Welcome to Consumers’ Notebook, where we feature news-you-can-use and other timely information to help you become a more informed consumer. Check back often to read the latest pieces in our Notebook.
Millions of Americans will be disappointed that they’ll get less money back than last year—or even owe money—as they prepare their federal tax returns for 2022.
Buy a used vehicle that’s been inundated by flood waters, and you’re going to have problems down the road—no matter how nice it looks.
To gain your confidence, con artists lie about who they are. They impersonate IRS agents, debt collectors, bankers, Social Security Administration employees, and law enforcement. These days, they’re also finding it lucrative to pose as customer service agents.
Toys equipped with microphones, cameras, or sensors create all sorts of privacy and security issues.
A recent study by U.S. PIRG found that, incredibly, some toys that had been recalled due to known safety defects are still being sold new online.
Better check the return policy before buying online. A growing number of retailers are charging shipping fees that they deduct from the amount they refund.
After a federal appeals court halted a plan to forgive student loan debt for millions of Americans, the Biden administration on Tuesday extended a payment pause until the end of June 2023.
A coalition of national consumer groups recently sent a letter to the presidents of a dozen large supermarket chains, calling on them to “stop discriminating against senior citizens and low-income shoppers” who cannot take advantage of in-store digital-only discounts.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has ordered six airlines to pay $600 million in refunds to passengers who had their flights canceled or significantly delayed during the pandemic. Only one of the six, Frontier, is a U.S. airline.
For decades Checkbook has urged against buying home warranty plans, which we see as terrible deals. Consumer advocate Edgar Dworsky, publisher of ConsumerWorld.org, found something curious when he looked into online reviews for American Home Shield.
Credit card debt can lead to serious financial trouble. A trained credit counselor can help you pay down debt, even if it seems insurmountable, and teach you skills to remain on track.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is updating its Funeral Rule, first enacted in 1984. That is credited with reducing fraud and deception in the funeral business.
A federal appeals court has temporarily stopped President Biden’s federal student loan debt relief program.
Use a payment platform provided by your bank or credit union, and you probably assume your financial institution will be there to help if there’s a problem. Don’t count on it. Customers tricked into sending money to scammers via Zelle are learning that lesson the hard way.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is considering a rule that would make it easier for consumers to see the true cost of flying—airfare, plus any fees—when booking trips. The rule would help provide customers with the information they need to choose the best deals.
Airline passengers too often have their flights canceled at the last minute, or delayed for hours. Consumer advocates say U.S. airlines are failing their customers by putting profits ahead of realistic schedules. The U.S. Department of Transportation could and should do far more to protect passengers.
Con artists are using social media to breathe new life into an old government grant scam. Many victims report losing thousands of dollars.
Scam Victims Have Until Aug. 31 to Claim Western Union Refunds; FTC Accuses Walmart of Similarly Enabling Crooks
Western Union has agreed to return money to consumers who were tricked into wiring money to criminals from 2004 through 2017. To get your share of the money, you must file a claim by August 31. The FTC is now suing Walmart for similar alleged lack of oversight.
New Climate Law Provides Big Tax Credits for Electric Vehicle Purchases, but Few Models Qualify Right Now
The new Inflation Reduction Act provides billions of dollars in tax incentives for clean-car buyers. But the law includes restrictions that could make it difficult or impossible for you to take advantage of the tax break anytime soon.
To avoid misleading consumers, endorsements should be genuine and honest, and any relationships (such as compensation) between the advertiser and the endorser should be disclosed. In May, the FTC proposed several revisions to its guides that would clarify and strengthen rules for traditional media, plus apply guidelines to cover influencer endorsements.