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Consumer Watchdog

Going After CA Gougers and Climate Changers

Jamie Court | Posted 09.03.2015 | Politics
Jamie Court

If you want to know why Californians have been paying one dollar more per gallon than the rest of America for their gasoline for most of the Spring, it comes down to two words: low inventories.

Starved for Democracy? California Says Pay $2K

Jamie Court | Posted 09.02.2015 | Politics
Jamie Court

Governor Brown's signature on legislation increasing the filing fee for citizens who file ballot initiatives from $200 to $2,000 is the modern equivalent of the famous salvo attributed to Marie Antoinette upon hearing of a famine among the French peasants, "Let Them Eat Cake."

Speeding Ineffective and Unsafe Treatments to Market in the Name of Patients? Not So Fast

Karuna Jaggar | Posted 07.13.2015 | Impact
Karuna Jaggar

It is not a bottleneck at the FDA that is to blame. Medical research is simply not producing the breakthroughs needed for breast cancer. And we should not let a reduction of safety and efficacy standards replace our demand for safer and more effective treatments.

Will U.S. Attorneys Stop the California Gas Gouge?

Jamie Court | Posted 05.26.2015 | Politics
Jamie Court

Gasoline in California is one buck more per gallon than it is in the rest of America, thanks to low inventories and a series of suspicious oil-refinery shutdowns that drove huge first-quarter profits for the oil companies. Are California oil refiners manipulating gasoline supplies through shutdowns to drive pump prices and profits higher?

Golden State Gouging Greatest Ever

Jamie Court | Posted 05.15.2015 | Politics
Jamie Court

Prices at the pump have skyrocketed 69 cents in one month due to shortages and refinery outages. Convenient for the oil refiners, which reported record first quarter profits.

Your Privacy -- Qualcomm, Suicide, DARPA: Top Trending Stories Today

Mark Weinstein | Posted 05.20.2015 | Technology
Mark Weinstein

As we move forward into March Madness, we look back at the hottest trending online privacy stories and discover a different form of madness. Some of the news is good, some is bad and some sends a message of hope for our future.

5 Newsworthy Privacy Stories Today

Mark Weinstein | Posted 05.09.2015 | Technology
Mark Weinstein

In addition to my regular HuffPost musings, this marks the first of a series of weekly columns designed to quickly and dare I say entertainingly help us all be aware of a few most important privacy-related stories, good and/or bad.

Sen. Boxer's Successors Should Follow Her Example: Rage for Justice

Jamie Court | Posted 03.10.2015 | Politics
Jamie Court

The announcement by Sen. Boxer, a true champion of the underdog, that she will not run for the Senate in 2016 will likely make a lot of other state officials rethink how they do their jobs. It's a lot like the moves you make playing musical chairs to make sure the music doesn't run out without you getting a seat.

California Officials Ready to Spank Oil Companies

Jamie Court | Posted 02.15.2015 | Green
Jamie Court

I have been watching oil companies get away with price gouging for so many years that it was refreshing to see California's top political leaders let the oil companies know that they're going to be on the hot seat if they try to undermine California's landmark environmental laws taking effect in January.

No Bull: Vote YES on CA Propositions 45 & 46!

Ellen Snortland | Posted 12.31.2014 | Politics
Ellen Snortland

Don't be fooled by insurance companies and the obscene amounts of money they're spending to defeat these measures.

Insurers Spending Cash, Spreading Fear In High-Stakes California Showdown

Wendell Potter | Posted 01.03.2015 | Politics
Wendell Potter

As I predicted two months ago, California voters have been bombarded by a group with a consumer-friendly name warning that a vote for a ballot initiative tomorrow would allow "one politician" to "interfere" with their health care treatment options.

B.S. Alert: Health Insurance Robber Barons Spend $56 Million vs. Prop 45's Rate Regulation in California Without a Single Public Comment

Jamie Court | Posted 12.30.2014 | Politics
Jamie Court

Insurance companies have unleashed a torrent of deceptive advertising but have remarkably refused to issue a single comment to the news media on Prop 45, including in today's New York Times.

Health Insurers Using Playbook Again to Protect Profits at Expense of Consumers

Wendell Potter | Posted 07.12.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

About 35 states have given their insurance departments the legal power of prior approval of proposed health insurance rate changes. California is not among them, and advocates believe the state's residents are paying more for their health insurance coverage than necessary.

What's the Point, WellPoint? Could It Be to Satisfy Wall Street?

Wendell Potter | Posted 06.07.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Executives at health insurance giant WellPoint are predicting they will have to implement "double-digit plus" rate increases next year, demonstrating once again just how politically tone deaf and profit-obsessed they apparently are.

Whether in Cookies or Cars: Buyer Beware

Dr. Peggy Drexler | Posted 05.22.2014 | Business
Dr. Peggy Drexler

The stuff we buy has been shrinking, shrinking, shrinking over the years.The more companies tell consumers they love us, the more they show us that they don't. Some say that modern retail is really a 'war to con consumers.'

Creating Influence, Success and Happiness Susan Wornick Style

Stacey Alcorn | Posted 05.04.2014 | Women
Stacey Alcorn

Rarely does one get the opportunity to sit with a legend in the broadcast television world. When opportunity knocks, my motto is REACH! Grab it! Lean In!

Big Consumer Win: Gmail Judge Rules For Privacy In Email

Jamie Court | Posted 11.26.2013 | Technology
Jamie Court

The ruling will have lasting impact beyond Google. This is a very big consumer victory for the right to use the Internet without having to give up one's privacy.

JPMorgan To Refund Over 2 Million Credit Card Customers

The Huffington Post/ Reuters | Posted 09.19.2013 | Business

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. bank regulators on Thursday ordered JPMorgan Chase & Co to correct its debt collection and other credit card procedures a...

Google Glass: 'No Legitimate Expectation of Privacy' Either?

Jamie Court | Posted 11.05.2013 | Technology
Jamie Court

If we are going to let cloud-based computers operate like our eyes and ears, and allow for videos and recordings to be fed to Google's corporate cloud without the public's knowledge, invasion of privacy laws better apply.

Beware of Google's Mouthpieces About Google Glasses

Jamie Court | Posted 05.14.2013 | Technology
Jamie Court

Google Glass opens a Pandora's box for society that will forever change it unless the public gets the right to hit delete and turn on its "Do Not Track Me" option.

Go To The Mattresses

Jamie Court | Posted 02.10.2013 | Books
Jamie Court

If you're a fan of the Godfather, you have to love any book that says all you have to know about managing a crisis you already learned from Vito Corle...

Congress Needs to Close Loopholes in Obamacare Insurers Are Using to Boost Profits

Wendell Potter | Posted 02.09.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

I've often said that the Affordable Care Act is the end of the beginning of health reform. It addresses many problems associated with health insurance, but more must be done to control costs and access real universal coverage. And flaws in the law need to be fixed.

A Letter to the President Can Matter: Ours Changed Hyundai's MPG Claims And Evened the Playing Field For US Carmakers

Jamie Court | Posted 01.03.2013 | Politics
Jamie Court

If you doubt that writing the White House can make a difference, just look at the letter my Consumer Watchdog colleague Judy Dugan and I wrote to the President in January calling for an audit of the inflated MPG claims for the Hyundai Elantra.

Jim Crow Insurance: CA Proposition 33 Turns Back The Clock To Price Discrimination In Auto Insurance

Jamie Court | Posted 01.23.2014 | Los Angeles
Jamie Court

Revelations of discrimination by insurance companies are always shocking, but when they come out just days before a vote on an industry-sponsored ballot measure that would legalize unfair price increases and prejudice in auto insurance, Californians should pay particular attention.

Watchdog To 'Stop Discrimination In Its Tracks'

Reuters | Posted 06.18.2012 | Money

By Dave Clarke WASHINGTON, April 18 (Reuters) - The new U.S. consumer financial watchdog said on Wednesday it will aggressively pursue...