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Consumer Protection

NYPIRG’s cutting edge consumer work focuses on protecting consumers from unfair, deceptive and harmful practices and dangerous products. We work to expand the useful information available to consumers so they can make the best decisions to meet their needs and strive to increase marketplace competition to reduce consumer costs. Our agenda spans the consumer protection issue spectrum, including banking, insurance and other financial products and services; privacy and cyber security; product and facility safety; public health; improving access to the justice system; and providing direct consumer counseling.

Issues

Child Safety: NYPIRG regularly releases two child safety reports: Treacherous Toys and Playing it Safe. These reports serve to educate parents and child-care providers about potential play hazards. Our work has led to toy recalls, playground repairs, and legislation to make toys and playgrounds safer. (read more)

Product Safety: Since its inception, NYPIRG has focused on protecting consumers by preventing injuries and deaths. NYPIRG’s successes in the area of product safety include New York being the first state to enact a cigarette fire safety law, banning the use of toxic lead in the weights used to balance motor vehicle wheels, and requiring reverse mechanisms for automatic garage door opening systems.

Small Claims Court Action Center: For more than 30 years, NYPIRG has offered counseling to New Yorkers when they need help navigating the small claims courts or have consumer problems, including complaints regarding the purchase of shoddy goods or services, deceptive business practices, and a landlord’s failure to reimburse for repairs or return a security deposit. This service is free of charge and is not a legal service. (read more)

Cyber Street Smart: NYPIRG launched the Cyber Street Smart project in the fall of 2007. The project’s centerpiece is an informative website: www.cyberstreetsmart.org. This project and website are designed to arm consumers with information they need to protect themselves from cyber scams and frauds including identity theft, phishing, work-at-home scams and more.

Financial Services: NYPIRG’s financial services work has focused on making banking and insurance services affordable and accessible for all New Yorkers. In recent years, banks have raised fees, created new fees, and made it tougher for their customers to avoid paying these high fees. (read more)

Fuel Buyers Group: NYPIRG’s Fuel Buyers Group uses group buying power to save consumers hundreds of dollars anually on the price of home heating oil and natural gas. Find out if you qualify.

Reports & Features