Consumer chief undermines consumers, again.

Amazon helps itself, not consumers

Photo by Bryan Angelo on Unsplash

Go read, it’s quite enlightening. Via the Washington Post:

SEATTLE — When Jeff Peterson’s Amazon seller account was hacked recently, he frantically tried to reach Amazon’s customer service for help restoring access to his sports memorabilia store.

As nearly 4,000 fraudulent orders rang up, the Garden Grove, Calif.-based seller called Amazon’s seller support line, phoned its main customer service number, reached out via a separate account on its Canadian site, and even sent an email to chief executive Jeff Bezos. Nothing worked.

“I can’t get any answers from Amazon at all to fix this,” Peterson said, as negative reviews of his service accumulated, decimating his business.

One thing he hadn’t done was pay as much as $5,000 a month for a program Amazon offers sellers as a way to get quick help from a real person.

Amazon has become a powerful marketplace alongside its role as an online retailer, with more than 2.5 million third-party sellers who have become global businesses on its platform. Early on, Amazon compelled sellers to use its warehouses to guarantee speedy Prime shipping, in addition to other programs that largely benefited consumers. But now, sellers and former employees familiar with Amazon’s internal strategy say the company is increasingly focused on boosting its profits on the backs of its sellers — often without any clear upside for customers.

 

Decrease corporate power to increase consumer power

If it’s done right, healthcare reform won’t cost any more than we already spend

Warren promises to kill ISP monopoly protection

This is exactly the pro-consumer attitude we like to see! You go, Sen. Warren:

Presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren has unveiled a plan she says will not only improve broadband access in America, but kill state laws specifically designed by the telecom industry to hamstring broadband competition.

Warren’s proposal, outlined in a Medium post as part of a broader plan for rural America, includes doling out $85 billion to help fund broadband deployment to underserved areas. FCC data suggests that 39 percent of rural Americans still lack access to broadband.

But the plan also does something notable: it takes aim at the growing roster of protectionist state laws telecom lobbyists have used to crush competition across the country.

“Many small towns and rural areas have turned to municipal networks to provide broadband access in places that the private market has failed to serve—but today, as many as 26 states have passed laws hindering or banning municipalities from building their own broadband infrastructure to protect the interests of giant telecom companies,” Warren said.

Why we sent the insulin petition

 

This is happening all over America. I’ve seen several of these stories already, and here’s what it boils down to: NOT ALL INSULIN IS ALIKE. Not everyone can take the cheapest insulin.

That’s true of most medications. I’m lucky enough that generic thyroid medication works for me, but it doesn’t work for everyone. That’s why we encourage you to speak out on these petitions.

We are deadly serious about these issues.

 

Mick Mulvaney fires all 25 members of CFPB advisory board

There are a lot of really bad things happening at the agency meant to protect consumers, and this is one of them. Via the Washington Post:

Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, fired the agency’s 25-member advisory board Wednesday, days after some of its members criticized his leadership of the watchdog agency.

The CFPB said it will revamp the Consumer Advisory Board, known as the CAB, in the fall with all new members.

The panel has traditionally played an influential role in advising the CFPB’s leadership on new regulations and policies. But some members, who include prominent consumer advocates, academics and industry executives, began to complain that Mulvaney was ignoring them and making unwise decisions about the agency’s future.

On Monday, 11 CAB members held a news conference and criticized Mulvaney for, among other things, canceling legally required meetings with the group.

On Wednesday, group members were notified that they were being replaced — and that they could not reapply for spots on the new board.

Trying to breathe

This is something that should concern anyone who has asthma or COPD, or any of your loved ones: