National Consumers League

From the Experts Blog

NCL staff is hard at work for you playing watchdog on a variety of issues. Get to know the latest From the Experts!

With shopping season almost behind us, the season of gift returns is just around the corner

easy_returns.jpgWith just a few shopping days left until Christmas, many holiday shoppers are starting to shift their focus to AFTER-Christmas sales and the gift returns that will force them to hit the malls once again, come December 26. Returning merchandise successfully — and getting a refund you’re satisfied with — can pose a few challenges any time of year, but there are a number of things consumers can do before the return, or even before the purchase, to reduce stress, ease the process, and increase the odds of a successful transaction. To help ease the burden of returns, NCL is offering advice for increasing the chances of painless holiday gift returns this year.

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Don’t let your new computer get filled with scammy software

With the holidays upon us, many consumers will soon be unwrapping new laptops, tablets, and desktop computers. Out of the box, these new devices run great, but over time they can become clogged with all manner of scammy software. At best, these programs can degrade performance. At worst, they can lock down your new device and steal personal information.

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The time to protect pregnant workers is now

Sometimes I really hate what lawyers do to parse the plain language of the law. Last week was a case in point. I attended Supreme Court argument in the case of Peggy Young vs. UPS. Young challenged her treatment as a UPS worker expecting a baby and needing to go on light duty but the company refused to reassign her. The statute in question is the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA). 

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Young Americans are saddled with debt

It’s not surprising – but it is worrisome – that  young Americans aren’t saving. The generation under 35, known as millennials, have a savings rate of under 2%. They are burning through their assets and going into debt. The ramifications of this are myriad:No money to move out of parents’ house, no cushion if they want to switch jobs, no money for homeownership, not to mention no money for saving for a 401k or other retirement benefits.

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An early holiday gift from the FDA: menu labeling

Ever wonder just how caloric that notorious grande mocha frappuccino is or how many calories are lurking in your Auntie Anne’s cinnamon pretzel? Well those questions just got a lot easier to answer.  Today, the FDA released final menu labeling rules for retail food chains and vending machines with 20 or more locations. Movie theaters, pizza parlors and convenience stores are also covered under these new regulations. While some cities and states already have menu labeling requirements (New York required chain restaurants to start labeling in 2006), the FDA’s rule is nationwide making it a huge win for consumers.

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