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How to recognize fake online reviews of products and services | Hannah Rhodes

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.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

The hidden costs of ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’

U.S. PIRG Education Fund reviewed data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and found that the most common complaints about “Buy Now, Pay Later” plans include hidden fees, high interest rates and problems when it comes time for debt collection.

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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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Report | U.S. 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, bought and sold by the companies running the apps.

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News Release | MASSPIRG

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

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.  MASSPIRG Education Fund’s 36th annual Trouble in Toyland report shows that many of those toys are counterfeit or recalled products, but still make their way into consumers’ shopping carts.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | COVID-19

Hampden County pediatric and public health professionals addressed parents’ hesitancy to vaccinate children against COVID-19

In a public forum last night sponsored by the MA Chapter of the Academy of Pediatrics, MA Association of Public Health Nurses, and MASSPIRG Education Fund, local experts in pediatric and public health addressed parents' concerns and discussed safely vaccinating children against COVID-19.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | COVID-19

Virtual forum to discuss vaccinating children against COVID-19

Hampden County-based pediatric and public health experts are holding an online forum to share information about safely vaccinating children against COVID-19. Speakers will share their professional expertise and experiences, and answer audience questions.

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News Release | US PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

Onions identified as cause of nationwide Salmonella outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Wednesday evening that a nationwide Salmonella outbreak stems at least in part from whole onions imported from Chihuahua, Mexico, and distributed in this country by ProSource Inc.

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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 | MASSPIRG Education Fund

Consumers In Peril

A review of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s public complaint database finds that consumer complaints about financial grievances spiked during the pandemic year of 2020, eclipsing 2019, the previous record year. 

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund

Accelerating the Transition to Electric School Buses

This new report explains how school districts and utilities can work together to acclerate the switch to electric school buses, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the health of the kids that ride them everyday. 

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund

Highway Boondoggles 6

In our sixth annual Highway Boondoggles report we profile six budget-busting highway expansion projects that are poised to go forward amid COVID-related budget shortfalls.

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Report | MASSPIRG

TALKING TURKEY: A GUIDE TO BUYING TURKEY RAISED WITHOUT OVERUSING ANTIBIOTICS

As Americans head to the grocery store to purchase their Thanksgiving turkeys, U.S. PIRG has released its first ever “Talking Turkey” guide to purchasing turkeys raised without overusing antibiotics. Turkey producers use more medically important antibiotics per pound of meat produced than any other sector of the meat industry, and studies have shown that routine use of antibiotics in meat production can lead to an increase in antibiotic-resistant “superbugs.” 

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Blueprint for America

Americans agree: Our nation’s infrastructure needs work. This report provides the blueprint that should form the basis of an infrastructure plan that will make America stronger today and lay the foundation for a brighter future. 

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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 | 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 | Consumer Tips

How to spot fake online reviews | Hannah Rhodes

With the overwhelming number of reviews found both on website listings and social media, we pulled together the best tips to spot fake reviews when shopping online.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

What I decided to do after shopping for long-term care insurance | Mike Litt

Before listening to In Case You Get Hit By a Bus, I didn’t know about insurance that covers the costs of long-term care, such as home health care or nursing home care, for people who need assistance with daily living activities. 

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund

Two major recalls from the last seven months showcase the weaknesses in our food recall system: It often takes too long for companies and regulators to notify grocers, consumers, restaurants and food packagers, particularly regarding Class I recalls with a “reasonable probability” that exposure or use of the product could cause “serious adverse health consequences or death.” And once grocers find out, they aren’t required to contact customers who may have already purchased contaminated products. While many stores do quickly notify customers one way or another, the practices aren’t uniform and aren’t always timely. Meanwhile, people continue to get sick.

The ​​CDC estimates that one in six Americans become ill every year from foodborne diseases. Among those, 128,000 wind up in the hospital and 3,000 die.

News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund

BOSTON-- When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled 225 varieties of bagged lettuce, spinach and salad products in December because of potentially deadly contamination, it took the FDA a week to post a public notice on its web site. While many stores quickly notify customers of recalls one way or another, they’re not required to, and their practices are neither uniform nor always timely. Meanwhile, the ​​Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimatesthat one in six Americans get sick each year from foodborne diseases. Of those,128,000 wind up in the hospital and 3,000 die.

Blog Post

We see hundreds of food recalls every year. Some lead to people being hospitalized or even dying. Consumers should consider what they can do to help protect themselves and their families by finding out about food recalls quickly.

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

After decades of danger and more than 200 infant deaths, President Joe Biden signed the  Safe Sleep for Babies Act into law on Monday.

Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Cities and states need to adopt policies and make investments designed to cut pollution and give people more options for getting where they need to go. 

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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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.