Consumer Protection

Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection, Higher Ed

Private Loans, Public Complaints

Thousands of American students are using the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) public Consumer Complaints Database to settle disputes about private student loans, according to a new report from the Illinois PIRG Education Fund

CFPB gets results for consumers, slams Chase for deceptive card add-ons

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Earlier this week, USPIRG Education Fund released "Big Banks, Big Complaints," a report documenting how the CFPB is helping bank customers with its public complaint database. Today, the CFPB announced it had imposed a $20 million civil penalty on JP Morgan Chase and ordered it to refund $309 million to over 2 million consumers for deceptively marketing junky credit card add-on products, some of which consumers didn't even receive. The CFPB is getting results.

Obamacare Launch: What Students Need to Know

Being young and healthy, health insurance does not seem like a first priority, especially since it can be expensive. Nevertheless, running the risk of not having insurance has always been a high one; an unexpected emergency and trip to the hospital could cost several hundred to several thousand dollars without insurance.

Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Big Banks, Big Complaints

Thousands of Americans are using the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s public Consumer Complaints Database to settle disputes with their banks, according to a new report from the Illinois PIRG Education Fund. The report highlights banks that generated the most complaints through their various banking services in each state.

News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

New Report Documents a Decade of Safety Violations by Compounding Pharmacies

The contaminated drug that caused last fall’s fungal meningitis outbreak and killed 55 people is just the tip of the iceberg of an industry-wide problem, according to a new report released today by Illinois PIRG. The meningitis outbreak was simply the latest and deadliest in a long line of errors and risky practices by compounding pharmacies.

Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Prescription for Danger

The fungal meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated steroid injections that killed 55 people to date and sickened more than 740 is one of the worst public health disasters the nation has seen in recent history. The tainted injections came from a drug manufacturer doing business as a “compounding pharmacy,” a classification which allowed them to evade the system of safety rules, inspections, and oversight that keep our drug supply safe. According to an analysis of warning letters sent to other compounding pharmacies by the FDA from 2002 to 2012, there is a long history of similar violations that have in many cases led to unnecessary illness, injury, and even death. 

The letters clearly show that compounding pharmacies have been exploiting loopholes in the regulatory system for at least a decade. This public health crisis starkly highlights the difference in how compounding pharmacies are regulated compared to pharmaceutical companies, and the need for reform. 
 

How the CTA can protect consumers

By

The new Ventra fare card system, set to be rolled out to CTA riders this summer, has left people with a lot of questions about whether the system will be a good deal for Chicagoans.  The CTA will have one of the first transit fare systems in the country to be linked to a prepaid debit card – a largely unregulated product that can make it easy for private banks to gouge consumers with hidden fees and unpredictable charges.  

Ventra is the new payment system for Chicago transit that will eventually allow customers to use a single fare card for regional transit throughout the Chicago area.  The new "Ventra Card" will include  the option of registering for a prepaid debit card - but you need to be careful.  This prepaid debit card can leave you on the hook for hidden fees and unpredictable charges.  

Ventra: What You Need to Know

Ventra is the new payment system for Chicago transit that will eventually allow customers to use a single fare card for regional transit throughout the Chicago area.  Unfortunately, the card comes linked to a prepaid debit card that could leave you on the hook for hidden fees and unpredictable charges.  To help keep you from getting ripped off, this resource includes:

  • What “Ventra” is
  • What will Change from the Current Fare System
  • Fees Associated with the New “Ventra” Transit Card
  • Fees Associated with the new Mastercard Prepaid Debit Card
  • Tips to Avoid Paying Fees
  • What You Should Know About Prepaid Debit Cards

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