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Consumer Action (CA)

Self Description

December 2002: "Consumer Action is a non-profit, membership-based organization that was founded in San Francisco in 1971. Since then, 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, Tagalog, Russian, 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."

Third-Party Descriptions

June 2009: 'The credit limit reductions are confusing to customers because many borrowers have credit cards so that "when a rainy day comes along they can use it," said Linda Sherry, spokeswoman for Consumer Action, a San Francisco-based nonprofit consumer education and advocacy group.'

April 2009: 'Cable companies aspire to become one-stop communications providers, offering everything from cable TV to local phone service. But you might want to think twice about relying on an industry with such a dismal service record for all your telecom needs. “Consumers have much higher standards for phone service and Internet,” says Ken McEldowney, executive director of Consumer Action. “Unless it’s the Super Bowl, they’re willing to tolerate outages for cable, but not for their phone or Internet. This makes them feel cut off from the rest of the world.” 9. “We’re going to pummel you with advertising.”'

June 2005: One of the most convincing explanations for these credit card charges came from Linda Sherry, a spokeswoman for Consumer Action, a nonprofit advocacy organization based in San Francisco that tracks credit card fees. 'There's no legitimate reason for credit cards to charge currency-transaction fees,' Ms. Sherry told me. 'Simply put, it's a profit center for the banks and card companies. It's found money.'


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Cooperation (past or present) Telecommunications Research & Action Center (TRAC) Organization Aug 1, 2005
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Ken McEldowney Person Jun 10, 2009
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) Linda Sherry Person

Articles and Resources

Date Resource Read it at:
Jul 29, 2009 Should Your Credit Report Cost You a Job? A new bill would prohibit employers from using credit reports in hiring decisions

QUOTE: The Equal Employment for All Act would prohibit employers from using the details of a consumer credit report in making hiring decisions...

US News & World Report
Jul 27, 2009 Credit card firms raise fees before law changes

QUOTE: Chase [JPMorgan Chase & Co] is but one of a number of major credit card companies that are jacking up interest rates and fees, or laying the groundwork to do so, before new federal legislation that cracks down on some of the practices goes into effect in February.

Boston Globe
Jun 23, 2009 Credit-Card Companies: Who Qualifies Now?

QUOTE: Jittery banks, eager to reduce potential risk, appear to be targeting many borrowers with low-balance or inactive accounts. About 11% of customers who saw their limits cut had no "risk triggers" during that period and generally had very high credit scores. Risk triggers include late payments, excessive cash advances, check bouncing, collecting unemployment, or having a mortgage in an area where property values are plummeting.

May 12, 2009 What Does Your Credit-Card Company Know About You?

QUOTE: credit-card companies are becoming much more interested in understanding their customers’ lives and psyches, because, the theory goes, knowing what makes cardholders tick will help firms determine who is a good bet and who should be shown the door as quickly as possible.

New York Times
Apr 16, 2009 10 Things Cable Companies Won't Tell You

QUOTE: 2. “raise prices recklessly... Bundling your services can end up costing you more.”

Smart Money
Dec 27, 2007 Customer service advice from experts and insiders

QUOTE: You may be able to get a dispute with a credit card issuer settled over the phone, but it takes a little know-how and a whole lot of patience.
Mar 13, 2007 Take the sting out of credit card 'gotchas' (Your Money)

QUOTE: Americans use credit cards to pay for everything from groceries to speeding tickets. But they're increasingly besieged by colossal fees and interest-rate increases that seem to hit them without warning or justification.

Dec 26, 2006 Ugly Credit Card Trends

QUOTE: From fee hikes to new technologies that encourage spending, credit-card companies will look to improve their bottom line at your expense. Here are five credit-card trends that could affect your wallet in 2007, and how to avoid getting burned.

Smart Money
Jul 27, 2006 Choosing the right card to travel: Consumers can expect some pretty hefty charges for using credit cards overseas ... a little investigation beforehand is worthwhile.

QUOTE: For the credit card industry, fees linked to foreign-made purchases provide a nice line of revenue. MasterCard (Charts) and its competitor Visa charge bank issuers 1 percent for every purchase consumers make abroad...Banks jumped on the bandwagon, charging a fee of 1 to 2 percent of their own on top of the fees passed down by Visa and MasterCard.

CNN/Money Magazine
Jul 01, 2006 Life without credit: tough and expensive

QUOTE: as many as 60 million people -- close to one-fifth of the population -- will have trouble accessing traditional credit...the biggest cost is financial. Life costs more when you can't access credit.
Mar 05, 2006 Time Out on Cash Back: Credit Card's 5 Percent Rebate Is Slow to Add Up

QUOTE: "We're a society that is ruled by contracts, and consumers sometimes don't realize that. Businesses go into [a deal] doing these flowery promotions -- but the devil's in the details. As painful as it can be, you have got to read the agreement and understand what you are getting into."

Washington Post
Nov 18, 2005 Beware of credit-repair scams

QUOTE: ...if the debts really are yours, the creditor can keep them on your report, usually for seven years. And no third party has the magic to make that go away. On the other hand, some for-profit credit repair firms offer a viable option by disputing items you believe to be inaccurate and pursuing the necessary paperwork and follow-up you may not be able or willing to do.
Jun 24, 2005 Are you being overcharged for overseas purchases?

QUOTE: This extra profit is called a foreign currency-conversion fee, and you could be paying up to 3-percent extra when you make an overseas purchase with a credit card.
Jun 14, 2005 A Fee Even the Card Issuers Cannot Explain

QUOTE: "...Visa suspended its 1 percent international service assessment on all single-currency cross-border transactions. In a statement, Visa said only that it was "reviewing the fee structure," but you can't help suspecting that complaints from customers was the reason."

New York Times
Sep 15, 2004 Top 10 hidden dangers of credit cards

QUOTE: "Just read the fine print of your credit card agreement,"..."It's a license to steal."
Feb 27, 2003 Credit Card Cos. Watch Own Backs

QUOTE: The credit card industry focuses too much on reducing its own fraud costs and not enough on protecting consumers.

Oct 01, 2002 California takes junk e-mailer to court

QUOTE: The state of California has filed a lawsuit against a marketing company over its use of e-mail to advertise. It's believed to be the first time a state has launched such an action.

CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company)
Jun 18, 2001 Is it consumer convenience or too much information?

QUOTE: You give your phone number out so people can get in touch with you. But you don't assume they can use it to get to you.

KOVR TV (Sacramento, Calif)