consumer protection

Banks Made Less on Overdraft Fees Last Year

The average fee for overdrafting your bank account rose again last year, but evidently, more Americans are doing a better of job managing their checking accounts, because the amount paid in overdraft fees dropped by $2.5 billion in 2011, after a $3 billion drop in 2010.

How a Debit Card Fee Cut Backfired on Merchants

Washington's efforts at financial reform keep having strange and unintended consequences. In response to a law that was meant to lower excessive debit card transaction fees on merchants, Visa and Mastercard found a way to raise the fees on a host of small businesses.

Should Bank Account Numbers Be Portable?

Consumer activists are pushing bank regulators to allow people to take their account numbers with them when they switch banks, just like cellphone numbers. Such account number portability might encourage banks to treat customers better because it would make it easier for them to leave.

Bank Fees: What's the Breaking Point for Customers?

Bank of America learned pretty quickly last month that customers think $5 a month is too much to pay to use a debit card. But is there such a thing as a reasonable bank fee? One in three people say they're prepared to walk away from their financial institution to avoid a fee, a new survey reveals.

Reebok to Refund $25M to Buyers of 'Toning Shoes'

Reebok's promise that its EasyTone and RunTone shoes could shape your legs and tone your butt sounded too good to be true. That's because they were, said the FTC Wednesday, when it ordered the footwear maker to give $25 million in partial refunds to customers who bought the products based on the inflated claims.

FCC Takes Aim at Scammers Who 'Cram' Phone Bills

Earlier this week, the FCC proposed new rules designed to crack down on "phone cramming," a widespread, illegal practice that robs billions of dollars from phone users. And with 300 million third-party charges hidden in phone bills every year, odds are, you've been a victim.

Ask the Expert: 'Do I Pay Extra For Swiping My Card?'

We got lots of reaction to our article about how changes in debit and credit card swipe fees may affect you. Swipe fees are the charges retailers pay when they allow you to use plastic. One question kept coming up: "Do I pay those fees when I use my debit card?" Regina Lewis explains.

Has the BBB Been Selling 'A' Ratings?

The Better Business Bureau's slogan is "Start with Trust" -- but not so fast. It seems the BBB has inherent conflicts of interest, and questions have been raised about what it takes to "earn" an A from the BBB. Can companies pay for good ratings -- or worse yet, do they have to?

Bank Overdraft Fees Still Plague American Consumers

Last year, the government changed the rules on debit card overdrafts, requiring banks to get customers' permission before allowing transactions that would lead to penalty fees. But despite the new rules, overdraft fees continue to be an expensive pain in the neck for millions of Americans.

Consumers May Get Hit With Higher Debit Card Fees

New rules proposed by the Fed for debit card transactions may mean that consumers end up paying much more for using their cards, while big retailers save billions. The proposed rules would sharply limit the transaction fees sellers have paid, which could push banks to recoup that money directly from buyers.

Food Safety Overhaul Passes Senate

Food safety  inspector checks applesLandmark food safety reform legislation that aims to curb the incidence of food recalls, foodborne illnesses and shoddy practices by American food...

Warren Accepts Role as Consumer Agency Adviser

Elizabeth Warren said Friday that she had accepted the position of creating a consumer financial protection agency, and vowed the agency would put an end to "tricks and traps" in consumer lending. In a White House blog post this morning, Warren said she "enthusiastically agreed" to take the position of assistant to the President and adviser to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Obama May Name Elizabeth Warren as Interim Head of Consumer Agency

President Barack Obama may appoint Elizabeth Warren as the interim head of the new consumer protection bureau, avoiding a possibly contentious Senate confirmation. The White House is exploring ways that Warren could run the bureau without having to go through a confirmation battle, The New York Times reported without naming its sources.

Privacy Cop Germany Puts Apple in the Crosshairs

In its latest move to safeguard computer users' rights and burnish its reputation as a global privacy cop, Germany is seeking to dig deeper into Apple's collection of its customers' location-based data.

Financial Reform: Two Key Wins for Consumers

A pair of major wins for consumers in the financial regulation overhaul may end up giving Americans substantial savings on everything from debit cards to mortgages. Find out how consumers benefit from the new rules being hammered out in Congress.

New Rules to Benefit Air Passengers

New consumer protection rules for the airline industry boost penalties significantly for bumping passengers off flights. The changes also aim to take some of the guesswork out of a ticket's final price.