National Consumer Organizations
(from the Consumer Action Handbook)
These organizations define their missions as consumer assistance, protection and/or advocacy. The descriptions below are based on information they provided. The services they provide vary. Those that assist individuals with marketplace problems are specified. Otherwise, these organizations do not assist consumers with individual complaints, although many are interested in hearing from consumers about problems, issues and trends in connection with their advocacy and consumer education activities. Most, though not all, develop and distribute consumer education and information materials; several are professional associations primarily or exclusively concerned with improving consumer protection or customer service; and many are engaged in advocacy of consumer interests before government, the courts and the news media. Where informational or educational materials are offered, there might be a charge; contact the organization to find out.
601 E St., NW
Washington, DC 20049
Web site: www.aarp.org
The Consumer Protection unit is charged by AARP to examine those consumer problems and issues that impact the financial security of people 50 years of age and older, and to help its members protect themselves from marketplace fraud and deception. To this end, Consumer Protection stays abreast of current and breaking consumer developments, and employs a variety of strategies to inform AARP members.
Alliance Against Fraud in Telemarketing and Electronic Commerce (AAFTEC)
The alliance, coordinated by the National Consumers League, is a coalition of public interest groups, trade associations, labor unions, businesses, law enforcement agencies, educators, and consumer protection agencies. AAFTEC members promote efforts to educate the public about telemarketing and Internet fraud, and how consumers can shop safely by phone and online.
American Council on Consumer Interests (ACCI)
American Council on Consumer Interests (ACCI) is the leading consumer policy research and education organization consisting of a world-wide community of researchers, educators and related professionals dedicated to enhancing consumer well-being. Since 1953, the American Council on Consumer Interests (ACCI) has been--and remains today--the leading membership organization for academics and other professionals involved in consumer and family economics.
American Council on Science and Health (ACSH)
A nonprofit public education group, ACSH has the goal to provide consumers with up-to-date scientifically sound information on the relationship between human health and chemicals, foods, lifestyles, and the environment. Booklets and special reports on a variety of topics are available.
Center for Auto Safety (CAS)
1825 Connecticut Ave., NW Suite 330
Washington, DC 20009
Web site: www.autosafety.org
CAS advocates on behalf of consumers in auto safety and quality, fuel efficiency, emissions, and related issues. For advice on specific problems, CAS requests that consumers write a brief statement of the problem or question; including the year, make, model of the vehicle, and a stamped self-addressed envelope.
Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)
A nonprofit, membership organization, CSPI conducts research, education, and advocacy on nutrition, health, food safety and related issues, and publishes the monthly Nutrition Action Healthletter as well as other consumer information materials.
Center for the Study of Services
Nonprofit organization publishes books and pamphlets to help consumers select doctors, hospitals, and health plans. Publishes pamphlets and offers services to help consumers get good prices on new cars. Publishes information and maintains on-line database to help consumers shop for good prices and desired features in big-ticket products -- audio-video, major appliances, tires, etc. Rates local service providers such as plumbers, roofers, auto repair shops, and several other categories in the Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Seattle, San Francisco and St. Paul/Minneapolis areas.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards is a nonprofit regulatory organization that fosters professional standards in personal financial planning so that the public values, has access to and benefits from competent financial planning. CFP Board regulates financial planners through trademark law by certifying individuals who meet its requirements to use the marks CFP , CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM and CFP (with flame logo). CFP Board provides free educational materials and workplace seminars. Call 1-888-237-6275 or go to www.CFP.net.
Coalition Against Insurance Fraud
The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud is a national alliance of consumer groups, government agencies, and insurance companies dedicated to combating all forms of insurance fraud through advocacy and public information. It conducts research, develops public education programs and publishes a consumer brochure, How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Insurance Fraud, which is available upon request. It also refers consumers to appropriate agencies to report incidences of insurance fraud.
Community Nutrition Institute (CNI)
419 West Broad Street #204
Falls Church, VA 22046
Web site: www.communitynutrition.org
An advocate for programs and services to enable consumers to enjoy a diet that is adequate, safe, and healthy, CNI also works to increase citizen participation in the state and Federal policy and administrative processes to achieve these goals. CNI publishes Nutrition Week, a newsletter covering nutrition and food safety issues, as well as related legislative and regulatory actions.
An arm of Public Citizen, Congress Watch works for consumer-related legislation, regulation, and policies in such areas as health and safety, and campaign financing, and has publications available on the issues with which it deals.
717 Market St., Suite 310
San Francisco, CA 94103
415-777-9635 (Consumer Complaints)
Web site: www.consumer-action.org
Consumer Action assists consumers with marketplace problems. An education and advocacy organization specializing in credit, finance, and telecommunications issues, Consumer Action offers a multi-lingual consumer complaint hotline, free information on its surveys of banks and long-distance telephone companies, and consumer education materials in as many as eight languages. Community based organizations can receive these free publications in bulk.
Consumer Alert's mission is to inform the public about the consumer benefits of competitive enterprise and to expose the flawed economic, scientific and risk data that underlie certain public policies. Consumer Alert has an active program of consumers with information to help them make every day decisions. The constituent of Consumer Alert is the real consumer who pays the bills.
Consumer Federation of America (CFA)
1424 16th St., NW, Suite 604
Washington, DC 20036
Web site: www.consumerfed.org
Comprised of more than 240 organizations representing a membership exceeding 50 million consumers, CFA is a consumer advocacy and education organization. Issues on which it currently represents consumer interests before Congress and Federal regulatory agencies include telephone service, insurance and financial services, product safety, indoor air pollution, health care, product liability, and utility rates. It develops and distributes studies of various consumer issues, as well as consumer guides in book and pamphlet form. In addition, CFA publishes several newsletters.
Consumers for World Trade (CWT)
A nonprofit organization, CWT supports trade expansion and liberalization to promote economic growth and increase consumer choice and price competition in the marketplace. Various publications are available.
A national, nonprofit membership organization committed to comprehensive reform of health and long-term care, Families USA works to educate and mobilize consumers on health care issues. In addition to its two grass roots advocacy networks -- asap!, a network of health and long-term care reform activists and HealthLink USA, a nationwide health reform computer network for public interest groups -- Families USA develops and distributes reports and other materials on health and long-term care issues.
The Federation of American Consumers and Travelers (FACT)
The Federation of American Consumers and Travelers (FACT) is a national not-for-profit consumer group representing more than one million Americans throughout the U.S. FACT provides individuals and small associations with a complete array of cost-effective benefits and unique programs. FACT provides non-biased and non-partisan weekly Eye-on-Washington Reports direct from the nation's capitol, no-strings-attached Disaster Aid, continuing education scholarships, community and classroom grants, assistance for small business owners, travel discounts, and a Consumer Hotline/Library.
Funeral Consumers Alliance
Funeral Consumers Alliance is a nonprofit educational organization protecting a consumer's right to choose a dignified, meaningful, affordable funeral. In addition to informing the public about their available options and rights, FCA will assist in mediating complaints. There are more than 100 local affiliates around the country, many of which work for better legislation, do funeral price surveys, and counsel members and the general public.
HALT: An Organization of Americans for Legal Reform
HALT's mission is to enable Americans to handle their legal affairs affordably, equitably, and simply. HALT publishes a series of self-help legal manuals, operates a legal information clearinghouse, and advocates for legal reforms which will benefit consumers.
Health Research Group (HRG)
1600 20th St., NW
Washington, DC 20009
Web site: www.citizen.org/hrg
A division of Public Citizen, HRG works for protection against unsafe foods, drugs, medical devices, and workplaces, and advocates for greater consumer control over personal health decisions. A monthly Health Letter and a monthly letter on prescription drugs are available.
Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy
The Coalition's direct objective is to encourage curriculum enrichment to ensure that basic personal financial management skills are attained during the K-16 educational experience.
National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators (NACAA)
An association of the administrators of local, state, and Federal Government consumer protection agencies, NACAA provides training programs, public policy studies and conferences, professional publications, and other member services.
National Coalition for Consumer Education
c/o National Consumers League
1701 K St., NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20006
Web site: www.nclnet.org
NCCE is a coalition coordinated by the National Consumers League. It develops and provides educational materials and resources to consumer educators through a network of state coordinators. The coalition sponsors LifeSmarts, a game-show competition open to all teens in the Unites States who are in the 9th through 12th grade.
National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC)
NCRC was founded in 1990 with the goal of ending discriminatory banking practices and increasing the flow of private capital and credit into underserved communities across the country. NCRC has over 600 members in every state and major city in America as well as in many smaller cities and rural areas.
National Consumer Law Center (NCLC)
NCLC is an advocacy and research organization focusing on the needs of low-income and elderly consumers. It represents the interests of consumers in court, before administrative agencies, and before legislatures. Limited resources prvent the organization from responding to individual inquiries. The Center also publishes Surviving Debt: A Guide for Consumers. The Consumer Credit and Sales Legal Practice Series consisting of sixteen desk reference manuals is published for attorneys.
National Consumers League
Founded in 1899, the mission of the NCL is to identify, protect, represent, and advance the economic and social interests of consumers and workers. The league is a nonprofit membership organization working for health, safety, and fairness in the marketplace and workplace. Current principal issue areas include consumer fraud, food and drug safety, fair labor standards, child labor, health care, e-commerce, financial services and telecommunications. The league promotes consumer education through outreach to high school studetns and provides infromation to consuemrs through publications, media outreach, and multiple web sites.
National Council on the Aging (NCOA)
NCOA is the nation's first association of organizations and professionals dedicated to promoting the dignity, self- determination, well being, and contributions of older persons
National Fraud Information Center/Internet Fraud Watch
1701 K St., NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20006
Toll free: 1-800-876-7060
Web site: www.fraud.org
NFC/IFW assists consumers with recognizing and filing complaints about telemarketing and Internet fraud. A project of the National Consumers League, the hotline provides consumers with information to help them avoid becoming victims of fraud, and assistance in relaying consumers' reports about telemarketing and Internet to the appropriate law enforcement agencies. Spanish-speaking counselors available.
Public Citizen, Inc.
A national, nonprofit membership organization representing consumer interests through lobbying, litigation, research, and publications, Public Citizen represents consumer interests in Congress, the courts, government agencies, and the media. Primary current areas of interest include product liability, health care delivery, safe medical devices and medications, open and ethical government, and safe and sustainable energy use.
Self Help for Hard of Hearing People
The largest international consumer organization devoted to serving the interests of consumers with hearing loss through self help, advocacy, and education. Founded in 1979, SHH is a non-profit membership association with over 250 chapters throughout the U.S. Publications include information on: hearing aids, cochlear implants, assistive listening devices, Americans with Disabilities Act, employment, travel, lip-reading, education, parenting, medical research, psychological stress and telephone and television strategies. Holds annual conventions and publishes Hearing Loss: The Journal of Self Help for Hard of Hearing People.
Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals in Business (SOCAP)
An international professional organization, SOCAP provides training, conferences and publications to encourage and maintain the integrity of business in transactions with consumers; to encourage and promote effective communication and understanding among business, government and consumers; and to define and advance the consumer affairs profession.
U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG)
U.S. PIRG is the national lobbying office for the state public interest research groups. The PIRGs are consumer environmental advocacy groups active in many states across the country. U.S. PIRG works on a variety of consumer and environmental protection issues, including bank fees, credit bureau abuses, clean air and clean water, right to know, campaign finance reform, and various other issues. U.S. PIRG does not handle individual consumer complaints directly but measures complaint levels to gauge the need for remedial legislation.
This listing is extracted from the Consumer Action Handbook, one of the most popular books published by the Federal government. This extremely useful guide also includes many other consumer organizations, Better Business Bureau addresses, corporate consumer contacts, car makers, etc. We highly recommend this as a source of consumer information!