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Consumer

Click on the following category for more information:

 
General
 
Better Business Bureau - www.bbb.org
Use this site to check the reliability of companies and charities. There is also a section on Consumer Tips with information on cars, charities, the Internet, finance, health, and scams. The local BBB is the BBB of Eastern PA (www.easternpa.bbb.org/pn.html).


Consumer.gov - www.consumer.gov
This site is produced by the US Government. Find consumer information in the following areas: food, product safety, health, home & community, money, transportation, children, careers & education, and technology.


Consumer Information from the Federal Trade Commission
www.ftc.gov/bcp/consumer.shtm
Find reports with advice on avoiding consumer scams. Topics covered include automobiles, credit, diet/health, identity theft, investments, privacy and telemarketing.


Consumers Union - www.consumersunion.org
Consumers Union is the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports. This site contains consumer tips as well as the current campaigns and projects of Consumers Union.


Consumer World - www.consumerworld.org
Large directory of consumer-related web sites and articles.


Corporate Consumer Contacts - consumeraction.gov/corpormain.shtml
This site from the Federal Citizen Information Center lists consumer affairs departments for over 650 companies. Each entry includes address, phone number, email and website addressess where available.

 
DTV.gov
What you need to know about digital tv transition


Federal Citizen Information Center - www.pueblo.gsa.gov
Clearinghouse for consumer information publications from the US Government. Find consumer resources by topic and access the Consumer Information Catalog and the Consumer Action Website from this site.


Gethuman database - gethuman.com
This searchable site gives you steps to bypass automated customer service phone systems to help you reach a human faster. Search by company, get the phone number for customer service and the code to reach a human faster.


Household Products Database - householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov
Find information on household products including potential health effects and product safety. Search by product category or name.


National Do Not Call Registry - www.donotcall.gov


Social Security Administration - www.ssa.gov
The SSA has developed an incredibly useful web site. Make this the first place to look for social security information.


 

 
Pennsylvania
 


PA Do Not Call List - www.attorneygeneral.gov/dnc.aspx


PA Office of Consumer Advocate - www.oca.state.pa.us
Find PA specific consumer information in the following areas: electricity, natural gas, telephone, and water.


Utility Choice - www.puc.state.pa.us/utilitychoice/home.aspx
Learn how to choose the best provider of electricity, natural gas, and telephone service.


PA Office of Attorney General - www.attorneygeneral.gov
Look at the Consumer Alert section for information regarding various scams and recalls. There is also a Public Education section for articles on becoming an informed consumer.


BBB of Eastern PA - www.easternpa.bbb.org/pn.html
Use Obtain a Report to find BBB-produced reliability reports on both member and non-member companies.


PA Insurance Department - www.ins.state.pa.us
Click on Consumer Services to research insurance companies licensed to operate in PA, view and compare rates, and view enforcement reports.


Hospital Performance Report from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council - www.phc4.org/hpr
Find a hospital performance report on selected procedures and treatments in PA. The PA Health Care Cost Containment Council is an independent state agency formed to investigate rising health care costs.


Bureau of Charitable Organizations - www.dos.state.pa.us/charities
Search for information on a charity. The Bureau of Charitable Organizations maintains information on charities licensed to solicit in PA.


 

 
Cars
 


Safercar.gov - safercar.gov
Look up crash and rollover ratings for specific cars on this site produced by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration.


NADA Guides - www.nada.com
Research new and used car prices and values.


Kelley Blue Book - www.kbb.com
Research new and used car prices and values.


Edmunds - www.edmunds.com
Research new and used cars


Auto Repair Reference Center (access from home* or library)
Repair procedures, service bulletins, and wiring diagrams for cars (1954-current). *Home access requires a Chester County Library System library card.



 

Health
 


Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs - www.crbestbuydrugs.org
Published by Consumers Union, publishers of Consumer Reports, this web site is designed to help consumers and doctors make informed decisions about prescription drugs. A new drug report will be added each month.


Health from Consumer.gov - www.consumer.gov/health.htm
Find consumer health information in the following areas: aging/elder care, buying smart, choosing health care, diet and weight control, disease, drugs, exercise and fitness, insurance, mental health, nutrition, smoking/tobacco information, and women’s health.


Traveler’s Health from the CDC - wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/default.aspx
Keep your trip a healthy one. Find health information for specific destinations (including recommended vaccinations), information on disease outbreaks, information on safe eating, traveling with children, special needs travelers, and cruise ships and air travel.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - www.cdc.gov
Find consumer health information from the CDC. It includes information on birth defects, disabilities, diseases and conditions, emergency preparedness, environmental health, and vaccines and immunizations.


Hospital Performance Report from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council - www.phc4.org/reports/hpr/default.htm
Find a hospital performance report on selected procedures and treatments in PA.


Recalls


Recalls.gov - www.recalls.gov
Find recall information on consumer products, motor vehicles, boats, food, medicine, cosmetics, and environmental products. There is also a quick link for recent recalls.


U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prerel.html
Find recalls and product safety information. Search by date, product type, or product category.


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 Computers

 

Hoaxbusters from CIAC - hoaxbusters.ciac.org
This site tracks internet hoaxes and chain letters. Look up an email here to see if it is legitimate before sending it on to your friends and colleagues. Another good site for debunking hoaxes is the Urban Legends Reference Page (www.snopes.com).


Internet Fraud Complaint Center
www.fbi.gov/majcases/fraud/internetschemes.htm
Use this site to file a complaint regarding internet fraud.

Wildlist Organization International - www.wildlist.org
Find information about specific computer viruses at this web site. Includes virus descriptions provided by F-Secure. Another source for computer virus information is the Symantec Response Service.


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 Charities

 

Charity Navigator - www.charitynavigator.org
Find ratings for over 3,500 charities. Charity Navigator is a non-profit organization.


Give.org from the BBB Wise Giving Alliance give.org
Find reports on national charities judged on the Better Business Bureau’s charity standards.


Bureau of Charitable Organizations
www.dos.state.pa.us/charities
Search for information on a charity. The Bureau of Charitable Organizations maintains information on charities licensed to solicit in PA.


Guidestar - www.guidestar.org
Guidestar provides information on non-profit organizations. A basic report is free; a more detailed report is available with a subscription to the site.


American Institute of Philanthropy
www.charitywatch.org
The AIP is a “charity watchdog service.” Their “Charity Rating Guide and Watchdog Report” is available upon request. A list of their top-rated charities is available on the site.


JustGive.org
www.justgive.org
A highlight of this site is the “JustGive Guide,” a list of 1000 charities arranged by
category. Charities listed in the “JustGive Guide” have met specific JustGive criteria.




 
Money
 

Shop: The Credit Card You Pick Can Save You Money
www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/shop
This brochure written by the Federal Reserve Board explains how to choose a credit card.


FXConverter from Oanda.com
www.oanda.com/converter/classic
The Foreign Exchange Currency Converter finds exchange rates for 164 currencies.


Bankrate.com
www.bankrate.com
Find rates on a variety of loans including mortgages and auto loans.


MyMoney.gov
www.mymoney.gov
A US Government web site focused on educating consumers about personal finance. Find helpful articles on topics such as budgeting, credit, financial planning, home ownership, retirement planning, and savings.


Martindale’s Calculators On-Line Center
www.martindalecenter.com/Calculators.html
Find over 19,000 online calculators in a variety of categories including science, math, calendars, cooking, currency conversion, gratuities, and personal finance (including mortgage calculators).


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 Moving

 

Homefair
www.homefair.com
Find various calculators to compare cost of living, cities, and salaries on this site. Also, find information on moving.


Homestore
www.move.com/?poe=move
Find homes, apartments, and senior housing. Also use Homestore’s city and neighborhood comparison tools.


Moving.com
www.monstermoving.monster.com
Find information on moving, realtors, insurance, and storage. Under the category Real Estate, find city profile, city comparison, and salary comparison tools.


Sperling’s Best Places
www.bestplaces.net
Compare cities, neighborhoods, schools, cost of living, crime rates and climates.


Best Places to Live from Money Magazine
money.cnn.com/best/bplive
Search through Money Magazine’s database from its annual Best Places to Live feature.


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 Credit Reports

 

Your Access to Free Credit Reports
www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/freereports.shtm
An amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires the national credit bureaus to provide consumers with a free copy of their credit report once every twelve months.


Equifax
www.equifax.com


Experian
www.experian.com


TransUnion
www.transunion.com


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 Identity Theft

 

Your National Resource for Identity Theft
www.consumer.gov/idtheft/index.html
A guide to identity theft from the FTC. Find out what to do when your identity has been stolen and how to recover from it. Another resource on identity theft from the FTC is Take Charge: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft (www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/idtheft/idt04.shtm).


Identity Theft and Fraud
www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idtheft.html
Information on identity theft from the Department of Justice.


Identity Theft Resource Center
www.idtheftcenter.org/
A non-profit organization dedicated to identity theft. It includes information on victim resources, consumer resources, workplace ID theft, scams, and current laws.


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 Shopping

 

Safeshopping.org
www.safeshopping.org
Information on shopping online presented by the American Bar Association.


Epinions.com
www.epinions.com
Find consumer reviews on a variety of products. Epinions is a service of Shopping.com.
 


Last Modified: 5/7/09

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