Consumer Action

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Consumer Action is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization, founded in 1971 to carry out "multilingual consumer education and advocacy in the fields of credit, banking, privacy, insurance, utilities and HMOs." [1]

Corporate Partners

Consumer Action's website describes its "extensive experience in partnering with corporations and government agencies to provide them with a wide range of professional services, including writing, translating, publicity and distribution." The organization's "staff members who work in these [low-income, minority, immigrant, disabled and senior] communities will review your materials, evaluate your consumer outreach programs and help you design new and effective ways to reach current and new customers." [2]

Consumer Action's multilingual, "effective education and outreach projects targeting all consumers" seem to be based around publications distributed for free, through a "national network of more than 6,500 community-based organizations nationwide." The organization promises "a cost-effective and wide-reaching" promotional campaign promoting these "free educational materials in the mainstream and in-language media." [3]

Consumer Action lists the following as partners in developing educational materials: [4]

Partnering with Capital One

In 2001, Consumer Action partnered with the banking and financial company Capital One, to carry out outreach to other nonprofits and communities under the banner of "MoneyWi$e" education. The move came after years of negative media coverage of Capital One, centered on their credit card practices.

According to Capital One, MoneyWi$e programs help to "provide consumers with the building blocks for developing and honing personal finance skills, from saving and budgeting to balancing a checkbook, understanding the basics of credit and credit repair and how parents can talk to teenagers about money." [5]

In 2002, the MoneyWi$e program was touted in an audio news release. From a Digest offering "Free Multimedia Content for Journalists," distributed via Business Wire on October 21, 2002:

In today's uncertain economy, the ability to manage one's finances can mean the difference between fiscal stability and just getting by. Many consumers find themselves in financial holes and have no idea how to dig themselves out, which is why national consumer advocacy group Consumer Action has joined forces with credit card provider Capital One to urge adults to invest in their financial future through MoneyWi$e, a joint financial literacy partnership. Radio News Feature.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Consumer Action's 2005 credit card survey noted, "Of the top 10 card issuers, only Capital One has no fees on foreign transactions. It never added a surcharge of its own, and it has stopped passing along the MasterCard-Visa fee to its cardholders." The survey did not disclose the ongoing partnership between Capital One and Consumer Action. [6]

Contact Information

Consumer Action
221 Main Street, Suite 480
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: (415) 777-9635

SourceWatch Resources

External links