News reports. The Consumer Product Safety Commission's "Resale Round-Up" aims to stamp out the sale of used toys that have been recalled due to high... More »

Teen to Blame for Exploding iPhone? So Says Apple

Company points finger as EU launches inquiry

(Newser) - Tales of spontaneously combusting iPhones across Europe may be fodder for easy jokes, but the whole "business is no laughing matter," writes JR Raphael for PC World. The EU has opened a formal inquiry into the latest incident, in which a French teenager says an exploding screen sent... More »

France Investigates Exploding iPhones

(Newser) - After a glass shard from his exploding iPhone allegedly hit a French security guard in the eye, consumer groups are investigating eight reports of spontaneously cracking or combusting iPhones in France. Consumers in other European countries have reported similar problems with iPhones and iPods, including a UK man allegedly paid... More »

Hello, Senators? Greedy Cell Phone Biz Needs Attention

(Newser) - It's nice to see Congress looking out for the cell phone customer with hearings on carrier exclusivity, but there's plenty of dubious practices in the business they should look into before they worry about getting us all Verizon iPhones, David Pogue writes in the New York Times. 
  • Texting fees.
... More »

Arbitration Firms Quit Consumer Debt Biz

Credit card, cell phone companies scramble to collect by themselves

(Newser) - Credit card and cell phone companies are scrambling as two major arbitration firms back out of the business of settling consumer disputes, the Wall Street Journal reports. The National Arbitration Forum—accused in a Minnesota lawsuit of misleading consumers into thinking it was impartial—will stop taking cases this week,... More »

US May Create Financial Watchdog for Consumers

(Newser) - The Obama administration may create a government agency with sweeping powers to protect consumers who use financial products such as mortgages, mutual funds, and credit cards, reports the Washington Post. Current protections are scattered throughout several agencies. The new plan would corral them under one regulatory commission and create tougher... More »

Obama Picks New Consumer Safety Chair

Wants SC education superintendent to head expanded agency

(Newser) - President Obama is turning to South Carolina's former education superintendent to head an expanded Consumer Product Safety Commission, an embattled agency that has been criticized by advocates for being too cozy with industry, the AP reports. The president was set today to propose two more seats on the panel and... More »

Profanity, Tobacco Cases Top Court's New Term

Judges to decide on consumers' right to sue drug, tobacco companies

(Newser) - The Supreme Court and its Bush-era conservative additions launch a second term today, set to consider "pre-emption" cases that determine whether federal regulation makes drug and tobacco companies immune from state-level lawsuits. Other cases will determine penalties against profanity on radio or TV, a major sexual harassment question, and... More »

Bumped From Your Flight? Airline Could Owe You $800

Feds double amount passengers can receive over overbooked planes

(Newser) - Passengers who get bumped off overbooked flights will be eligible for up to $800 for their inconvenience, the Los Angeles Times reports. The US Department of Transportation today doubled the amount passengers can receive, with the exact figure depending upon the ticket price and how long it takes passengers to... More »

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