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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

The hidden costs of "Buy Now, Pay Later"

Years ago, before credit cards were widespread, department stores offered layaway plans on some items. You paid in advance over a weekly or bi-weekly schedule and the store guaranteed that the item would be in stock after you’d paid the total cost (including some fees for the service). Variants included Christmas clubs and other “holiday club” plans.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

Tips on ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Plans | Teresa Murray

Complaints are soaring about the “Buy Now, Pay Later” financing schemes that businesses increasingly are offering as an alternative to up-front payments in full. Consumers making purchases as small as $50 online are often offered these payment plans, which can turn into debt traps. Here are some tips to avoid the interest and fees that often come with these “deals.”

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

Dark Patterns: A step-by-step guide to protect your privacy on your phone

Apps and social media are a part of everyday life. They help us stay connected to the world around us. But it can be easy to overlook the risk involved with making personal information accessible online, especially when that information can be recorded, and bought and sold, by the companies running the apps. You can take some control by changing your account settings.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

News Release: Dark patterns: Your apps know too much about you, so what can you do?

When National Consumer Protection Week began in the late 1990s, many Americans still didn’t have internet access at home, let alone on mobile devices. Now, according to the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, infringement on our online privacy is a huge threat, even when you just have apps running in the background. A new tips guide from the Arizona PIRG Education Fund can help consumers control access to their private information and what companies can do with your data if they get it.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

Surprise Billing Patient Protections

One in five insured Americans who have surgery or visit an emergency room receive a surprise medical bill. Surprise medical bills occur when patients get “balance billed” for the difference between what their insurer covers and what an out-of-network provider charges. Often, patients don’t know that the provider who treated them was out-of-network until they’re at home, recovering, and they receive a medical bill for hundreds or even thousands of dollars that their insurance company isn’t obligated to pay. See our tips to help you know and use your rights.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Best Buy urged to protect consumer health with gas stoves labeling

The typical gas stove, when not properly vented, can produce air pollution levels indoors that exceed outdoor air standards. Yet millions across the country rely on gas stoves for cooking. The Arizona PIRG Education Fund has joined with other State PIRG Education Funds to launch a new campaign calling on Best Buy to take a leadership role in the industry, and better educate consumers shopping for new stoves. 

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Se Insta a Best Buy a proteger la salud del consumidor colocando etiquetas de advertencia en las estufas de gas

Cuando una estufa de gas típica no se ventila adecuadamente, puede producir niveles de contaminación del aire en interiores que exceden los estándares del aire exterior. Sin embargo, millones de personas en todo el país dependen de las estufas de gas para cocinar. Los estudios muestran que muchos hogares no cuentan con campanas de escape o no las usan regularmente, lo que significa que sus estufas no se ventilan adecuadamente. Según la organización Arizona PIRG Education Fund, parte del problema es que los comerciantes no proporcionan advertencias adecuadas para informar a los consumidores de los peligros o la necesidad de ventilación.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Arizona Corporation Commission Rejects Energy Rules; Puts an End to Crucial Consumer Protections to Eliminate Waste, Save Billions

The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) and Arizona PIRG Education Fund denounced today’s action by the Arizona Corporation Commission to put an end to Energy Rules that would have ramped up energy-saving measures and saved Arizonans billions of dollars on their utility bills.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Holiday cooking safety guide offers tips on avoiding indoor air pollution from gas stoves

The holiday season often entails spending a lot of hours in the kitchen cooking. As millions of Americans prepare holiday meals to share with their families, a guide by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund offers tips on how to minimize unhealthy air pollution from cooking with gas in your home. Without proper precautions, too much exposure to a gas stove can lead to an unnecessary and invisible health risk, since gas stoves can cause elevated levels of indoor pollution that would exceed legal limits for outdoor air.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

ACC’s Transportation Electrification Plan Approval Will Protect Ratepayers, Help Arizona Act on Climate, & Improve Air Quality

Conservation and public interest groups today welcomed the Arizona Corporation Commission’s (ACC’s) vote to approve the final phase of a comprehensive Transportation Electrification Plan that aims to foster electric vehicle use, charging infrastructure development, and innovative rate designs for electric vehicle (EV) charging. The vote also requires regulated utilities to provide ongoing comprehensive plans at least every three years and report annually on their progress.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

Arizona Top Ten 2021 Consumer Financial Complaint Issues In the CFPB Database

Arizona PIRG Education Fund downloaded 2021 complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and ranked by issue the problem the consumer self-identified as having with a company.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Deere in the Headlights II

According to a new Arizona PIRG Education Fund report, software repair locks tie farmers to dealers, putting equipment uptime—and sometimes crops—at risk. Farmers and ranchers rely on equipment such as tractors and combine harvesters to produce America’s food supply. Over the years, that equipment has gotten bigger, more expensive and more digital. The software integrated in modern tractors, ostensibly created to make farm operations more efficient, is being used by manufacturers to lock farmers out of fixing their own equipment. 

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Healthier Holiday: Minimizing the health risks of cooking with gas

Many of our holiday traditions revolve around food. Whatever the tradition, there’s nothing like sharing a meal with family and friends over the holidays. But in millions of homes, there’s a hidden danger lurking in the kitchen. Common across the country, gas stoves can produce levels of indoor air pollution that would be illegal outdoors.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Not First Class: Flyer complaints soar as airlines cancel flights, deny refunds, ruin plans

Not First Class: Flyer complaints soar as airlines cancel flights, deny refunds, ruin plans, a new report released by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, analyzed more than 200,000 DOT complaints going back to 2016 and found the airline industry is failing its customers.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

Trouble In Toyland

Even though legitimate toymakers deserve kudos for making their products much safer over the years, too often, Americans end up buying dangerous toys for children for the holidays. PIRG Education Fund’s 36th annual Trouble in Toyland report shows that many of those toys are counterfeit or recalled products that still make their way into consumers’ shopping carts.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

How I got my finances in order | Mike Litt

Even with the knowledge I’ve gained working as a consumer advocate for several years, getting my finances in order has been a work in progress. 

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Blog Post

Semiconductor shortages highlight need for more resilience, repair | Liza Koman

Right to Repair would help us weather supply chain issues, reducing need for more stuff

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

How I started my estate and end-of-life planning | Mike Litt

Until recently, I did not have estate and end-of-life planning in mind, but it was the natural next step in my quest to be a responsible adult, with a nudge from the existential threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Resources I used to prepare my advance directive | Mike Litt

Advance directives are legal instructions that include a living will (different from a regular will) and a health care proxy. In them, you state what treatments you do or don’t want at the end of your life and who you want making health care decisions for you if you can’t. 

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Blog Post

7 steps to take if your car is towed 

News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund

In recognition of Consumer Protection Week 2022, Arizona PIRG Education Fund released a series of consumer protection tips and tools to help Arizonans address some of the most common consumer issues. To make it easy for consumers, the organization compiled the information in one location.

Blog Post

Being alert when shopping online is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from unsafe products. 

Blog Post

A fake review could be done by the company itself, by posting a fabricated positive review on its own site or by posting concocted negative reviews on a competitor’s site.

Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund

Salt River Project (SRP) is rushing a decision to spend nearly $1 billion in customer money for 16 new gas units. However, SRP has not disclosed how much this will cost the average ratepayer nor have they adequately requested or evaluated options to meet electricity demands or reviewed options to spend less money. 

Solid Waste

PIRG hosts webinar with MythBusters' Adam Savage on Right to Repair

Our national network and the Right to Repair team organized a summit featuring keynote speaker Adam Savage from MythBusters. He shared his thoughts with us on the movement and we discussed our current progress on the Right to Repair campaign.

 

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