Consumer Protection

Credit CARD Act Turns 5, A Big Success Story

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

The Credit CARD Act of 2009,  has its 5th birthday today on May 22. It is a government success story that cleaned up a Wild West credit card marketplace by eliminating unfair tricks and traps without destroying the market. Let's celebrate by extending it to other card markets--debit and prepaid cards.

Since its formation in 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proven itself a worthy cop on the financial beat: It has already returned more than $1.5 billion in unfair bank and credit card fees to consumers. Yet too many people may still be unsure how to get the most out of this new federal agency.

Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

The Unfriendly Skies

It seems as if every consumer has an airline travel story—how they were trapped on the tarmac, tricked by fees, missed their connection, or lost their bag. What many consumers don’t know is that they have a number of new rights as well as a right to complain, both to the airline and to the government. This report tracks five years of consumer complaints and highlights which airlines received the most complaints and what kinds of complaints were most common.

News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Report: Spirit Is Most Complained-About Airline

Spirit Airlines passengers are most likely to complain about their experience, according to a report released today by the Illinois PIRG Education Fund. Among major airlines, Spirit generates the most complaints for its size and generates an increasing number of complaints each year. Other most-complained about firms include Frontier Airlines, United Airlines, and American Airlines.

News Release | Illinois PIRG | Consumer Protection

How To Protect Yourself From the "Heartbleed" Bug

"Heartbleed" bug affects 2/3rds of websites on the internet.  Here is what you need to know to protect yourself:

Your Rights as an Air Traveler

Here’s a quick roundup of your rights concerning flight delays, cancellations, and what to do if the airline loses your bag.

We testify on data breaches again

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Today, I testify in the House Financial Services Committee in the latest hearing on the Target data breach. As I did in the Senate last month, I will try to shift the debate from the supposed need for a "uniform national data breach notification standard" to more important issues, such as improving consumer rights when they use unsafe debit cards to ensuring that standards for payment card and card network security are set in an open, fair way that holds banks and card networks accountable for forcing merchants and consumers to rely on inherently unsafe, obsolete magnetic stripe cards.

Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Debt Collectors, Debt Complaints

This is the fifth in a series of reports that review complaints to the CFPB nationally and on a state-by-state level. In this report we explore consumer complaints about debt collection, with the aim of uncovering patterns in the problems consumers are experiencing with debt collectors and documenting the role of the CFPB in helping consumers successfully resolve their complaints.

News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Report: Mistaken Identity Tops Debt Collection Complaints

Debt collectors trying to collect debt from the wrong person were the top source of complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), according to a report released today by the Illinois PIRG Education Fund.

Senators Support Improving Debit Card Fraud Rights

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

At a hearing Monday on Target and other data breaches, Senators endorsed our longtime platform that all plastic -- debit or credit -- should have the same consumer protections. Right now, Debit card users have "zero liability" promises from their banks, but credit card users have strong protections by law.

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