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How to make sure your credit reports don’t include paid medical debt | Patricia Kelmar

Medical debt, even when it is paid off, remained on credit reports for up to seven years. That's about to change. Here's how to make sure paid medical debt doesn't lower your credit score.

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Blog Post

Buying a car should be less confusing - and the FTC can help | R.J. Cross

It's easy to spend thousands more on a car than you meant to, especially when dealerships use tricks and traps to lock you into bad deals. The FTC has proposed new rules to help.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

What to do if you suspect a gas pipeline leak

Methane gas—marketed as “natural” gas—has heated homes of many Americans for over a century and, for just as long, has been prone to leaks, putting communities and the environment in danger. When it leaks, methane gas can do significant damage, especially when it catches fire or explodes. 

This guide will explain the warning signs and how to keep your family safe if you suspect a gas pipeline leak in your community. 

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund

Methane Gas Leaks

Methane gas (marketed as “natural gas”) has heated the homes of many Americans for over a century – and for over a century, it has been prone to leaks, putting communities and the environment in danger. With growing awareness of the impact of methane leaks on the climate, and with growing availability of safer alternatives, it is clear that gas has no place in a modern clean energy network.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund

Report: Damaging methane gas pipeline leaks happen every 40 hours in the U.S.

BOSTON, MA—Methane gas—marketed as “natural” gas—has been piped through our communities for heating and cooking for over a century, and, for just as long, has been leaking. On Thursday, MASSPIRG Education Fund, Environment Massachusetts, and Frontier Group released a new report that finds from 2010 through nearly the end of 2021, almost 2,600 gas pipeline incidents occurred in the United States that were serious enough to require reporting to the federal government. That’s the equivalent to one every 40 hours. They were joined at the press conference by Mothers Out Front, Gas Leaks Allies, and EnergizeAndover.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

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, infringement on our online privacy is a huge threat, even when you just have apps running in the background. The new tips guide from U.S. PIRG Education Fund (PIRG’s research partner) 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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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Solid Waste

‘Failing the Fix’ scorecard grades Apple, Google, Dell, others on how fixable their devices are

BOSTON -- Consumers often don’t know which products will last and they’ll be able to fix, or which manufacturers make fixable devices and support Right to Repair. A new scorecard from MASSPIRG Education Fund, “Failing the Fix,” ranks the most popular cell phone and laptop makers for consumers who seek to purchase easily repairable products – especially those from companies who do not fight Right to Repair.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

ADVISORY: NEW REPORTS, TIP GUIDES FOR NATIONAL CONSUMER PROTECTION WEEK, MARCH 6-12

MASSPIRG Education Fund offers beneficial advice to help your audience on a range of issues Americans face daily

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Media Hit

Gas stoves are a risk to your health and emitters of dangerous pollutants

Most of us assume that products on the market are safe. It’s reasonable to think that retailers would provide ample information if a product posed a potential threat to your health. We see examples of this all the time, like warning labels on cigarettes or choking hazard warnings on toys with small parts. As consumers, we expect to be informed.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Solid Waste

Statement: Consumer, environmental advocates welcome Coca-Cola’s commitment to reuse

ATLANTA--- The Coca-Cola Co., the world’s top plastic polluter according to a recent Global Brand Audit, announced on Thursday a new commitment to use refillable or returnable glass or plastic bottles – or refillable containers at fountains and dispensers – for at least 25% of global beverage sales across its entire brand portfolio by 2030.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund

Make the Ringing Stop

Research by PIRG Education Fund shows that among 49 of the largest phone companies nationwide (those that can serve 1 million or more), only 16 have reported to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that they have completely implemented anti-robocall technology. What does this mean? It means the industry isn’t doing nearly as much as hoped to fight the crime that for years has caused so much heartache and aggravation among consumers nationwide.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

The CFPB Turns 10

As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) turns 10 years old, a new report from MASSPIRG Education Fund recaps how the agency has helped consumers over the past decade and the steps under way to refocus the CFPB on its mission after three years of retrograde decisions under the Trump Administration. The report also provides recommendations for CFPB action moving forward, especially on credit reporting.

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Report | US PIRG Education Fund | Antibiotics

Chain Reaction VI

The Chain Reaction VI report and scorecard ranks America’s top restaurant chains on their policies relating to antibiotic use in their beef supply chains. 

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund

Virtual Wallets, Real Complaints

Consumer complaints about peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps such as PayPal, Venmo and Square have surged during the pandemic year. In April, there were 970 digital wallet complaints — almost double the previous monthly high from July 2020. MASSPIRG Education Fund analyzed this growing problem for Virtual Wallets, Real Complaints, a new analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) Consumer Complaint Database.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Public Health

Looking Inward 2021

Some of the largest cosmetic and personal care companies are doing a poor job informing the public on what ingredients are going into their products, hiding potentially toxic chemicals from consumers. This report found 20 of 26 surveyed brands had failed to adequately disclose product ingredients to consumers and the average ingredient disclosure score was 5.56 out of 10, or an F, pointing to a need for improvement across the industry.

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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 | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

U.S. PIRG Education Fund, Environment America Research & Policy Center and ClientEarth announced a lawsuit against Washington Gas in District of Columbia Superior Court on Thursday over misleading customers on the environmental impacts of natural gas.

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Manufacturers will need to ensure that the battery compartments that use button or coin batteries are not easily accessible by children age 6 and younger.

Blog Post

Here are the steps to getting a written good faith estimate before receiving scheduled medical care. 

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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Your tax-deductible donation supports MASSPIRG Education Fund’s work to educate consumers on the issues that matter, and to stand up to the powerful interests that are blocking progress.

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MASSPIRG Education Fund is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.