Consumer Protection

Avoid the Debt Trap

Avoid The Debt Trap provides you with the tools to avoid misleading and predatory practices by financial institutions and the knowledge you need to protect yourself, empowering students as financial consumers. This guide will help you understand and manage the basics of personal finance: banks, bank accounts, ATMs, bank fees, credit & debit cards, credit scores, budgeting, debt collection, ID theft, and financial privacy.

Toy Safety Tips

From toxic chemicals to choking hazards to dangerous magnets, see what dangerous toys to watch out for while you shop.

Trouble in Toyland

The 2012 Trouble in Toyland report is the 27th annual U.S. Public Interest Research Group survey of toy safety. In this report, U.S. PIRG provides safety guidelines for consumers when purchasing toys for small children and provides examples of toys currently on store shelves that may pose potential safety hazards.

News Release | ConnPIRG | Consumer Protection

Over 30 Years, Car Lemon Law Saves Connecticut Consumers Over $60 Million

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the enactment of the Connecticut Car Lemon Law, the first- in-the-nation consumer protection that has returned more than $60 million in refunds and replacement automobiles to Connecticut consumers.  Its passage in Connecticut was followed by similar laws in every state in the country and several foreign countries.

News Release | Student PIRGs | Consumer Protection, Higher Ed, Student Debt

Banks Skim Millions in Fees from Student Aid Using Debit-Card-Linked Student IDs

Washington, D.C. – Over 9 million students are at risk for increased educational debt, due to bank-affiliated student debit cards that come with high fees, insufficient consumer protections, and few options. Financial institutions now have affinity partnerships with almost 900 campuses nationwide, grafting bank products onto student IDs and other campus cards to become the primary recipient of billions in federal financial aid to distribute to students.

The Campus Debit Card Trap

Banks and other financial firms are taking advantage of a variety of opportunities to form partnerships with colleges and universities to produce campus student ID cards and to offer student aid disbursements on debit or prepaid cards. In addition to on-campus services, such as student ID functions offered on the card, some cards offer traditional debit card services linked to bank accounts; other cards provide additional reloadable prepaid card functions. The disbursement of financial aid and university refunds is the most significant partnership identified.

Groups target textbook prices to rein in college costs

A push to create free or inexpensive textbooks is gaining momentum as educators, philanthropists and policymakers nationwide search for new ways to rein in college costs.

Report | ConnPIRG | Consumer Protection

The Campus Credit Card Trap: A Survey of College Students and Credit Card Marketing

The results of a nationwide USPIRG survey of more than 1500 students at 40 colleges in 14 states, show that students overwhelmingly support limits on campus credit card marketing.

Report | ConnPIRG | Consumer Protection

Total Recall: The Need for CPSC Reform Now

The year 2007 was called the year of the recall. But in 2008, recalls are up, according to Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) data. Already, as these data show, more toys and children's products have been recalled in the first half of this year than in the first half of last year, a supposed "100-year-flood" period.

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