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National Consumer Organizations

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 may be a charge; contact the organization to find out.

Consumer Protection
601 E. St. NW
Washington, DC 20049
202-434-3410
Fax: 202-434-6470
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)

National Consumers League
1701 K St., NW
Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20006
202-835-3323
Fax: 202-835-0747
E-mail: info@nclnet.org
Web site: www.nclnet.org

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)

415 South Duff, Ste. C
Ames, IA 500106600
515-956-4666
Fax: 515-233-3101
E-mail: info@consumerinterests.org
Web site: www.consumerinterests.org

Serving the professional needs of consumer educators, researchers, and policymakers, ACCI publications and educational programs foster the production, synthesis, and dissemination of information in the consumer interest.

American Council on Science and Health (ACSH)

1995 Broadway
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10023-5860
212-362-7044
Fax: 212-362-4919
E-mail: acsh@acsh.org
Web site: www.acsh.org

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, as is a quarterly magazine, Priorities.

Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)

1875 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20009
202-332-9110
Fax: 202-265-4954
E-mail: cspi@cspinet.org
Web site: www.cspinet.org

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

733 15th St., NW
Washington, DC 20005
202-347-7283
Fax: 202-347-4000
Web site: www.checkbook.org

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, sporting goods, tires, home-office, etc.

Coalition Against Insurance Fraud

1012 14th St. NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20005
202-393-7330
Fax: 202-393-7329
E-mail: info@insurancefraud.org
Web site: www.InsuranceFraud.org

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)

41156 45th Ave.
Wahkon, MN 56386
320-676-8753
Fax: 320-676-3066

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.

Congress Watch

215 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20003
202-546-4996
Fax: 202-547-7392
E-mail: congresswatch@citizen.org
Web site: www.citizen.org

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.

Consumer Action

717 Market St., Suite 310
San Francisco, CA 94103
415-777-9635 (consumer complaint hotlines)
213-623-8327 (hotline)
TTY: 415-777-9456
Fax: 415-777-5267
E-mail: info@consumer-action.org
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

1001 Connecticut Ave., NW
Suite 1128
Washington, DC 20036
202-467-5809
Fax: 202-467-5814
E-mail: info@consumeralert.org
Web site: www.consumeralert.org

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
202-387-6121
Fax: 202-265-7989
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)

1001 Connecticut Ave., N.W.
Suite 1110
Washington, DC 20036
202-293-2944
Fax: 202-293-0495
E-mail: cwt@cwt.org
Web site: www.cwt.org

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.

Families USA Foundation

1334 G St., NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20005-3169
202-628-3030
Fax: 202-347-2417
E-mail: info@familiesusa.org
Web site: www.familiesusa.org

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.

HALT: An Organization of Americans for Legal Reform

1612 K St. NW, Suite 510
Washington, DC 20006
202-887-8255
Toll free: 1-888-367-4258
Fax: 202-887-9699
E-mail: halt@halt.org
Web site: www.halt.org

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
202-588-1000
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

919 18th St., NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20006
202-466-8610
Toll free: 1-888-45-EDUCATE
Fax: 202-223-0321
E-mail: info@jumpstartcoalition.org
Web site: www.jumpstart.org

The Coalition's direct objective is to encourage curriculum enrichment to ensure that basic personal financial management skills are attained during the K-12 educational experience.

National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators (NACAA)

1010 Vermont Ave., NW
Suite 514
Washington, DC 20005
202-347-7395
Fax: 202-347-2563
E-mail: nacaa@erols.com
Web site: www.nacaanet.org

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.

The National Association of Proactive Consumers (NAPC)

PO Box 1948
Dover, DE 19903
800-726-0727
Web site: www.napc.net

National Coalition for Consumer Education

c/o National Consumers League
1701 K Street NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20006
202-835-3323
Fax: Fax: 202-835-0747
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)

733 15th St., NW, Suite 540
Washington, DC 20005
202-628-8866
Fax: 202-628-9800
E-mail: member@ncrc.org
Web site: www.ncrc.org

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)

77 Summer St., 10th Floor
Boston, MA 021111006
617-542-8010
Fax: 617-523-7398
E-mail: consumerlaw@nclc.org
Web site: www.consumerlaw.org

NCLC is an advocacy and research organization focusing on the needs of low-income consumers. It represents the interests of consumers in court, before administrative agencies, and before legislatures. The Center also publishes Surviving Debt: A Guide for Consumers and the Consumer Credit and Sales Legal Practice Series consisting of thirteen desk reference manuals for attorneys.

National Consumer Law Center (NCLC)

77 Summer Street
10th Floor
Boston, MA 021101006
617-542-8010
Fax: 617-542-8028
E-mail: consumerlaw@nclc.org
Web site: www.consumerlaw.org

NCLC is an advocacy and research organization focusing on the needs of low-income consumers. It represents the interests of consumers in court, before administrative agencies, and before legislatures. The center also publishes Surviving Debt: A Guide for Consumers and the Consumer Credit and Sales Legal Practice Series consisting of thirteen desk reference manuals for attorneys.

National Consumers League

1701 K St. NW
Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20006
202-835-3323
Fax: 202-835-0747
E-mail: info@nclnet.org
Web site: www.nclnet.org

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, the environment, financial services and telecommunications. The league develops and distributes consumer education materials and newsletters.

National Fraud Center

1701 K St. NW Ste. 1200
Washington, DC 20006
Toll free: 1-800-876-7060 (9 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F EST: TDD available)
TDD/TTY: 202-835-0778
Fax: 202-835-0767
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.

National Institute for Consumer Education (NICE)

G12 Boone Halle
Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
734-487-2292
Fax: 734-487-7153
E-mail: gwen.reichbach@emich.edu
Web site: www.nice.emich.edu

NICE is a consumer education resource and professional development center for K-12 classroom teachers, business, government, labor, and community educators. NICE conducts training programs, develops teaching guides and resource lists, and manages a national clearinghouse of consumer education materials, including videos, software programs, textbooks, and curriculum guides.

Professional Consumer Advocates Inc.

PO Box 1948
Dover, DE 19903
302-672-7945
E-mail: advantage@pcasafety.net
Web site: www.pcasafety.net

A consulting practice assisting consumers with the review of debt collection, telemarketing, and automobile and insurance practices.Professional Consumer Advocates is a membership organization encouraging consumers to be proactive.

Public Citizen, Inc.

1600 20th St., NW
Washington, DC 20009
202-588-1000
Fax: 202-588-7799
E-mail: pcmail@citizen.org
Web site: www.citizen.org

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

7910 Woodmont Ave
Suite 1200
Bethesda, MD 20814
301-657-2248
301-657-2249
Fax: Fax: 301-913-9413
E-mail: national@shhh.org
Web site: www.shhh.org

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.

675 North Washington St., Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
703-519-3700
Fax: 703-549-4886
E-mail: socap@socap.org
Web site: www.socap.org

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)

218 D St., SE
Washington, DC 20003-1900
202-546-9707
Fax: 202-546-2461
E-mail: uspirg@pirg.org
Web site: www.pirg.org

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.

United Seniors Health Cooperative (USHC)

300 D Street Suite 801 SW
Washington, DC 20024-3212
202-479-1200
Fax: 202-479-6660
E-mail: ushc@unitedseniorshealth.org
Web site: www.unitedseniorshealth.org

USHC is a nonprofit membership organization that provides consumer tested information to help seniors achieve good health, independence, and financial security. Publications include books on long-term care planning, managing health care finances, and choosing an HMO. Professionals working with low-income persons of all ages will find USHC's benefit screening software valuable for a quick, comprehensive determination of a person's eligibility for public benefits and assistance programs.

This information was obtained from the Federal Citizen Information Center of the
U.S. General Services Administration

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