Better Business Bureau (BBB) and BBBonline - BBB reports
provide information on over two million organizations. The BBB also promotes trust and confidence on the Internet through the BBBOnLine
Reliability and the BBBOnLine Privacy programs. Contact locally by phone in the San Francisco Bay Area at 510-238-1000.
BEUC - Investigates EU decisions and developments likely to affect consumers, with a special focus on five areas identified as priorities by our members: Financial Services, Food, Digital Rights, Consumer Rights and Enforcement and Sustainability.
California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) - Licenses, enforcement procedures, complaints
and citations, bonds, license classifications, blueprint for becoming a California Licensed Contractor, license Q&A, baseline
cost for type B construction, contractor license status check, and more. Protects consumers by regulating the construction industry through policies that promote
the health, safety and general welfare of the public in matters relating to construction.
California Department of Consumer Affairs License Lookup - Use this
page to look up a company or individual who has a California license issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs.
Information provided includes address, license number, and disciplinary actions taken (if any) for licenses of various types in the following major
categories: Accountancy, Acupuncture, Architects, Athletic Commission, Automotive, Barbering and Cosmetology, Behavioral Sciences, Cemetery and
Funeral, Chiropractic, Contractors, Court Reporters, Dental, Electronic and Appliance Repair, Engineers and Land Surveyors, Geology, Hearing Aid
Dispensers, Home Furnishings, Landscape Architects, Medical Board, Midwives, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Osteopathic Physicians, Pharmacy, Physical
Therapy, Physician Assistants, Podiatry, Private Postsecondary and Vocational Schools, Psychiatric Technicians, Psychology, Registered Dispensing
Opticians, Registered Nursing, Respiratory Care, Security and Investigative, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Structural Pest, Veterinary
Medicine, Veterinary Technician, Vocational Nurses.
California Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) - Responsible for administering state laws
regulating state-licensed financial institutions: banks, credit unions, industrial banks, savings associations, trust companies, offices of foreign
banks, issuers of travelers checks and payment instruments (money orders), and transmitters of money abroad.
California Registry of Charitable Trusts - This web site offers information to assist
you in evaluating solicitations and choosing wisely when responding to charities and commercial fundraisers who must register with the California
Attorney General's Registry of Charitable Trusts and report financial activities annually. By searching the charities database, you
can see if a charity is registered and reporting its activities as required by law.
California Safe Cosmetics Program Product Database - Requires companies that manufacture cosmetics to report any cosmetics products that contain ingredients known or suspected to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. The California Safe Cosmetics Program (CSCP) collects this data and makes it available to the public through this website.
California State Bar - Created by the state legislature in 1927, the State Bar is
a public corporation within the judicial branch of government, serving as an arm of the California Supreme Court. All State Bar members
are officers of the court. Membership in the State Bar of California affords attorneys the right and privilege of practicing law in this
state. The bar's integrated network of functions and services - many of them mandated by law - protects the public and assists attorneys in meeting
their professional obligations.
CALPIRG: Consumer Protection - Through public education, direct service
and advocacy, CALPIRG educates consumers on their rights, provides counsel and information to consumers and campaigns for legislative change
in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.
Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies - This organization made its debut in July 2012. Unfortunately, the group seems more focused on keeping its big corporate members in the good graces of the pharmaceutical industry and government than on helping American consumers. In fact, its actions may endanger public health. See Pharmacy Checker article.
CFPB Consumer Complaint Database - Each week the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) sends thousands of consumers' complaints about financial products and services to companies for response. Those complaints are published here after the company responds or after 15 days, whichever comes first. By adding their voice, consumers help improve the financial marketplace.
Complaints - Publicizes and researches consumer complaints.
Complaints Board - Helpful information for consumers regarding allegedly unethical companies,
bad business practices. Complain and submit your complaints or research previous complaints.
Complaints List - An interactive computer service where the general public and customers of businesses
can submit complaints, reviews, or reports about a company, business, or person that has mistreated them in any way.
Consumer Action - A non-profit, membership-based organization that was founded in San
Francisco in 1971. During its more than three decades, Consumer Action has continued to serve consumers nationwide by advancing consumer
rights, referring consumers to complaint-handling agencies through our free hotline, publishing educational materials in Chinese, English, Korean,
Spanish, Vietnamese and other languages, advocating for consumers in the media and before lawmakers, and comparing prices on credit cards, bank accounts
and long distance services.
Consumer Credit Trends - This tool tracks originations for mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, and student loans. The tool also charts how specific groups of consumers are faring in financial markets. By tracking trends over time, it should help warn of potential problems lurking in a given market. Provided by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Consumer Dangers - Keeping the public informed about consumer dangers and safety issues associated with numerous products that can cause the public harm. The website is continually updated with breaking news from Government agencies, watchdog groups, and concerned citizens about recalls and safety affecting consumers.
Consumer Federation of America (CFA) - Disseminates information on consumer issues to the
public and the media. Works to advance pro-consumer policy on a variety of issues before Congress, the White House, federal and state regulatory
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) - The central mission of the CFPB is to make
markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans - whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards,
or using any number of other consumer financial products.
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) - Charged with protecting the public from unreasonable
risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction.
Consumers Union - Advice about products and services, personal finance, health and nutrition,
and other consumer concerns.
Drug Dangers - Keeping the public educated and informed of defective medical devices and dangerous medications currently on the market.
econsumer.gov - Website for site for cross-border ecommerce complaints. Find information about
consumer protection laws and activities in participating countries. File complaints about online transactions with a foreign company.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - EPA's mandate includes preventing pollution and
reducing risk in communities, homes, workplaces, and ecosystems. The EPA site is filled with environmental information, resources, and data.
EPA: Pesticide Fact Sheets - The EPA's Office of
Pesticides Program works with registrants to recall products whenever products are deemed faulty or substandard or could potentially cause
injury to consumers or harm to the environment. Registrants often voluntarily recall products and reformulate or repair potential hazards.
Equifax - Serves the financial services, retail, credit card, telecommunications/utilities,
transportation, information technology and healthcare industries, and government. Global operations include consumer and commercial credit information
services, payment services, software, modeling, analytics, consulting and direct-to-consumer services.
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) - The keystone of European Union (EU) risk assessment regarding food and feed safety. Provides independent scientific advice and clear communication on existing and emerging risks.
Experian - Credit reports and scores. Provides U.S. consumers with the tools and services to
help them understand, manage and protect their personal credit profiles.
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) - U.S. Federal Government legislation enacted to promote the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information contained in the files of consumer reporting agencies. It was intended to protect consumers from the willful and/or negligent inclusion of inaccurate information in their credit reports. To that end, the FCRA regulates the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer information, including consumer credit information. See Wikipedia.
FairWarning - Public interest journalism on issues of health, safety and corporate conduct.
FDAVoice - U.S. Food and Drug Administration's official blog.
Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights (FTCR) - A nationally-recognized, California-based,
non-profit education and advocacy organization. Information on consumer rights, consumer issues and insurance companies, HMOs, banks, and
Fraud!Org - FTC project that provides consumers the information they need to avoid becoming
victims of telemarketing and Internet fraud.
Good Housekeeping Research
Institute (GHRI - The GHRI is the product-evaluation laboratory of the magazine, with a staff of scientists, engineers, nutritionists,
and researchers dedicated to evaluating and testing everything from moisturizers to bed sheets to cell phones. Also part of GHRI is the
test kitchen, which creates, tastes, and triple-tests (at least) the thousands of recipes appearing in the magazine.
Green America - Green Business Program starts, supports, and publicizes small socially and
environmentally responsible businesses. Consumer Education and Empowerment Program helps people use their purchasing and investing power
to create a more just and sustainable future. Corporate Responsibility Program encourages corporations to become socially and environmentally
responsible. Sustainable Living Program provides information about practical measures people can take to make their personal, community,
and work lives more meaningful and sustainable.
Health and Safety - Public Citizen's work in health and safety has focused on protecting consumers
by advocating for stronger physician accountability; safer, more effective drugs, medical devices and dietary supplements; equitable health care;
safer streets, cars and trucks; and improvements in worker and product safety.
Health Research Group - Promotes research-based, system-wide changes in health care policy
as well as providing advice and oversight concerning drugs, medical devices, doctors and hospitals and occupational health.
Identity Theft - Identity theft occurs when someone appropriates your
personal information without your knowledge to commit fraud or theft. This site is maintained by the Federal Trade Commission to provide
information on ID theft.
Just Label It - Calling for mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. It has petitioned the FDA to require that genetically engineered (GE), often referred to as genetically modified or GMO, foods be labeled. Makes the argument that Americans have a basic right to know what they're eating and the right to make informed choices about what they eat.
LexisNexis Personal Reports - Background checks: Nannies, contractors, doctors, dentist,
chiropractor, business searches, prroperty values, insurance ratings, and more.
National Consumer Coalition - NCC works to expose
government policies that restrict consumer choice and stifle competition - harming consumers by substituting policymakers' values for individual
values and raising the costs of goods and services to consumers. Also provides news and information on government seurveillance, medical privacy,
financial privacy, and online privacy.
National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) - Helps consumers, their advocates, and public policy makers
to use consumer laws on behalf of low-income Americans seeking economic justice.
National Consumers League (NCL) - The NCL provides government, businesses,
and other organizations with the consumer's perspective on concerns including child labor, privacy, food safety, and medication information.
National Do Not Call Registry - Most telemarketers cannot call your telephone number if it
is in the National Do Not Call Registry. You can register your home and mobile phone numbers for free. Your registration will be effective
for five years. The National Do Not Call Registry is managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC),
the nation's consumer protection agency.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) - Automobile equipment ratings and safety information;
research, data, laws and regulations. NHTSA investigates safety defects in motor vehicles, sets and enforces fuel economy standards, helps
states and local communities reduce the threat of drunk drivers, promotes the use of safety belts, child safety seats and air bags, investigates
odometer fraud, establishes and enforces vehicle anti-theft regulations and provides consumer information on motor vehicle safety topics.
National Do Not Call Registry - The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice about whether
to receive telemarketing calls at home. Most telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days. If they do,
you can file a complaint at this Website. Also see Q&A.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) - An independent U.S. Federal agency that investigates
every civil aviation accident in the U.S. and significant accidents in the other modes of transportation, conducts special investigations and safety
studies, and issues safety recommendations to prevent future accidents.
On Your Side - Consumer news and information from
local San Francisco Bay Area Channel 7 TV Fox News.
Publications.USA.gov - U.S. government cite providing full text versions of hundreds of
federal consumer publications.
Recalls.gov - Alerting consumers to unsafe, hazardous or defective products, a "one stop shop" for
U.S. Government recalls.
Ripoff Report - Scams, reviews, complaints, lawsuits and frauds. File a report, post your review. Consumers
Rules of the Air - Provides explanations to dozens of topics detailed in the Contract
of Carriage which accompanies each airline ticket purchase.
Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) - SIPC is an important part of the overall
system of investor protection in the United States. While a number of federal, self-regulatory and state securities agencies deal with cases of investment
fraud, SIPC's focus is both different and narrow: Restoring funds to investors with assets in the hands of bankrupt and otherwise financially
troubled brokerage firms.
Stop RFID - A project of CASPIAN, Consumers
Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering. Radio Frequency IDentification is an automatic data capture technology that uses
tiny tracking chips affixed to products. These tiny chips can be used to track items at a distance - right through someone's purse, backpack, or
wallet. Many of the world's largest manufacturing companies would like to replace the bar code with these "spy chips,"
meaning that virtually every item on the planet--and the people wearing and carrying those items - could be remotely tracked. There is currently
no regulation protecting consumers from abuse of this technology.
The Utility Reform network (TURN) - TURN champions the cleanest energy and highest quality phone service
at the lowest prices possible for residential customers, low-income households, and small businesses through legal advocacy at the California
Public Utilities Commission, state and federal policy development, and community organizing throughout California.
Too Good to Be True - Developed to educate and help prevent consumers from becoming the victim
of an Internet fraud scheme. Funding for the site has been provided by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Federal Bureau
TransUnion - Credit reports and business services. Preventing fraud. Creating options. Managing
Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL) - UL is an independent, not-for-profit product safety
testing and certification organization. UL has tested products for public safety for more than a century. Each year, more than 16 billion UL
Marks are applied to products worldwide.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) - Charged with protecting the public from unreasonable
risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting
consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children.
U.S. EPA Office of Pesticide Programs: Pesticide Product Recalls -
The EPA works to reduce the risks to human heath and the environment by requiring pesticide registrants to report any potential problems
with EPA registered pesticide products and with registrants to recall products whenever products are deemed faulty or substandard or could
potentially cause injury to consumers or harm to the environment.
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KWSnet may be contacted via email with any comments, suggestions or link submissions. KWSnet is designed and maintained, in its entirety, by Kirk W. Smith.