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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 | Solid Waste

STATEMENT: Apple concedes to Right to Repair movement, reverses ban on selling parts to consumers

Apple reversed its longstanding policy against selling spare parts, providing repair instructions, and making repair software tools available to customers.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

36th annual Trouble in Toyland report exposes risks of counterfeit and other dangerous toys

According to the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, it is not always easy to determine whether a gift is safe or not, especially online, when you can’t inspect the item and it may be mislabeled, or missing a warning, such as a recall notice. Thus far in 2021, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled 13 toys. The recalled toys posed risks including high levels of lead, potential ingestion by a child, and small parts from easily broken toys.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Arizona Corporation Commission Adopts Policies Related to Utility Disconnections

After two years of deliberations, today the Arizona Corporation Commission voted to adopt a rule that sets a series of policies in place related to when electric and gas utilities in Arizona can disconnect a customer’s service in the summer.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | COVID-19

Students Launch COVID-19 Educational Outreach On Vaccines At PCC

Pima Residents 18+: Take a brief anonymous survey right now about the COVID-19 vaccine. Timed to coincide with the upcoming vaccine clinics on Pima Community College campuses and prompted by lower vaccination rates among young people, students with PIRG Campus Action and the Arizona Public Interest Research Group (Arizona PIRG) Education Fund have escalated their campaign urging more students at PCC to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

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News Release | US PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

Consumer guide: tips to help consumers avoid cars damaged by flood water

The current shortage of used cars on the market -- and correlated increased prices -- could make consumers more desperate and vulnerable to falling for a bad deal.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Ready to Charge

The Ready to Charge fact sheet by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group emphasizes that Arizona needs more charging capacity to support electric vehicle adoption and notes policies that can help promote EV adoption: expand public charging capacity, make EV chargers more accessible by increasing interoperability, and increase the visibility and price transparency of public charging stations.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Virtual Wallets, Real Complaints

Consumers are increasingly using digital payment apps -- Venmo, Cash App and Zelle are a few --  for convenience. A 2020 Nerdwallet survey found that “[r]oughly 4 in 5 Americans (79%) use mobile payment apps.[1]” The apps were originally marketed as a way for friends to split expenses. However, the ease of opening peer-to-peer (P2P) accounts,[2] the ease of obtaining information about other users and a variety of ways to trick consumers have created new fraud risks to users.[3]

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Getting Off The Hook Of A Predatory Tow

Every year, millions of Americans have their cars towed. In some cases, the vehicle was parked improperly, the driver tracks it down and pays the bill without incident. Other times, the vehicle owner may face an array of unfair circumstances. Predatory practices following an initial tow can range from charging exorbitant fees to refusing the owner access to personal items in their car during business hours.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Electric Buildings

New and improved technologies are putting clean, efficient electric space heating and water heating, and electric appliances like stoves within the reach of most American households. Analysis shows that electrifying the vast majority of America’s residences and commercial spaces by 2050 could reduce net greenhouse gas emissions from the residential and commercial sectors by about 306 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) in 2050. That is the equivalent of taking about 65 million of today’s cars off the road.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Transform Transportation

By rebuilding our transportation system to give more people the option to spend less time in a car, by expanding access to active means of travel such as walking and biking, and by adopting zero-emission electric cars and buses, we can make our transportation safer, healthier, cleaner and more efficient.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

How I’m supercharging my savings with socially responsible investing (SRI) | Mike Litt

Getting my finances in order has been a work in progress over several years, starting with tackling credit card debt, paying off my car loan and then building an emergency fund. 

After clearing those hurdles, I set more defined financial goals and plans in motion this year, including automatic deposits into new investment accounts.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

Post office slowdown: How to cope with new delays in our mail delivery that start Oct. 1 | Teresa Murray

This means everything from bills to birthday cards will arrive later in our mailboxes. And credit card and loan payments, RSVPs and government forms we send will take longer too. 

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Blog Post

Apple* and John Deere* shareholders file resolutions questioning their anti-repair stances | Nathan Proctor

Shareholders press these leading Right to Repair opponents to explain themselves as regulatory pressure mounts 

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

18 tips to reduce robocalls and protect yourself from scams | Teresa Murray

The good news: Illegal robocalls seem to be declining a bit. The bad news: They'll probably never go away completely. Consumers need to remain vigilant to protect their personal information and their money. 

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

Make the ringing stop: The FCC is finally fighting back against robocalls | Teresa Murray

Scam robocalls have declined by 29 percent since June. But most of us still get too many. And the industry overall isn't doing enough.

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Blog Post

There are lessons for pre-schoolers, pre-teens, high schoolers and certainly, young adults going off to college or moving out.

News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund

According to a new report by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, “Ringing in our Fears”, a year after a new federal law aimed at fighting robocalls went into place, the number of phone companies that have adopted the required technology has quadrupled and the volume of scam robocalls has dropped in half. But the Arizona PIRG Education Fund said that spam texts have increased more than tenfold as con artists and identity thieves find alternative ways to steal Americans’ personal information and money.

Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund

According to a new report by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, one year after a new law, robocalls are down and phone company compliance is up. However, robotexts are skyrocketing.

Blog Post

Illegal robocalls seem to be declining a smidgeon as more phone companies install federally mandated technology to block spoofed calls and detect other scam calls. Here are some tips to live by and share with vulnerable friends or relatives.

News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund

According to a new report by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group, gas pipeline incidents across the U.S. were serious enough to require reporting to the federal government at the equivalent of one every 40 hours from 2010 through nearly the end of 2021. 

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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