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CA News & Special Reports Archive



  • Medical Credit Card Survey Issue (Summer 2014).
    Being able to borrow the money for a medical or dental procedure rather than deplete savings or forgo needed care sounds like a great option—even better if the lender touts a 0% interest rate. Consumer Action surveyed seven medical credit cards and a handful of medical loan products, some of which offer “interest free” patient financing. See how they stacked up and what you need to know about deferred-interest financing promotions in the Medical Credit Card Survey issue of Consumer Action News.


  • Consumer Action INSIDER - July 2014.
    The July issue of Consumer Action INSIDER brings you stories about our Financial Inclusion trainings, employee volunteerism, a roundup of our coalition efforts, a new class action settlement in a case brought against Ticketmaster over excessive fees, and a Hotline Chronicles case of entrapment in the "jewelry of the month club." And that's not all!
  • Consumer Action INSIDER - June 2014.
    This month's INSIDER features stories, among others, about our new Corporate Advisory Board, addressing complaints with the Post Office, Consumer Action's recent and upcoming privacy-related activities and an action alert to press the Department of Education to ensure that vocational colleges really prepare students for "gainful employment."


  • Consumer Action INSIDER - May 2014.
    This month's INSIDER offers stories on our updated Directory of Credit-building Loan Programs, our presence at the National Consumer Protection Week fair, a roundup of our coalition work and new additions to our Class Action Database, among other articles. Also in this issue, Hotline Chronicles finds that a "gift card" is not always a gift card.


  • Consumer Action INSIDER - April 2014.
    The new issue of INSIDER brings you stories about what Consumer Action staffers have been up to, including a new insurance resource for entrepreneurs, a Hotline Chronicles story about one man's disappointing experience with electric deregulation, reports of our financial literacy outreach at a Southern California military base and a round-up of the variety of hotline complaints we received last year.


  • Consumer Action INSIDER - March 2014.
    This month, the INSIDER brings you stories about weaknesses in the "safe harbor" for international data sharing, how a family can tackle a hefty emergency room bill, monitoring your "digital footprint", new class actions, educating seniors on health care fraud and more.


  • Consumer Action INSIDER - February 2014.
    This month’s INSIDER unveils our newly designed Class Action Database and features a Hotline Chronicles piece on stop payments. It also contains articles about what happened at our National Consumer Empowerment Conference in November, a look back at how our MoneyWi$e financial literacy program has evolved over the years, and our newly updated publication on sending money abroad (remittances). We’ve also added a periodic “CFPB Watch” feature to monitor all the great work being done by our colleagues at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.


  • Consumer Action INSIDER - January 2014.
    Consumer Action INSIDER kicks off 2014 with stories about "advertorials' and how they deceive consumers, problems with payday loans, ID needed to open a bank account and an online forum on personal financial health after the recession.



  • Consumer Action INSIDER - December 2013.
    This month's INSIDER features stories on efforts to protect military personnel and veterans from financial exploitation, our outreach to an innovative job training program in an underprivileged neighborhood of San Francisco, efforts to ensure that trade talks between the United States and the European Union don't harm consumer rights, how Consumer Action is pushing back against postal reform and how one consumer was put out by a vocational school's failure to live up to its promises.


  • Affordable Care Act Issue (November 2013).
    In the Affordable Care Act Issue we cover the basics of Obamacare—including the new health insurance exchanges, required minimum services, enrollment, subsidies for low income individuals and families and more. Our Web Bonus articles (not included in the downloadable PDF), explore medical debt installment plans, scams around Obamacare and appealing your health insurer's decisions.
  • Consumer Action INSIDER - November 2013.
    The November issue of Consumer Action INSIDER brings you news about three new short videos on online privacy, totals for our annual fundraiser, CARD Act misconceptions, how advocates are using technology to help consumers increase savings and reduce debt, and a look at multilevel marketing offers.


  • Consumer Action INSIDER - October 2013.
    The October issue of the INSIDER features articles about our organization's activities, including a consumer disgruntled by airline fees, tips for personal economic recovery, a round-up of notable class actions and a new website we developed to educate people about Do Not Track and online privacy.


  • Pre-purchase resources (September 2013).
    Consumer Action has compiled a new Pre-purchase Resource Guide, featured in the latest issue of Consumer Action News, which also includes pointers for checking a professional’s credentials, tips on vetting the research tools you use and information about consumer rights if problems arise. (The PDF file may contain outdated links.)
  • Consumer Action INSIDER - September 2013.
    This month's INSIDER brings you news of Consumer Action's activities, including financial literacy trainings, our upcoming 4th Annual National Consumer Empowerment Conference, a new class action listing, and our support for a lawsuit in New York objecting to the state's credit card anti-surcharge law. Hotline Chronicles details why driving a new car off the lot before making sure you have an auto loan in place has its pitfalls.


  • Consumer Action INSIDER - August 2013.
    Consumer Action's monthly e-newsletter presents information about the organization's activities. This month, we feature articles on a Medigap insurance pitfall, the continued struggle to protect the low-income phone subsidy program Lifeline, the importance of Consumer Action's databases to our mission and a report on our recent "Do Not Track" conference in Washington, DC, among other topics.


  • Consumer Action INSIDER - July 2013.
    This month's edition of Consumer Action INSIDER features stories about our recent survey to gauge attitudes about online tracking, a recent outreach effort with AARP-Walgreens, a cautionary tale about "free" credit scores, how Consumer Action dealt with a recent "spam" attack and more.


  • Consumer Action INSIDER - June 2013.
    There's lots of news from Consumer Action in the June 2013 issue of INSIDER, including a warning about "penny auctions," a new database to collect student loan stories, Military Saves Week activities at Camp Pendleton, a roundup of our Coalition Efforts and more!
  • Peer-to-Peer Payments Survey (May 2013).
    In its new survey of the “person-to-person”—P2P—payments industry, Consumer Action compares the ever-evolving ways consumers can electronically fund, send and receive personal payments—often with just a few taps on their smartphone keyboard. We also share the results of our satisfaction survey of consumers who’ve already adopted P2P payments to transfer money to friends, family members, the babysitter and others.


  • Consumer Action INSIDER - May 2013.
    The May 2013 edition of the INSIDER features stories about our activities at various financial literacy events, some considerations when teaching older adults and a new credit resource created by our staff. Hotline Chronicles looks at the case of a woman who was convinced against her better judgment to purchase a timeshare.
  • Consumer Action INSIDER - April 2013.
    The April 2013 issue of Consumer Action INSIDER features stories about our staff activities, including our participation at the Consumer Assembly, new legislation we support to protect accountholders from excessive overdraft fees, the potential perils of ignoring bill collectors' calls, a new grant to work on electronic medical privacy education, and more.


  • Consumer Action INSIDER - March 2013.
    In the new issue of Consumer Action INSIDER, our monthly e-newsletter, we recount our recent doings, including response from an online poll about using credit cards after the CARD Act, reports on 2012 hotline complaints and free publication distribution, coalition efforts with our consumer colleagues and our ongoing outreach to community partners. In this month's Hotline Chronicles, we talk about the "dual tracking" of foreclosures and loan modifications, which unfairly impact homeowners in financial distress who are seeking to save their homes.
  • Consumer Action INSIDER - February 2013.
    The February issue of our monthly e-newsletter features stories about a new financial resource for servicemembers and veterans, an update on our educational efforts around potential credit card "checkout fees," news about our new Columbia University interns, and a Hotline Chronicles entry about unauthorized charges on your phone bill ("cramming").


  • Consumer Action INSIDER - January 2013.
    The January issue of INSIDER presents stories about Consumer Action's recent activities, including coalition efforts to explain online data collection to consumers, our recent Consumer Action News "Frugal Issue" and the work we expect to be doing in 2013, as well as suggestions to avoid restocking fees on returned merchandise and more.



  • 2012 Fall Issue: Credit Card Comparison Site Survey.
    Consumer Action looked at 54 sites to determine which ones offer the most useful and complete information to credit card shoppers. To narrow the list, we evaluated them using a checklist of key elements—and 13 met all or most of our criteria. Three sites met all nine criteria.


  • Consumer Action INSIDER - September 2012.
    The September issue of Consumer Action INSIDER features stories about emerging privacy issues, how to avoid trouble when booking hotels online, the way we evaluate our training programs and an event to mark the first anniversary of the federal consumer watchdog, the CFPB.

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