Federal Trade Commission
Federal Trade Commission | Protecting America's Consumers
Federal Trade Commission
Federal Trade Commission | Protecting America's Consumers
Stop the price-gouging at the for-profit Hospital Corporation of America
On March 17, 2015, I was in a car accident. Despite telling the paramedics that I didn’t feel I needed medical attention, I was taken to a for-profit hospital run by Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). I arrived with no injuries and no complaints of pain, only what the hospital called a "mild condition". Staff insisted I get X-Rays and CT scans, nobody told me the prices whenever I asked. Three and half hours later, the only actual treatment I would receive was some IV fluids. When HCA sent the bill for my emergency room visit it would be for $45,000 dollars. HCA, an organization that gained notoriety for having to pay the biggest fraud settlement in US history, is at again. This time, they are participating in some of the worst price-gouging in the industry. In my home state of Florida, HCA charges $20,000 more per patient than non-HCA hospitals, and $40,000 more for trauma patients. This is unfair, and it has to stop. This petition calls upon the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to open an investigation into the pricing practices of HCA. We are at our most vulnerable when we seek medical attention, and we must be protected against price-gouging by for-profit healthcare companies like HCA. Emergency room patients need consumer protection, fair pricing and price transparency. Having already been forced to go to the hospital, I didn’t believe I had a choice in the tests being administered and I definitely was not informed about the prices. HCA uses this to their advantage to charge up to 10 times the cost without even informing the patient. An example is one of the CT scans I received was billed for $13,748 dollars when HealthCare Bluebook values them at $500-$600. It’s almost impossible for patients to avoid excessive overcharges if taken to an HCA-run facility. With HCA operating in 20 states, it is time for the FTC to take action. A 3-hour stay with no serious injuries should not cost someone $45,000 dollars. Please join me in standing up to the powerful for-profit healthcare company, HCA. Together, we can get the FTC to take action and stop their price-gouging. Please contact the FTC if you have also experienced HCA price gouging or other unfair and deceptive practices: Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Washington, DC 20580
Stop Price Gauging Emergency Vet Services
Mars Inc. owns a great majority of pet care services and other pet related brands like Pedigree, Royal Canin, Ceser, Banfield, IAMS, Eukanuba, Sheba, Temptations, and Whiskas (and more!). Due to the monopoly that Mars Inc. has, they are able to set unreasonable rates for emergency vet care. I started this petition almost 6 months ago after spending over 7K to try and save my dog from what started out as just vomiting. During this journey I have literally heard from thousands of people who share my same experience. My heart breaks for them as much as it breaks for the loss of my sweet Ava. I implore every reader to research your animal care before an emergency strikes. Know your options! Mars Inc. does not acknowledge your complaints outside having a canned customer service representative contact you. If they truly cared about animals they would be working to fix their reputation and to save animals. Unfortunately, as of April 2017, Mars Inc.is in the process of purchasing VCA, another emergency provider. So your options are becoming more limited. Below is my story ______________________________ I recently took my 8-year-old Chihuahua to Blue Pearl, one of the largest chains of veterinary clinics in the United States. My beautiful dog was sick and I just wanted answers. Over the course of 3 days so many options and tests were thrown my way. It was hard to digest what was needed and to know if I was making the right choices for my beloved pet while weighing the financial costs. It was a pet owner’s worst nightmare. I ended up racking up over $7,000 dollars in debt and still lost one of my best friends. This experience has opened my eyes to the lack of government oversight and regulations of veterinarian clinics. Companies like Blue Pearl, owned by MARS Incorporated, have shown an inability to police themselves. It’s time they put pets over profits. As a first step, I’m asking that all proposed tests and procedures have the costs, benefits, and risks be provided to pet owners in writing. This will allow for people like myself to have in writing what we are being told, be able to weigh our options better, and get a second opinion if needed. Had I had in writing the options being told to me, I’m not sure if I would have made the same choices, but in such a horrible moment I would have felt more informed. Blue Pearl and other clinics won’t do this on their own, and regulations vary greatly by state. That is why I am calling on Congress to make this a national requirement. The love of animals and our family pets is a bipartisan issue, and I believe we can get our Congressional leaders to act.
Protect Net Neutrality from the Trump Administration
The internet has helped to boost the economy, create an amazing tool for educators, and provides an outlet for communication with people all over the world. However, the simple policy that keeps the internet a strangely level-playing field (and the internet itself) is under fire from both the Trump administration and service providers like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon. Sign this petition to call on the FCC to protect net neutrality under the Trump administration. Net neutrality regulations are set to stop ISPs like the big cable and phone companies from favoring/crippling certain websites and services for their own benefit and monetary gain. These rulings could be reversed as Republicans look to deregulate private industries. As a junior in high school, I can appreciate the need to be able to complete homework, communicate, and access streaming media like Netflix without an ISP slowing down my traffic. In the 21st century, internet is like running water, electricity, or transportation. Those without neutral access to it are at a major disadvantage. If net neutrality goes away, the internet will become distorted, and your access to certain content will be based upon your ISP's financial interests and what you're willing to pay, like cable television, hurting the consumer. Let's stop the telecom lobbyists who buy their influence, and the private companies who already control so much of our media before it is too late.
Require full disclosure of all ingredients in disposable diapers for babies
We all know that most babies can wear disposable diapers and be just fine. Most babies do wear disposable diapers and are just fine. Unfortunately, some babies are not just fine. If you have one of these babies, your heart is probably pounding reading these words. If you don't, you don't. That's ok. You should still keep reading. You'll find this interesting. Product labeling laws generally ensure that you, the consumer, know what you're buying. Baby clothing is labeled. Baby care items are labeled. Baby food is labeled. No matter what, you get to know, before you buy it, if your baby's pants are cotton or polyester. You get to choose what your baby wears. You know, before you buy them, what is in your baby wipes. You know what is in your baby food. You have a choice. By contrast, your baby's disposable diapers are virtually unlabeled. No textile labels. No ingredient lists. No disclosure. Lots of secrets. Very little regulation. No required testing beyond basic CPSIA tests for lead & phthalates. And when you ask for detailed information about what is in the diapers your baby is wearing, disposable diaper companies don't have to tell you anything. If you ask about your baby's shirt, there are no secrets.If you ask about your baby's pants, there are no secrets.If you ask about your baby's food, there are no secrets.It's on the label. The law says it has to be.Because your baby is wearing a disposable diaper, there are secrets. Baby diapers are not considered medical devices by the FDA. Unlike adult disposable diapers, baby diaper companies are not required to go through medical device testing to prove that disposable baby diapers are medically safe for a baby to wear. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=876.5920 Baby diapers are not regulated as cosmetics by the FDA. Baby diapers may contain ingredients (like petrolatum, oils, or other lotions) that are cosmetic ingredients and may be intended to help prevent diaper rash, keep a baby's skin soft, or prevent contact with wetness. Baby diaper companies generally do not provide parents with a full, detailed, INCI compliant list of ingredients in disposable diapers. https://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/Labeling/Regulations/ucm126444.htm Baby diapers are not considered clothing (garments) by the FTC. Specifically DISPOSABLE baby diapers are nearly the only thing worn by a human, other than a hat or a disposable menstrual pad, where product or package labeling isn't mandated by law to fully disclose the amount and type of materials used in the garment. Disposable baby diapers are one of the only garments worn by a baby not required by law to include care or content labels.https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/threading-your-way-through-labeling-requirements-under-textile#textile Why does this matter?Baby diapers are worn by babies, next to their genitals, for two to three years. Babies are exposed to everything in that diaper. Every fabric, woven or non-woven. Every chemical, intended or unintended. Nearly every other garment in our society has to be fully labeled. Everything. Even socks! Why aren't baby diapers fully labeled? Why don't we get to know everything our baby is being exposed to in a diaper? As a mom, you should get to know what is in your baby's diapers. If you want to avoid a certain ingredient, you should be able to avoid that ingredient. A disposable diaper is worn next to the skin and should be considered a garment. The composition of all textiles, woven or non-woven, should be disclosed on the packaging. If the diaper includes any chemical ingredients, a full INCI-compliant ingredient list should also be disclosed on the packaging. Babies are tiny with delicate, sensitive skin. Parents deserve to be active decision makers in their baby's care. Disposable diaper ingredients should not be kept secret from parents. What now?For your baby's sake, demand, today, that the FTC and the FDA eliminate product labeling exclusions for disposable baby diapers. Sign this petition. Tell them. #IGetToKnow what is in my baby's diapers.
Stop health authorities claiming that vaccines are ‘safe’
This petition is neither pro- nor anti-vaccination. It aims instead to show health professionals, health authorities and governments the public desire for greater honesty over the communication of scientific knowledge about vaccine safety prior to vaccination consent being given. Vaccination is a form of medical treatment. International and European Union human rights law  requires that everyone, with very limited exceptions, must give consent before receiving a medical treatment. Informed consent means that all relevant information should be available before someone is asked to decide about their own, or their child’s, vaccination. This should include the known benefits and risks, as well as any alternatives, to the proposed treatment. In most cases, this simply doesn’t happen. Members of the public, parents and children are instead generally told by health authorities, doctors or nurses that vaccines are both safe and effective. These views are not supported by the available scientific facts and amount to the public being misled meaning that consent is often misinformed rather than informed. Health authorities responsible for communicating vaccine safety have been found to conceal information that is of paramount relevance to public health. This has been shown in the UK, Sweden, the USA  and in other countries. While the risk of permanent injury from vaccines following any single vaccination is small, the overall risk of the full vaccination schedule to any child is not well understood and thousands of people have suffered long-term injuries and even death that have been attributed to vaccinations by courts in the USA and elsewhere. Vaccine manufacturers have made governments liable for vaccine injuries through compensation programs that have now been established in 29 countries . In the USA, $3.5 billion has been paid out in compensation as a result of vaccine injury since 1988. This includes 16,616 cases of vaccine injury and 1,219 vaccine-related deaths, of which 993 injuries and 59 deaths are from the MMR vaccine alone. The UK government is presently trying to appeal a court decision in order to relieve itself of liability from vaccine injuries linked to the Pandemrix swine flu vaccine. There are over 1300 cases in the USA where compensation has been paid to people who have suffered vaccine-related brain damage (encephalopathy). Serious gastrointestinal reactions have been found to be related to certain vaccines, including rotavirus. Vaccine side effects are classified by government regulators according to frequency as follows: ‘Very common’ (≥1/10), ‘common’ (≥1/100 to <1/10), ‘uncommon’ (≥1/1,000 to <1/100). The known rates of side effects, that may be underreported in clinical trials conducted by vaccine manufacturers, are generally not communicated to parents or children. Examples of reported side effects in EU licensing authorisations for Cervarix, Gardasil and MMR are referenced below.[12, 13, 14] Given the very high number of children vaccinated each year, large numbers of children can be seriously and unpredictably affected even when side effects are considered ‘uncommon’, with children sometimes suffering long-term, debilitating or even life-threatening illnesses. Governments, health authorities and health professionals have a duty of care to communicate all available, relevant information to parents, guardians or children prior to vaccination consent being given. Sign this petition if you feel that governments, health authorities and health professionals should have a duty of care to the public and so must stop claiming that vaccines are ‘safe’. They must also not withhold relevant information about vaccine safety that obstructs informed consent. References 1. Article 3(2)(a), Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:12012P/TXT&from=en 2. Understanding informed consent – a primer (FindLaw®): http://healthcare.findlaw.com/patient-rights/understanding-informed-consent-a-primer.html 3. Gallagher P, “Thousands of teenage girls report feeling seriously ill after routine school cancer vaccination”, The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/thousands-of-teenage-girls-report-feeling-seriously-ill-after-routine-school-cancer-vaccination-10286876.html 4. ANH-Intl, “Swedish cover-up of HPV vaccine side effects—and more”, 4 Nov 2015. http://anhinternational.org/2015/11/04/swedish-cover-hpv-vaccine-side-effects 5. Beck, S. “Vaxxed: Why we should be allowed to watch the movie.” 22 Feb 2017. http://anhinternational.org/2017/02/22/vaxxed-allowed-watch-movie 6. ANH-Intl. “It’s official: HPV vaccine, the most dangerous vaccine yet.” 18 Jan 2017. http://anhinternational.org/2017/01/18/official-hpv-vaccine-vaccine-dangerous-yet 7. Looker C, Kelly H. “No-fault compensation following adverse events attributed to vaccination: a review of international programmes”. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2011; 89: 371-378. http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/89/5/10-081901/en/ 8. HRSA, Vaccine Injury Compensation Data, updated 1 Feb 2017. https://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/data/vicpmonthlyreporttemplate2_1_17.pdf 9. UK Department of Work and Pensions case with Pandemrix (2017): https://www.hja.net/press-releases/dwps-pandemrix-vaccine-injury-appeal-set-impact-future-compensation-claims 10. Attkisson S. “Vaccines, Autism and Brain Damage: What's in a Name?” CBS News, 14 Sept 2010. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/vaccines-autism-and-brain-damage-whats-in-a-name/ 11. Geier DA, Geier MR. Gastrointestinal reactions and rotavirus vaccination based upon analysis of the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database for 1999. Hepatogastroenterology. 2004; 51(56): 465-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15086184 12. Cervarix EU marketing authorisation: http://ec.europa.eu/health/documents/community-register/2011/2011022198968/anx_98968_en.pdf 13. Gardasil EU marketing authorisation: http://ec.europa.eu/health/documents/community-register/2010/2010081885368/anx_85368_en.pdf 14. MMR EU marketing authorisation: http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/EPAR_-_Product_Information/human/000604/WC500030170.pdf
Let parents control who can collect data from their kids
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is currently the only legislative tool available that keeps parents in control of what data and personal information companies can collect about children under 13 while they are online. The Federal Trade Commission has proposed rule changes that will update the law and keep parents in control even in this new digital era of social media networks, mobile apps, gaming sites and tracking that goes on while kids are web browsing. There is already mounting industry opposition to these rule changes which will provide parents with another tool to stay in control. Parents must make their voices heard so that the FTC knows that we support these important rule changes that keep parents in charge.
Importation of FAKE Aboriginal Arts into Australia
We as First Australian Artists are campaigning and speaking up for our Rights as legitimate Aboriginal Artists and state that ownership, responsibility and control by us as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of our cultural heritage is paramount. It is a way of economic empowerment for us as artists who are trying to earn money from selling, reselling and reproducing of our works through sale, copyright and resale royalties and being denied a legitimate income because of this FAKE ART as has been campaigned before. We do not want any more 'Grey areas'We want the Laws changed so that: It is ILLEGAL to IMPORT printed/stamped/hand painted Aboriginal art on Aboriginal cultural artifacts (ie didgeridoos, boomerangs, music/clapping sticks, emu callers, bullroarers etc). All cultural artifacts can only be hand painted in Australia by Aboriginal Artists (certified and approved) It is ILLEGAL to IMPORT hand painted Aboriginal Artworks on canvasses or similar medium. All canvasses of Aboriginal Art can only be hand painted by Aboriginal Artists in Australia and only allowed to be reproduced (printed)) under strict License Agreements. Wholesalers/distributors of Aboriginal Art to keep certificate of Aboriginality for each Aboriginal Artist along with 1 reference from 1 acknowledged Elder to verify the Aboriginality & authenticity of this Artist and this certification must be supplied to every Retailer to be viewed by Law on request and be self-regulated. As Aboriginal Artists, we have no issue with the importation of blank timber for boomerangs, music sticks etc which cannot be sourced in Australia but they must only then be hand painted in Australia by legitimate Aboriginal Artists. Please email them through to firstname.lastname@example.org
FTC & HHS: Ban Conversion and anti-gay Therapy
Conversion therapy is the practice of "curing" gay people by trying to turn them straight. The American Psychological Association and several major organization and health officials are strongly opposed to gay conversion therapy.Without question, there is very clear evidence that reparative therapy does not work and actually traumatizes "patients" that go through this horrific program. Join me in urging the Federal Trade Commission and United States Department of Health & Human Services Department to put an end to the harmful practice of conversion therapy.
I want The College Network to stop scamming hard working Americans.
Many Americans, especially new LPNs, have been convinced by The College Network (TCN) and their representatives that they are a distance learning school and by signing a contract with TCN, they have signed up for an accredited school that would allow them to easily bridge from LPN to RN from home at their own pace. The salesmen/women are fast talkers, there have been a flood of reports that they will flat out lie to make the sale. One site, https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/The-College-Network-Reviews-E19504.htm , on which many employees and ex employees report that they are trained on how to scam consumers into signing a contract, making statements like: "Also there is prompting of deception with the customers." & "program is somewhat of a scam, takes advantage of vulnerable class of people who do not understand what they are signing up for. You will be taught to have people sign contracts very quickly without having fully understanding exactly what they are getting into. I had too much of a consciousness to do this job. Very few people will actually graduate, most will end up in collections." Consumers are told that TCN provides tuition financing and representatives convince consumers to a contract with the belief that the approximately $12,000 will pay for the materials, cost of testing for prerequisites, the cost of classes at Excelisor, and clinicals at one of TCN's certified clinical sites, and that all that was left to pay out of pocket was lodging during clinicals. The material that is sold to consumers is no more than printed versions of information that could easily be found on the internet, without following any real curriculum pertinent to passing the exam it is claimed to . Many people have reported that have even attempted an exam only to find that everything that the questions on the test are not covered in the "class module" provided by TCN for that subject. Others have reported that they were unable to get their exam fees refunded as TCN promises. I, myself, was told by the rep that The College Network was an accredited school, affiliated with Excelisor College. They give you a few days to cancel the contract, but the contractee usually does not understand the extent of what they have actually signed a contract for until their books come, they check into the Excelisor College they falsely claim to be affiliated with, or even when they attempt an exam, whatever finally throws a red flag that they have been scammed it is always too late to cancel according to TCN. These scam artists take thousands of dollars from our families and if the "student" doesn't pay, they are sent to collections, and are being sued. TCN is playing on the hope of hardworking nurses across the US, they are trashing nurses chances at furthering their education, bettering their lives for themselves and their families, they are garnishing our pay, ruining our credit, leaving a trail of public record of the nurses irresponsibility to paying what they owe, but it is TCN that is acting irresponsibly, that is taking what is not due them. I want TCN stopped from scamming Americans! I want TCN to release all current "students" from contract and I want the money that consumers have paid for TCN's overpriced, worthless materials returned to them. Please sign and help us stop this company from taking from families.
To have people file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission
This is to all who ordered from the brand called Anti Social Social Club, which I will refer to as 'the brand', in the late October. Two months have elapsed and the brand still does not fulfill the orders. Furthermore, the owner of the brand, Neek Lurk, continues to upload his Instagram pictures without any concern for the customers. He does not respond to thousand of messages asking him to notify the situation. The email address is the automated one, and unreachable. The Shipping Info on the website states that: "After checkout once the order is confirmed we will send you a notification as soon as the item is shipped with tracking Please allow 7-14 Business days of shipping & handling Please allow 5-10 days for delivery Due to the high demand of items, orders will be fulfilled in the order they are received, and therefore may sell out before a certain item is processed. We use USPS for domestic orders (USA) & DHL for international (Worldwide)" However, the brand is unable to fulfill this policy. Furthermore, the brand is also in a clear violation of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Mail, Internet, or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule. According to FindLaw, "if the business is unable to ship within the promised time or within 30 days, the merchant must promptly tell the customer by mail, telephone or email, and give a new shipping estimate and give the customer a chance to cancel their order and receive a full refund. This offer to cancel or accept the new shipping date must give the customer sufficient time to make a decision. In other words, you can't call to inform a customer you can't make a shipping time and then demand an immediate answer." The punishment is as follows: "Enforcement The FTC has wide ranging powers to enforce the 30-Day Rule. Businesses can be sued by the FTC for injunctive relief, damages of up to $16,000 per violation, and redress for the consumer. Additionally, state and local agencies can sue you for violating consumer protection laws." This applies to the Internet order as well. Therefore, we urge the people to file this petition so that the brand does not continue to practice this kind of bad business. Thank you.