Consumer Protection

PROTECTING CONSUMER SAFETY—Toys should not be toxic or dangerous for children to play with. Our food should not make us sick. The terms for banking and credit accounts should be clear and easy to understand.

LOOKING OUT FOR CONSUMERS

CoPIRG’s consumer program works to alert the public to hidden dangers and scams and to ban anti-consumer practices and unsafe products.

TROUBLE IN TOYLAND

For 30 years, CoPIRG’s "Trouble In Toyland" report has surveyed store shelves and identified choking hazards, noise hazards and other dangers. Our report has led to at least 150 recalls and other regulatory actions over the years.

Get our tips for avoiding dangerous toys.

BIGGER BANKS, BIGGER FEES

In April, CoPIRG released a report in which we surveyed more than 350 bank branches and revealed that fewer than half of branches obeyed their legal duty to fully disclose fees to prospective customers, while one in four provided no fee information at all. We also found that despite widespread stories about the “death” of free checking, free and low-cost checking choices are still widely available, if consumers shop around.

Find out how to beat high bank fees.

SEE ALL CONSUMER RESOURCES

Issue updates

News Release | CoPIRG | Consumer Protection

As 9-1-1 Fees Rise, Senate Bill Aims to Disconnect Consumer Watchdog

On the day a State Senate committee considers a bill to stop Colorado’s consumer watchdog from reviewing the 9-1-1 fees charged to Coloradans each month on their telephone bills, a new report highlights how some Colorado residents fees are four times higher than others. According to the report by CoPIRG, 9-1-1 surcharges on customer telephone bills, which fund a patchwork of local communities’ 9-1-1 services like Call Centers, have grown by 44% since 1998 and residents in Summit County and San Juan County in Colorado pay the highest fees.

> Keep Reading
Report | CoPIRG | Consumer Protection

9-1-1 Surcharges

Whether you are a farmer on the Eastern Plains with a cell phone, a small business owner in a Western Slope town with a traditional landline, or a retired couple in suburban Denver using an internet-based cable phone service, you pay a fee every month on your telephone bill to ensure that when you dial 9-1-1, your call will be answered.  As fees increase and new 9-1-1 technologies are considered, it is critical that Colorado’s consumer advocate, the Office of Consumer Counsel, is allowed to do its job and ensure consumers are getting the value and service they deserve from our 9-1-1 network

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News Release | CoPIRG | Consumer Protection

Governor Steps up to the Plate for Consumers

Governor John Hickenlooper stepped up to the plate for consumers on Monday by calling for the full reauthorization of Colorado’s Consumer Advocate, the Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC). For 30 years, the OCC has gone to bat for consumers and saved Coloradans $1.7 billion but could be permanently benched if the Legislature does not renew the agency by May 6th.

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News Release | CoPIRG | Consumer Protection

Legislature, Governor Must Step up to the Plate for Consumers

 Despite a 30-year track record of going to bat for consumers and saving Coloradans $1.7 billion, Colorado’s Consumer Advocate is in danger of being permanently benched if the Colorado General Assembly and Governor do not step up to the plate and reauthorize it. With just ten days left before the Legislature adjourns, CoPIRG launched a late inning push to get the Legislature and Governor to go to bat for Colorado’s consumer MVP so it can continue to fight for consumers on electric, gas and telecommunication utility issues in the upcoming years.

> Keep Reading
News Release | CoPIRG | Consumer Protection

Legislature, Governor Must Step up to the Plate for Consumers?

 Despite a 30-year track record of going to bat for consumers and saving Coloradans $1.7 billion, Colorado’s Consumer Advocate is in danger of being permanently benched if the Colorado General Assembly and Governor do not step up to the plate and reauthorize it. With just ten days left before the Legislature adjourns, CoPIRG launched a late inning push to get the Legislature and Governor to go to bat for Colorado’s consumer MVP so it can continue to fight for consumers on electric, gas and telecommunication utility issues in the upcoming years.

> Keep Reading

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News Release | U.S. PIRG

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has released research showing that the financial sector overrelies on overdraft fees and non-sufficient funds (NSF) revenue, which reached an estimated $15.47 billion in 2019. Ironically, one of America’s 15 largest banks, Capital One, announced earlier in December that it will eliminate all overdraft and NSF fees.

Report | CoPIRG Foundation and U.S. PIRG Education Fund

We looked at the data around more than 200,000 complaints against the airline industry and the data around flight departures and arrivals starting in January 2016. This analysis should help consumers to take as much as possible into account when deciding where to fly and through which airline.

News Release | CoPIRG Foundation and U.S. PIRG Education Fund

When the COVID-19 pandemic turned life upside down in early 2020 and commercial flights came to a near-halt, the U.S. government gave the airline industry $50 billion to save jobs and keep the industry afloat. Since then, despite surviving because of their customers’ tax dollars, the airlines repeatedly have canceled and delayed flights, denied refunds and failed at customer service, according to complaints filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Not First Class: Flyer complaints soar as airlines cancel flights, deny refunds, ruin plans, a new report released Thursday by CoPIRG Foundation analyzes more than 200,000 DOT complaints going back to 2016. 

News Release | U.S. PIRG

The Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act (VCFCA) was reintroduced in the House Committee on Financial Services on Monday. This bill would limit interest rates on loans and go a long way toward protecting consumers, including veterans, who are often victimized by predatory lenders.

Consumer Protection

Not First Class

Our report highlights how flier complaints have soared as airlines cancel flights, deny refunds, and ruin plans. Find out which airlines have the most complaints and what you can do.

 

Consumer Protection

Report: Colorado consumers faced major challenges with credit bureaus, debt collectors in 2020

If you were treated unfairly by a financial company such as a credit bureau in 2020, you're not alone. "Consumers in Peril," a CoPIRG Foundation report on the top marketplace threats that Americans faced in 2020, found that problems with banks, credit bureaus and debt collectors were among the top consumer complaints.

 

Consumer Protection

Auto Loan Complaints Rise

A review of complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Consumer Complaint Database reveals a sharp spike in consumer complaints about auto purchasing, leasing and finance since the beginning of the pandemic.

 

Consumer Protection

Gov. Polis signs anti-price gouging bill into law

Gov. Jared Polis has signed into law a CoPIRG-backed bill that makes it illegal to sell food, fuel, medical supplies or other necessities for excessively high prices during a declared emergency. In Colorado and across the country, some sellers have been using the pandemic to take advantage of consumers by dramatically raising prices for essential goods.

 
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