Consumer Protection Updates

News Release | CoPIRG | COVID-19

CoPIRG applauds Colorado bill to tackle price gouging

CoPIRG calls for the swift passage of a new price gouging bill that gives the Colorado Attorney General a greater ability to protect consumers against price gouging during an emergency or crisis. The bill, HB20-1414, sponsored by Representatives Weissman and Titone and Senators Foote and Pettersen, establishes that entities that sell food, fuel, medical supplies or other necessities for an excessive price during a declared emergency will run afoul of the state’s current prohibition against deceptive practices. 

News Release | CoPIRG Foundation | COVID-19

After public outcry, ventilator repair restrictions loosen

CoPIRG and the national federation of state PIRGs have been pressuring ventilator manufacturers to remove restrictions on who can fix these life-saving devices. Our efforts, along with those of our allies at Repair.org, got a boost last week, when Colorado Treasurer Dave Young and state treasurers from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Illinois, and Rhode Island sent a letter to manufacturers calling for them to release proprietary repair manuals, service keys, schematics and repair software. In response, some manufacturers are loosening restrictions on repair information. 

Do I have to make my monthly student loan payments? Should I?

By | Olivia Sullivan
Zero Waste Campaign, Associate

People have lots of questions. Can I get a refund for my airfare? Will I be able to pay my bills? The question that has been on my mind the most recently is will I be able to keep up with my student loan payments in addition to all my other expenses?

Report | CoPIRG Foundation | Solid Waste

What are Coloradans Fixing?

According to a review of data from iFixit, a self-described “repair guide for everything, written by everyone.” 1.2 million unique users from Colorado went onto their website www.ifixit.com to look up how to repair something in 2018. The top ten device types that Coloradans attempted to fix were cell phones, laptops, automobiles, tablets, desktop computers, gaming consoles, wireless speakers, vacuums, controllers and clothing. 

News Release | CoPIRG Foundation | Solid Waste

New report: 1.2 Million Colorado users accessed a single website to fix their stuff

A new analysis of the do-it-yourself repair website iFixit.com found a huge number of Coloradans are attempting to fix their cell phones, laptops, vacuums and cars, even as some manufacturers create unnecessary and unwarranted barriers to repair. In 2018 alone, 1.2 million unique users in Colorado accessed iFixit.com, just one of the many websites that offers guides, videos and tutorials to consumers and professional independent repairers on how to fix everything from vacuums to cars to cell phones. Cell phone repair guides were by far the most popular, receiving 21 percent of all the page views. Eight of the top ten things Coloradans were trying to fix were consumer electronics. 

Unsafe food recalls in the U.S. are trending the wrong way. From 2013 to 2017, they rose 10 percent overall, and a whopping 83 percent for the most hazardous meat and poultry recalls.

News Release | CoPIRG Foundation and the Financial Equity Coalition | Consumer Protection

Prohibition on triple-digit payday loan rates goes into effect Feb 1st

Tomorrow, Colorado joins fifteen other states and the District of Columbia in stopping predatory payday lenders from charging Coloradans triple-digit rates to borrow small loans of $500 or less. Starting February 1st, payday loan companies can no longer charge interest and fees that add up to over 200% APR but must abide by Colorado’s usury cap of 36%. The change comes after 77% of voters passed Proposition 111 in November, ending an era of predatory payday lending practices that targeted low-income borrowers, veterans, and communities of color. Coloradans will save an expected $50 million per year in payday loan fees.

News Release | CoPIRG Foundation | Consumer Protection

New report: Food recalls increased 10 percent since 2013

From E. coli-infected romaine lettuce to Salmonella-tainted beef, contaminated foods lead to illnesses that sicken as many as 1 in 6 Americans annually. In 2018, this epidemic helped spur major recalls, which caused stores and restaurants to toss millions of pounds of meat and produce.  CoPIRG Foundation’s new report How Safe is Our Food?, released today, reveals how fundamental flaws in our current food safety system have led to a jump in these recalls since 2013.

News Release | CoPIRG Foundation | Consumer Protection

Popular toys contain toxics and other hazards

This holiday season, watch out for dangerous and toxic toys. CoPIRG Foundation’s 33rd annual Trouble in Toyland report found toxic amounts of boron in slime products and a failure by Amazon to appropriately label choking hazards. Boron can cause nausea, vomiting and other health issues.

On August 6, CoPIRG and coalition partners dropped off 188,045 signatures at the Colorado Secretary of State’s office in support of a ballot measure to cap sky-high payday loan interest rates. The Secretary of State’s office has the next few weeks to validate the signatures and assign Initiative 126 to the November 6 ballot.

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