Consumer group objects to unlawful transition of power at CFPB – National Consumers League

November 28, 2017

Contact: Cindy Hoang, (202) 207-2832 or

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL), the nation’s oldest consumer and worker advocacy organization, announced it support for the actions of former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray appointing his Deputy at the Bureau, Leandra English, as acting head of the agency. Director Cordray stepped down from the Bureau on November 24. NCL is calling on President Trump to respect the leadership process outlined in the Dodd Frank Act for independent agencies such as CFPB, which he failed to do when he appointed Mick Mulvaney as acting director.

Congress, in drafting Dodd-Frank, set out to harmonize the law with the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, which states that its general provision for presidential appointment of an acting official without a Senate vote in the event of a vacancy does not apply to agencies where “a statutory provision … designates an officer or employee to perform the functions and duties of a specified office temporarily in an acting capacity.” The statutory delegation of leadership authority over the CFPB to the Deputy Director in the event of the Director’s absence is exactly what the statute’s drafters had in mind.

The following statement can be attributed to NCL’s Executive Director Sally Greenberg:  

The CFPB statute, created under the Dodd-Frank Act, specifically notes that the Director ‘shall appoint a deputy to run the agency if the director slot is vacant.’ It’s directive, not permissive language. We question President Trump’s direct and immediate designation of a new head of the agency without following the process for independent agencies. That process would include a nomination of an individual to lead the agency, followed by Senate hearings, followed by a vote in the Senate to confirm.

The CFPB, like the Federal Reserve Board Chair and its respective appointments, was designed to do its work free from Congressional pressure or special interests. The Bureau is a watchdog over financial sector abuses like payday lending, predatory student loan and debt collection policies, and the opening of phony bank accounts like the activities Wells Fargo engaged in.   

President Trump has circumvented appropriate procedure by naming Mick Mulvaney, his Office of Management and Budget Director, as the Acting Director of the CFPB. The move is an affront to CFPB independence and is constitutionally and procedurally wrong. The federal courts will need to rule on the interpretation of the statute.

Mick Mulvaney is the wrong choice for additional reasons, as well. He is already serving as head of the Office of Management and Budget. He is on record as having said the Bureau, which has returned $12 billion to 29 million American consumers, is a “sad, sick joke” and that he wants to see it abolished. He is a threat to the CFPB’s track record as an independent agency working on behalf of consumers. Consumers would be seriously harmed by Mulvaney, who is not an independent actor and lacks any record of supporting consumer protections.


About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit

The world gathers to fight child labor at the 4th Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour – National Consumers League

The world is making significant progress in removing the scourge of child labor—there are 94 million fewer child laborers today than there were 16 years ago. I believe one of the reasons for this progress is the coming together of governments, worker groups, and human rights and child rights groups every four years for an international conference for focused strategy sessions on reducing child labor. I realize that there might be some skepticism that a conference could make much difference, but hear me out.

This year’s conference, organized by the government of Argentina and the International Labour Organization (ILO), took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 14-16 and brought together over 150 countries and nearly 3,000 individuals who are in some way involved in the fight against child labor. I was there representing the Child Labor Coalition (CLC), which is co-chaired by the National Consumers League (NCL) and the American Federation of Teachers, and has been fighting to reduce child labor for nearly three decades.

We heard many great panels. Several were about trying to confront work in agriculture—the most ubiquitous form of child labor (comprising 70 percent of the problem.) Others confronted hazardous work, which involves 73 million children—almost half of the child labor population which is currently 152 million. The CLC’s chair of our Domestic Issues Committee, Norma Flores Lopez, the, spoke movingly about her own experiences working in U.S. fields as a child farmworker. Norma stated her belief that racial discrimination plays a part in persistence of child labor. Most children impacted by child labor are children of color, she noted. Authorities, she suggested, feel less pressure to remedy the exploitation of racial and ethnic minorities. Conference participants seemed stunned to learn that the U.S. has a child labor problem—our lax child labor laws allow children to work in agriculture beginning at age 12 and kids are allowed to work unlimited hours as long as they do not miss school. Some children work 80-90 hour weeks, performing back-breaking labor in stifling heat. 

Jo Becker, a child rights specialist for Human Rights Watch and an active member of the CLC, spoke about hazardous work and the dangers children are routinely subjected to in the fields and other dangerous locations. Becker has been a leader in campaigns to remove children from combat, from mines, and from tobacco farms in recent years. She noted that Brazil lists child tobacco work as hazardous but the U.S. does not—something that the U.S. government needs to fix. In 2014, Human Rights Watch published a ground-breaking report, “Tobacco’s Hidden Children: Hazardous Child Labor in US Tobacco Farming,” based on interviews with children working on American tobacco farms found that more than half had suffered symptoms that correlated with nicotine poisoning.

Both Norma Flores Lopez and Sue Longley of the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Association spoke about sexual harassment that girls and young women experience in agriculture.

Tim Ryan, representing the Solidarity Center, the Global March Against Child Labor and the CLC, spoke about the importance of freedom of association and collective bargaining. Workplaces where unions exist, he suggested, typically have no child labor. Collective bargaining also empowers workers and increases wages. If parents can earn a living wage, there is much less need to bring children into the workforce, Ryan suggested.

We learned about progress in helping children that is being made around the world. Officials from Pakistan told us that child labor in brick kilns has been reduced by 83 percent. A Ghanaian official told us that 95 percent of children in his country are now in school, although there is still a great deal of child labor.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, a close friend of the CLC, noted that child and indentured labor in Asian carpets has been reduced from one million to 250,000. Satyarthi spoke about the importance of educating the world’s out-of-school youth, noting that $22 billion would be sufficient to get all children into school. Without access to education, the elimination of child labor cannot happen, suggested Satyarthi.

There were many valuable insights at the conference, but I believe that the conference’s importance has a lot to do with bringing governments to the same place where inevitably the governments feel pressure to report progress. The countries—more than 150 of them—know that they will meet again in four years and will need to account for their lack of progress in reducing child labor.

The conference’s plenary session on its last day featured nearly 100 pledges from over 90 countries, worker rights groups, and nonprofits. In these pledges, participants identified strategies that they think will reduce child labor over the next four years as we move to the 2025 deadline set under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8.7, which calls for the complete elimination of child labor. I had the privilege of making a pledge for the CLC. We pledged to work with Congress and the U.S. government to close the loopholes in child labor law that allow children to work at 12 in agriculture and to work to reduce hazardous work in US agriculture that is harming the health of thousands of children every year.

Kailash Satyarthi confided in participants that he hoped there would be no need for another global child labor conference—that we might end the scourge of child labor in the next four years. That is his dream—one we all share.


Americans support unions – National Consumers League

Sally2017_92px.jpgOne of the great stories of 2017 is that despite what the business community would have us believe, 61 percent of adults in the U.S. say they approve of labor unions. This is the highest approval rating since the 65 percent approval recorded in 2003. And currently, the labor union approval is up five percentage points from last year, according to polling by Gallup.

Historically, unions have enjoyed strong support from the American public. In 1936, 72 percent of Americans approved of labor unions. Union approval peaked in the 1950’s when it reached 75 percent in 1953 and 1957.

It’s impressive that despite consistent efforts to undermine the union movement by ALEC and the Chamber of Commerce, the same poll showed that Republicans’ approval of unions rose since last year, possibly due to the presidency of Republican Donald Trump.

Even among young Republicans, 55 percent of those younger than 30 looked favorably on unions, compared to 32 percent of those 50 and older. Meanwhile, 49 percent Republicans without a college degree favored unions, compared to 28 percent of college-educated Republicans.

The same poll showed that 39 percent of Americans would like unions to have more influence–the highest figure recorded in the 18 years Gallup has surveyed this question.

For the past 80 years, unions have been an integral part of the American labor force. Since 1936, shortly after Congress legalized private sector unions and collective bargaining, U.S. adults have approved, sometimes overwhelmingly, of labor unions. Ten percent of Americans report personally being a union member, while 16 percent live in a union household, according to the poll.

The United Steelworkers, which represent 850,000 U.S. workers, issued this statement:

“It is gratifying to see that the popularity of unions has risen 13 points since 2009, particularly when wealthy, right-wing groups like ALEC and the State Policy Network are working every day to crush unions. The USW, the AFL-CIO and all of its member unions will continue working to end income inequality and improve the lives of all workers by ensuring they receive a fair share of the bounty created by their labor.”

When given the choice free from employer intimidation and anti-union messaging, unions win the day with workers, and why wouldn’t they? They give workers a say in things like decent raises, affordable healthcare, safer workplaces, job security, and a stable schedule.

Industries leaders big and small would benefit from having someone to talk to across the table. We can only hope that these promising new poll numbers will lead the way to greater worker access to unions and fairer distribution of wages and benefits.  

Practice safe shopping this Black Friday, Cyber Monday and holiday season

November 22, 2017

Contact: Cindy Hoang, (202) 207-2832 or

Washington, DC–As families prepare for their annual Thanksgiving traditions, many, too, are getting ready to put their credit cards and hard-earned cash to work this Black Friday (or even earlier at some retailers). While “Cyber Monday” used to be considered the biggest online shopping day of the year, the holiday shopping rush seems to start earlier and earlier each year. With more and more consumers opting to avoid the mall, online spending over the Thanksgiving weekend through Cyber Monday is expected to be in the billions.

Forbes reported last month that this holiday shopping season is expected to be “robust.” Whether consumers do their shopping online at the workplace or at home, advocates are reminding them to practice safe e-shopping habits in the coming weeks and year-round.

“The Internet can make your shopping faster and easier, but there can also be pitfalls if you’re not careful,” said Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League, which today released its top ten tips for avoiding cyber grinches and scams this holiday season. “There are ways to ensure you have a safe online shopping experience, so that gift-giving is a joyous occasion, not an opportunity for cyber thieves.”

  1. Don’t shop online on an unencrypted or open wireless network. As convenient as they seem, an airport or coffee shop’s wireless network is not an appropriate place to conduct financial transactions. Entering personal financial information over an unsecured connection may leave your computer open the to hackers and thieves to capture your financial information. Home Wi-Fi networks can also be compromised, so consumers should find out how to secure their connections.
  2. Secure your own computer before shopping online. Before connecting to the Internet or shopping online, take the following three core protections: 1) Install anti-virus and anti-spyware programs and keep them up to date; 2) Install a personal firewall; 3) Regularly update operating system and anti-virus programs to current protections.
  3. Know who you’re dealing with. Before shopping online with an unknown e-store, check out the seller and be sure to get the name and physical address of the vendor in case something goes wrong. If you’re buying gifts on an online auction site, check the track record of the seller before you bid.
  4. Pay the safest way – by credit card, especially when you’re purchasing something that will be delivered later. Under federal law you can dispute the charges if you don’t get what you were promised. You may also dispute unauthorized charges on your credit card. Consider using a “virtual” credit card number.  These numbers replace your plastic credit card number with a new number that is linked to your real account number.  When you’re prompted to enter your credit card number at checkout, you enter the virtual number instead of the real number.  These “virtual” numbers can be set to have a low credit limit, to only work at certain Web sites, or to expire after a certain period of time (two months from date of purchase is a good rule of thumb).  This way, if the Web site you’re shopping at is compromised, the crooks likely won’t be able to run up charges on your real credit account since the virtual number.  A note of caution, however: think twice before using a virtual credit card number for services where you will be billed repeatedly or for things like rental car reservations, since the card may not be billed until you pick up the car.
  5. Only shop on safe sites. When providing payment information, the Web site URL address should change from “http” to “https,” (or, less frequently, “shttp”) indicating that the purchase is encrypted or secured. Look for an icon on the browser (generally in the bottom right of the window), such as an image of a padlock closing, to indicate that the page is secure.
  6. Don’t fall for a phishing email or pop-up. Legitimate companies don’t send unsolicited email messages asking for your password, login name, or your financial information. But scammers do, and it’s called “phishing.” Crooks often send emails that look like they’re from legitimate companies – but direct you to click on a link, where they ask for your personal information. Delete these emails.
  7. Be careful when shopping for a gift in an online auction. Consumers sometimes turn to auctions for harder-to-find collectibles or expensive electronics. Understand how the auction works, and check out the seller’s reputation before you bid. Use safe ways to pay, like a credit card. If you use a 3rd party payment system, read the terms carefully to understand what protection, if any, it offers if you don’t receive what you were promised. Always ask about terms of delivery and return options. Be especially wary of auctions that ask for payment via wire transfer.
  8. Turn your computer off when you’re finished shopping. Many people leave their computers running 24/7, the dream scenario for scammers who want to install malicious software—“malware”—on your machine and then control it remotely to enable them to commit cyber crime. To be extra safe, switch off your computer when you are not using it.
  9. Don’t be tempted by offers of free money. Con artists take advantage of cash-strapped consumers during the holidays to offer personal loans or credit cards for a fee upfront. These scammers simply take the money and run. Beware of emails offering loans or credit, especially if you have credit problems.
  10. Visit to learn more about protecting yourself from online scams year-round and to report suspicious sites, sellers, or scams. You don’t have to be a victim to report a scam, and your information will help law enforcement go after cyber grinches.

Above all, look into the business or individual with whom you are doing business before making the transaction. For more information on avoiding scams throughout the year, visit


About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit

Women can’t be complacent about their Medicare choices – the cost is too high – National Consumers League

This post originally appeared at Huff Post.

With all the news and controversy surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment period, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that Medicare open enrollment is also in full swing from now through December 7. This is the time for retirees to decide whether they should remain on their current Medicare plan or switch to another.

Ideally, the process should entail assessing your medical needs for the coming year, reviewing the details of your current plan to make sure it covers what you’ll need going forward, and considering whether there’s a better plan that will provide the right coverage at the right price. But unfortunately, that’s not how it usually works. In fact, a new survey sponsored by WellCare Health Plans, called the Cost of Complacency, shows that only about a third of seniors comparison shop for a Medicare plan at all.

Those harmed the most by not doing so are women: 26 percent more women than men ages 65 and older report feeling burdened by the cost of healthcare. It’s no wonder; there are several reasons for this. Women live longer than men—by an average of about 7 years. Longevity should be good news, but coupled with the fact that women typically have lower incomes and fewer financial assets—and have more chronic conditions requiring medical care than men—women often spend those extra years in a precarious financial situation.

Given these realities, it’s critical that older women have healthcare coverage that will meet their medical needs—not threaten their financial health. That’s not to say that figuring out what you need and which plan will best serve you is easy. As the WellCare survey found, 29 percent more women than men find the process of reviewing and comparing plans painful and frustrating. But the stakes are too high for women to not engage in the critical process of ensuring they are getting coverage that will protect both their health and their finances.

The reason it’s important to review and reassess your plan each year—even if you’ve been satisfied with your past coverage—is that it likely won’t be the same in 2018. Most plans change every year and some of those changes can be significant. Your health also changes (inevitably with greater costs as you age), so it’s especially important to consider how your current health conditions and whether the plan you’re currently on will provide adequate coverage if you are likely to need more diagnostic tests, different drug regimens, or more health care visits.

The basic rules of reviewing your plan include determining out-of-pocket costs, which consist of your premium, deductible, and cost-sharing charges, whether they may be copayments or co-insurance. You should also make sure that the pharmacies, health care providers, and hospitals you use are covered by the plan’s network or—if they aren’t—decide that you’re willing to switch to those that are.

For women on traditional Medicare (Part A & B), it’s also important to understand the gaps and limitations of that coverage. For instance, if you currently have or have had cancer in the past, you should be aware that there is a lifetime limit to the amount of diagnostic testing Medicare will cover. With treatments now enabling people to live with cancer for years as a chronic disease, you can quickly hit that maximum if there’s a need for expensive annual tests such as PET-CT scans. If you reach the Part B cap, you could be looking at exorbitant out-of-pocket costs.

With older women having higher rates of cognitive impairments, such as memory loss and dementia as they age, the Medicare limits on services associated with those conditions can have a particularly negative impact. While Medicare covers assessments for cognitive and neurological decline, it does not help with related ongoing services including daily care, care management, and home companions who can be incredibly costly, especially if needed for an extended period of time.

There are also significant coverage gaps in cataract treatments and no coverage at all for corrective eye exams, hearing exams, hearing aids, or common dental work.

About half of all women fill some of these gaps by enrolling in private plans, such as a supplemental Medigap insurance policy or a Medicare Advantage Plan that provides both Part B coverage as well as additional benefits.

So, there’s a lot to consider and yes, it can be overwhelming, which is why you shouldn’t do it alone. But, as the Cost of Complacency survey showed, most women do try to power through the process on their own, which could be why so many give up on doing it altogether. Instead, get together with a friend, your spouse, child, or grandchild and look to do the following: 

  • Review your current plan’s paperwork, including benefits and any limitations;
  • If you have them, review your medical receipts from the year to determine how much money you spent, and on what services;
  • Create a priority list for a Medicare plan, including not just “must haves,” but also “might needs”;
  • Use the Medicare Plan Finder tool on to research plans based on your needs. Also, access community resources, such as senior centers, the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), or the toll-free numbers provided by the plan providers to ask questions; and
  • Don’t try to review everything in one day. Do a little bit each day until the December 7 deadline.
You still have time to review, compare, and choose a plan that will serve your health needs for the coming year! It may be one of the most important things you can do to protect your health and your financial wellbeing.

FCC Lifeline vote threatens affordable access to broadband – National Consumers League

November 16, 2017

Contact: Cindy Hoang (202) 207-2832,   

Washington, DC – The National Consumers League is extremely disappointed in today’s vote by the Federal Communications Commission to begin a rulemaking process to alter the Lifeline program. In particular we are concerned that the FCC’s proposal will restrict funding to only facilities-based providers of Lifeline service. Such restrictions would threaten access by the most vulnerable Americans to voice and broadband services by excluding from the market the very Lifeline service providers that have helped make the program a success.

The following statement is attributable to Sally Greenberg, Executive Director of the National Consumers League:

“The current FCC leadership would like the public to believe that its vote today will help bridge the digital divide. In reality, the FCC’s action threatens to exacerbate the current digital divide, with low-income consumers are relegated to expensive, low-quality Internet service while those with means enjoy access to 21st century broadband. We urge the Commission to instead expand outreach to the millions of consumers who qualify for Lifeline, but haven’t enrolled. The National Consumers League stands with the coalition of consumer, rural, tribal, and low-income advocacy organizations who are calling on Chairman Pai to focus on expanding the Lifeline program and promoting policies that bridge — rather than worsen — the digital divide.”


About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit

NCL statement on announced resignation of CFPB Director Richard Cordray – National Consumers League

November 16, 2017

Contact: Cindy Hoang (202) 207-2832,   

Washington, DC—Director Richard Cordray of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced his intention to resign by the end of the month. The following statement is attributable to NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg: 

“Since 2012, Director Richard Cordray has served as the head of one of the most important consumer protection organizations in our country’s history. Under his leadership, the CFPB returned more than $12 billion dollars to more than 29 million consumers affected by illegal business practices. Thanks to director Cordray, the CFPB has reined in abuses by predatory debt collectors and payday lenders, put the brakes on deceptive student loan servicers, and worked to end the spread of outrageous forced arbitration clauses. 

In honor of his outstanding work, NCL recognized Director Cordray at our annual awards dinner October 25 with a Trumpeter Award for his service to consumers and the American public. From the beginning of his tenure, Director Cordray has been the epitome of an honest, transparent and hardworking civil servant. He oversaw a staff of nearly two thousand public servants, all dedicated to ensuring that consumers were given a level playing field with the financial services industry and protected from serial abusers of the public trust such as Wells Fargo. 

This announcement is a sad day for consumers, especially given the hostility shown by the majority in both houses of Congress and the Trump Administration to the Bureau’s mission of protecting consumers from predatory practices. 

President Trump now has the right to nominate a new director. NCL will remain vigilant to ensure that the President nominates another champion of consumers and the middle class, not a champion of Wall Street and big banks. The CFPB’s has made great progress in protecting consumers, but there is still much work left to be done. Rest assured, NCL will continue fighting on the front lines to ensure that the next director is up to the task.”


About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit

NCL welcomes nationwide removal of misleading nutritional scoring system from grocery shelves – National Consumers League

November 9, 2017

Contact: Cindy Hoang (202) 207-2832,   

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL) has welcomed news that a supermarket-based nutritional scoring system of food products called NuVal, which at its peak was used in 1,600 grocery stores nationwide, has been discontinued. For the last five years, NCL has been a vocal critic of NuVal’s controversial ratings system. In a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012, NCL called NuVal “fatally flawed,” pointed out that it gave some junk foods higher nutritional ratings than canned fruit, and called for its investigation and removal from grocery stores.

NuVal scored food on a scale of 1-100, with printed labels appearing on shelves next to price labels in stores that used the system. NuVal claimed to help consumers compare products by simplifying their nutritional value; the higher the number, the “better the nutrition.”

“The NuVal rating system was fatally flawed, and its removal from grocery store shelves is a win for consumers,” said National Consumers League Executive Director Sally Greenberg. “Its proprietary algorithmic formula – which was not made transparent to consumers or the scientific community – resulted in snack chips, soft drinks, and desserts being given as high or higher nutritional scores than some canned fruits and vegetables. We welcome the news that NuVal has been discontinued nationally.”

The consumer group criticized NuVal’s nutritional ratings as confusing—not helpful—to consumers trying to make healthy decisions for their families and called on the FDA to step in and set industry-wide standards to govern such systems so that they truly benefit nutrition-minded consumers. Other critics questioned conflicts of interest behind NuVal’s research and food manufacturers.

The Yale Daily News reported that, according to NuVal’s creator, Director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center David Katz, “Hershey’s paid him more than $731,000 for research, and Quaker Oats had paid him more than $633,000. He has also received funds from Kind Bar and Chobani.”

Last fall, NCL noted that several regional grocery store chains, including Tops Market, based in Williamsville, NY, California-based Raley’s, and Massachusetts-based Big Y, had also begun phasing out the system.


About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit

Advocates urge FTC to protect consumers from pyramid schemes – National Consumers League

November 3, 2017

Contact: Cindy Hoang (202) 207-2832,   

Washington, DC–Today, a coalition of consumer advocacy organizations, civil rights groups, and pyramid scheme experts joined the National Consumers League (NCL) in calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to make any guidance it offers to the direct selling industry about pyramid scheme enforcement as strong as possible. 

In 2016, the FTC signaled that it would issue updated guidance to the direct selling industry on how to avoid pyramidal business practices and stay in compliance with the FTC Act. Next week, Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen will be a featured speaker at the Direct Selling Association’s Fall Conference, a venue that the FTC has used in the past to offer guidance to the industry.

The advocacy groups’ letter calls on FTC to ensure that any guidance it offers:

  • Reaffirms case law stating that multi-level compensation should be primarily tied to sales of goods and services to customers outside of the business opportunity;
  • Draws on the lessons of previous FTC investigations and settlements, such as the Commission’s successful actions against BurnLounge, Vemma, and Herbalife;
  • Reiterates that compensation based on internal consumption by distributors must be subject to reasonable and transparent limits; and
  • Makes clear that multi-level marketing companies must be able to substantiate income and health claims and monitor their distributors to ensure that prohibitions against deceptive claims are enforced. 

“The direct selling industry has been furiously lobbying in support of thinly-veiled pyramid scheme legalization bills in Congress,” said John Breyault, NCL’s vice president of public policy, telecommunications, and fraud. “By issuing strong, unambiguous guidance, the FTC has an opportunity to rebut spurious industry claims that there is regulatory confusion and strengthen consumer protections against pyramid schemes that harm millions of consumers. Such guidance will reaffirm how ethical direct selling companies should operate to stay on the right side of the law.” 

In addition to NCL, the letter was signed by Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Consumer Watchdog, League of United Latin American Citizens, MANA, National Association of Consumer Advocates, National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low income clients), Public Citizen, U.S. PIRG, William W. Keep, PhD, and Peter J. Vander Nat, PhD. 

To view the full letter, click here.


About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit

National Consumers League condemns President Trump’s decision to side with Wall Street over Main Street – National Consumers League

November 3, 2017

Contact: Cindy Hoang (202) 207-2832,   

Washington, DC–On Wednesday, President Trump once again sided with Wall Street executives over the middle class by signing a Congressional Review Act resolution to repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) arbitration rule. The rule, the result of years of study and a congressional directive would have restored consumers’ constitutional right to access the courts when companies like Wells Fargo defraud them.

The following statement is attributable to Sally Greenberg, National Consumers League executive director:

“It is a hallmark of the American justice system that when individuals are wronged, they can seek justice through the courts. With a stroke of his pen, President Trump stripped away that right from millions of consumers. When companies like Wells Fargo break the law and open nearly 1.4 million fraudulent accounts without their customer’s consent, consumers must be able to band together and hold corporate wrongdoers accountable. Congress and President Trump’s decision to take away this basic protection underscores the need for NCL to work harder than ever to fight to restore consumers’ fundamental legal rights including, the right to sue when they are harmed by big corporations.”


About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit