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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Resources I used to prepare my advance directive | Mike Litt

Advance directives are legal instructions that include a living will (different from a regular will) and a health care proxy. In them, you state what treatments you do or don’t want at the end of your life and who you want making health care decisions for you if you can’t. 

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

How to spot fake online reviews | Hannah Rhodes

With the overwhelming number of reviews found both on website listings and social media, we pulled together the best tips to spot fake reviews when shopping online.

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News Release | US PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

Consumer guide: tips to help consumers avoid cars damaged by flood water

The current shortage of used cars on the market -- and correlated increased prices -- could make consumers more desperate and vulnerable to falling for a bad deal.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

What I decided to do after shopping for long-term care insurance | Mike Litt

Before listening to In Case You Get Hit By a Bus, I didn’t know about insurance that covers the costs of long-term care, such as home health care or nursing home care, for people who need assistance with daily living activities. 

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

How I’m supercharging my savings with socially responsible investing (SRI) | Mike Litt

Getting my finances in order has been a work in progress over several years, starting with tackling credit card debt, paying off my car loan and then building an emergency fund. 

After clearing those hurdles, I set more defined financial goals and plans in motion this year, including automatic deposits into new investment accounts.

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News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

Report: Only one-third of largest phone companies have completely adopted anti-robocall technology

A looming deadline should finally force all U.S. phone companies to take stopping robocalls seriously. However, only one-third of the largest mobile and home phone providers nationwide -- and a more disappointing percentage of smaller telecommunications companies -- have installed caller ID verification aimed at squashing illegal robocalls, even though most of those businesses were required to do so by June. The stakes get higher Sept. 28, when phone providers are required to block calls from companies that haven’t at least reported their status to the FCC.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

Post-Ida Tips: Don’t compound tragedy by getting scammed, or poisoned by a generator

After making landfall in Louisiana on Sunday, Hurricane Ida tore a path of destruction from the Gulf Coast all the way to New York and New Jersey. With billions of dollars in damage from flooding, wind and tornadoes, far too many people must make insurance claims, repairs and begin rebuilding.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips, COVID-19

STATEMENT: Nursing home vaccine mandate will save lives

"We applaud the move to get more nursing home staff vaccinated. This will save lives."

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News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

Average Peoples Gas customer paying more than $13 per month for mismanaged pipe replacement program

Peoples Gas released a second quarter report Friday on its troubled pipe replacement program. The report shows that the average Peoples Gas customer paid a $13.14 monthly surcharge for the program over the past quarter -- more than eleven times the $1.14 per month the legislature was told customers would pay when it passed a law authorizing the surcharge in 2013. In June, the surcharge accounted for 17 percent of the average customer’s bill, almost as much as the cost of the gas itself.  

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News Release | US PIRG | Consumer Tips, Consumer Protection

Back to school: financial literacy tips for college students, teens

During this time of year, families are thinking about the children going back to school, and for parents who are sending their kids to college, it can be a bit overwhelming. A key to addressing those concerns is making sure their teens are prepared for “adulting” -- in other words, taking care of their own lives.

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Report | US PIRG Education Fund | COVID-19

Nursing home safety during COVID: Staff shortages

For most of last year, more than 200,000 people at any given time were in nursing homes that themselves acknowledged they were suffering from staff shortages.

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Report | Illinois PIRG

Guaranteed Profits, Broken Promises

Nine years after the passage of the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (EIMA), the record is clear: EIMA delivered guaranteed, record profits and other benefits to ComEd and its parent company, Exelon Corporation, while leaving ComEd customers and the public with broken promises.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Blueprint for America

Americans agree: Our nation’s infrastructure needs work. This report provides the blueprint that should form the basis of an infrastructure plan that will make America stronger today and lay the foundation for a brighter future. 

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Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | COVID-19

Nursing Home Safety During Covid: PPE Shortages

Thousands of nursing homes nationwide are dealing with horrific shortages of masks, gowns and other items they need to protect residents, workers and the broader community from COVID-19. And seven months into this pandemic, the shortages have actually become much worse.

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Report | Illinois PIRG | COVID-19

Open Safe Illinois - June 29th Scorecard

COVID Exit Strategy, a nonpartisan group of public health and crisis experts, has been tracking the progress states have made towards meeting the CDC recommended benchmarks states should reach before reopening their economies. On Monday, June 29th, only three states were meeting these metrics, earning a “Green” rating – down from six a week earlier. Currently, Illinois is meeting half of the benchmarks, and is rated “Red” by COVID Exit Strategy due to a 2-week trend of rising case numbers, a metric the group gives particular weight.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

18 tips to reduce robocalls and protect yourself from scams | Teresa Murray

The good news: Illegal robocalls seem to be declining a bit. The bad news: They'll probably never go away completely. Consumers need to remain vigilant to protect their personal information and their money. 

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

Make the ringing stop: The FCC is finally fighting back against robocalls | Teresa Murray

Scam robocalls have declined by 29 percent since June. But most of us still get too many. And the industry overall isn't doing enough.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

If you were hit by Ida, here's how to avoid scams, injuries, price-gouging | Teresa Murray

Here are some tips to avoid scams and stay safe in the days and weeks ahead.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

More than 125 medical professionals organized by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund sent a letter to McDonald’s Thursday urging the company to meet its 2018 commitment to reduce antibiotic use in its beef supply chain. The coalition delivered the letter at the start of World Antibiotic Awareness Week to stress the urgency of taking action to stop overusing our life-saving medicines in agriculture. Otherwise, the drugs may no longer heal sick people. 

News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

The holiday season often entails spending a lot of hours in the kitchen cooking. As millions of Americans prepare holiday meals to share with their families, a new guide from U.S. PIRG Education Fund offers tips on how to minimize unhealthy air pollution from cooking with gas in your home. Without proper precautions, too much exposure to a gas stove can lead to an unnecessary and invisible health risk, since gas stoves can cause elevated levels of indoor pollution that would exceed legal limits for outdoor air.

News Release

Apple reversed its longstanding policy against selling spare parts, providing repair instructions, and making repair software tools available to customers.

News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

With colder weather imminent and rising gas commodity prices predicted to increase Chicago gas utility bills by 35% this winter, two new reports demonstrate that Chicago is facing a home heating affordability crisis, driven by the mismanaged, misdirected Peoples Gas pipe replacement program. 

News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

Even though legitimate toymakers deserve kudos for making many of their products safer over the years, too often, Americans end up buying dangerous toys for children for the holidays. Illinois PIRG Education Fund’s 36th annual Trouble in Toyland report shows that many of those toys are counterfeit or recalled products, but still make their way into consumers’ shopping carts.

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