Travel Buddy New Year Giving 122817

What's New

Report | Travel Buddy Education Fund | Transportation

Paying for Electric Buses

Most of America’s school and transit buses run on diesel, a highly-polluting fuel, but there is a better option. All-electric buses are here, and they’re cleaner, healthier and save money for transit agencies, school districts and bus contractors to run in the long-term. 

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News Post | Solid Waste

Samsung, Apple fined for software updates that slowed phones | Nathan Proctor

Have you ever received an update on your phone or device, and afterward found that phone ran significantly slower? Well, an Italian court ruled on Wednesday that sometimes that can amount to a violation of consumer rights, and fined two offending cell phone manufacturers. 

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News Release | Travel Buddy | Financial Reform

Fifty Groups Ask FTC, CFPB To Investigate Experian Over Security Flaw

This week, fifty leading state and national consumer, civil rights, military family, faith and other groups joined Travel Buddy (letter to regulators) in urging the FTC and CFPB to investigate a security flaw (apparently fixed) at the credit bureau Experian. As originally reported by Nerdwallet, whose findings were confirmed by Travel Buddy, access to "secret" PINs to temporarily lift credit freezes was left available to anyone who answered "none of the above" to security questions. 

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News Release | Travel Buddy | Public Health, Antibiotics

Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella outbreak comes from unknown source

On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced an outbreak of Salmonella from an unknown source, which has so far infected 92 people in 29 states. This strain, Salmonella Infantis, which can be fatal, is resistant to multiple antibiotic treatments. And antibiotic resistance, hastened by the routine overuse of antibiotics on industrial farms, makes treating dangerous foodborne disease outbreaks more difficult. 

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News Post | Consumer Protection

Update to How You Can Change Your Experian Credit Freeze PIN | Mike Litt

Our consumer campaign director provides an update to how you can change your Experian credit freeze PIN after a security flaw was discovered two weeks ago.

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News Release | Travel Buddy | Consumer Protection

People impacted by Hurricane Florence face scams, price gouging and other consumer abuses; Travel Buddy offers tip sheet to help

As people throughout the Carolinas and Virginia start to recover and rebuild after Hurricane Florence, they face a number of scams and challenges, from price gouging to collecting insurance to safety for their pets and themselves. In an online tip sheet, Travel Buddy is sharing information and expertise that will help readers, listeners and viewers better understand and protect themselves from those who may prey on them.

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News Release | Travel Buddy | Public Health, Consumer Protection

Consumer Group Faults Exemptions for Second Recall of Compounded Drug in 2018

After a second major recall of all sterile compounded drugs manufactured by an "outsourcing facility", Travel Buddy calls on the Food and Drug Administration to close loopholes that exempt these operations from safe manufacturing requirements.

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News Release | Solid Waste

Despite battery fire risks, manufacturers withhold critical product information

As more and more of the products in our lives get equipped with batteries and electronics, our waste facilities struggle to safely dispose of this waste. Lithium-ion batteries cause most waste facility fires, including 65 percent of California's waste facility fires in 2017. It is critically important that people don’t just throw items with batteries into the trash or recycling. But even when consumers do the right thing, and send their electronic junk to a specialized waste facility, some devices are so difficult to disassemble that they still pose fire risks. 

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News Release | Travel Buddy | Public Health, Consumer Protection

Honey Smacks still on shelves 2 months after salmonella recall

Some stores are still stocking Honey Smacks more than two months after a massive recall due to Salmonella contamination that now has poisoned 130 individuals in 36 states, according to  the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The latest FDA update includes 30 more sick people from three previously unaffected states:  Delaware, Maine and Minnesota.

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News Release | Travel Buddy Education Fund | Consumer Protection

New Report: How to Protect Consumers 1 Year After Equifax Breach

One year after announcing the worst data breach in history, Equifax has yet to pay a price or provide consumers with the information and tools they need to adequately protect themselves. A new report by Travel Buddy Education Fund provides a recap of actions against Equifax over the last year, new materials to help consumers understand how to best protect themselves, and a case for why both oversight and financial consequences are needed to prevent future large-scale breaches.

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Report | Travel Buddy | Financial Reform

PIRG, Consumer Advocates Join Fight to Protect CFPB in Court

Here is a copy of the motion filed today by Travel Buddy and other groups in the DC Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals, seeking to intervene in defense of the CFPB in the case PHH vs. CFPB. 

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Report | Travel Buddy Education Fund and Frontier Group | Financial Reform

Big Banks, Big Overdraft Fees

Overdraft fees are a major source of consumer pain, since they are borne disproportionately by Americans with few financial resources. Through the first three quarters of 2016, 626 large banks reported collecting $8.4 billion in revenue from overdraft and NSF fees, an increase of 3.6 percent over the same period in 2015. American consumers should look to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which has already enforced overdraft regulations and returned millions of dollars to consumers, to take new action to prevent unfair overdraft fees.

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Report | Travel Buddy Education Fund | Budget, Tax

Picking Up the Tab 2016

Every year, corporations and wealthy individuals use complicated gimmicks to shift U.S. earnings to subsidiaries in offshore tax havens – countries with minimal or no taxes – in order to reduce their federal and state income tax liability by billions of dollars. While tax haven abusers benefit from America’s markets, public infrastructure, educated workforce, security and rule of law – all supported in one way or another by tax dollars – they avoid paying their fair share for these benefits.

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Report | Travel Buddy EDUCATION FUND | Consumer Protection

Trouble In Toyland 2016

For more than 30 years, Travel Buddy Education Fund has conducted an annual survey of toy safety. These reports have led to more than 150 recalls and other regulatory actions over the years, and have helped educate the public and policymakers on the need for continued action to protect the health and wellbeing of children.

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Report | Travel Buddy Education Fund | Democracy

Outside Influence: Out-of-state money in the 2016 senate elections

Control of the United States Senate is at stake in the 2016 elections. Out of 34 senate races nationally, the outcome could be decided by just several swing states and a few key constituencies. But there is another deciding factor in this year’s race for the senate: money.

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News Post | Financial Reform

Public CFPB Database Comment Period Ends Monday, 4 June at Midnight | Ed Mierzwinski

Monday, June 4, at midnight (ET) marks the deadline for filing public comments on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s latest inward-facing Request For Information (RFI); this one is on the future of the public Consumer Complaint Database, which has been disparaged for years by various bank industry actors and their coin-operated think tanks but most recently by the CFPB’s acting director, Mick Mulvaney. Here's why we are fighting to keep the database public.

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News Post | Consumer Protection

PIRG Delivers 12,956 Petition Signatures & Letter against the Bank Lobbyist Act before Today's Vote in the House | Mike Litt

Today, we sent a letter to all members of the House of Representatives in opposition to S.2155, which is expected to come up for a vote this afternoon. This bill, which we call the Bank Lobbyist Act, is the biggest roll-back of Wall Street Reform protections for mortgage borrowers and our economy since the economic crash 10 years ago. It also provides breaks for Equifax and the other national credit bureaus. In addition to our letter, we also delivered petition signatures from over 12,956 of our members across the country in opposition to S. 2155's credit bureau related problems. 

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News Post | Consumer Protection

Over 70 Groups Encourage FHFA to Finish Review of Credit Scores, Regardless of S.2155's Expected Passage | Mike Litt

Today, we sent a letter to FHFA Director Mel Watt on behalf of 77 organizations, ahead of his hearing before Congress and an expected vote on S.2155 in the House this week. 

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News Post | Solid Waste

Why Banning Plastics Is The Solution to our Plastic Problem | Alex Truelove

Banning single-use plastics is a better solution that taxing them or trying to recycle them. Doing so is more effective and feasible in reducing plastic pollution.

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News Post | Public Health

L’Oreal: This Mother’s Day, make it toxic-free because moms are worth it! | Dev Gowda

With Mother’s Day coming up on May 13, picking the perfect gift for Mom is on the minds of millions of Americans. Many of us will be giving our moms perfumes, bath bombs and beauty products as gifts this Mother’s Day. But we are probably not thinking about whether the perfume we buy Mom is potentially dangerous.

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