Consumer

Charities

Website
  • Charity Navigator: America’s leading independent charity evaluator, works to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace by evaluating the Financial Health and Accountability and Transparency of 6,000 of America’s largest charities on a four star scale.  
Website
Website
  • GuideStar: A directory of non-profit organizations.
Website

Consumer Education

  • Better Business Bureau (BBB): Updated several times a month, the alerts section warns about fraudulent business scams. In addition, there is a national database of business reports that includes complaints on companies, a searchable directory of BBBs in the U.S. and Canada (with links when available), the BBB Code of Advertising, the Standards for Charitable Solicitations, a link to their charities database and full text of many booklets. 
Website
  • Consumer Protection: From the Bureau of Consumer Protection of the Federal Trade Commission, (FTC), this site is designed to protect consumers from unfair practices. To this end, it provides many helpful guides, tips, alerts, and warnings on a variety of issues, ranging from advertising to tobacco. It is possible to search this site for your particular topic.
Website
  • Connecticut Do Not Call List: Sign up to prevent unwanted telephone sales calls. Registration is free. Cell phones and fax machines can also be registered. 
Website
  • Connecticut eLicensing Website - License Lookup: Verify the license and background of a physician and the license of a contractor or service professional in Connecticut and other states. Download to a roster or to an excel file as well. 
Website
  • National Do Not Call List: Subscribers may register their residential telephone number, including wireless numbers, on the national Do-Not-Call registry by telephone or by Internet at no cost.
Website

Government Agencies  

  • 2-1-1 Infoline: 2-1-1 is a free community service administered by the United Way of Connecticut. It is supported by the State of Connecticut and Connecticut United Ways. You can call 2-1-1 to get information, or to seek help in a crisis. Browse the online database of community services. This database contains information for approximately 4,600 health and human service providers and 48,000 service-sites. 
Website
  • Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Consumer Awareness: The Department of Consumer Protection offers information that is helpful to consumers at varying stages of their lives. The site includes advice on spotting and avoiding scams such as travel fraud, rental scams, pyramid schemes and modeling scams, along with information for stopping unwanted mail, hiring home improvement contractors, and staying safe online.   
Website
Website
  • Consumer.gov: A “one-stop” link to a broad range of federal information resources available online. It is designed so that you can locate information by category - such as Food, Health, Product Safety, Your Money, and Transportation. ScamAlert provides current information on fraudulent and deceptive practices in the marketplace. This feature appears on each page, as necessary, and contains important law-enforcement information and tips to avoid scams.  
Website

Product Information  

  • BizRate Shopping: BizRate is operated by Shopzilla, a comparison shopping service founded in 1996. The company’s mission is to enable shoppers to quickly and easily find, compare and buy anything, sold by virtually anyone, anywhere. Each month, Shopzilla connects millions of consumers with thousands of stores. Shopzilla also operates the BizRate consumer feedback network that collects millions of consumer reviews of stores and products each year.
Website
  • CNET: Get technology product reviews, news, price comparisons, free software downloads, videos, and podcasts. 
Website
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC): Site includes press releases for all CPSC recalls (back to 1973), information for businesses regarding Consumer Product Safety Act and other issues, information in Spanish, children’s safety games, and information on fireworks safety. There are links to the websites of other federal agencies that have responsibilities for products not under the jurisdiction of the CPSC. 
Website
  • Consumer Reports: Locate product ratings and discover which products are best buys and worst performers. Research information on cars, appliances, electronics, home & garden, products for babies and children, money and more. 
Arc
  • Consumer Search: This resource reviews products, analyzes other reviews and provides top-rated products listings. Product categories include electronics, home and garden, kitchen and food, fitness and sports, computers and internet, family and pets, health and beauty and automotive. 
Website
  • Consumers Union: This site provides informative and educational materials developed by Consumers Union’s advocacy offices on a variety of consumer issues, including health care, financial services, food safety, product safety and more. It also offers tips, current press releases and materials in Spanish. Searchable. Companion site to their Consumer Reports Online.  
Website
  • Edmunds: Research new and used car prices, search listings and reviews, and determine the TMV trade-in value of your car; get true market value, cost to own and maintenance schedules and prices for repair. 
Website
  • Epinions.com: Epinions is a service of Shopping.com, Inc., a provider of comparison shopping services. Find consumer generated reviews, buying tips and advice, ratings and price information. Searchable in a variety of ways from price to product type.  
Website
  • Household Product Database - Health and Safety Info: This database links over 8,000 consumer brands to health effects from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) provided by the manufacturers and allows scientists and consumers to research products based on chemical ingredients. Users may browse by product type; or search by brand, manufacturer, ingredient, or health effect to learn about safe use, exposure treatment and disposal. 
Website
  • Insurance: This site for self-directed insurance shoppers offers quotes from insurance companies. Information includes company address, policy information, benefit analysis, plan guidelines, premiums, the latest ratings and ability to apply online. Includes term life, life, auto, medical, Medicare, long-term care, homeowner and renters, dental, disability, annuities and travel insurance. 
Website
  • Kelley Blue Book: Kelley Blue Book is the resource for prices, values and expert and consumer reviews on new and used cars. 
Website
  • Viewpoints: Viewpoints is a hub for product reviews. These reviews come from companies like Toys R Us, Staples and Zappos just to name a few. They share their customer reviews with this site and they are displayed here at Viewpoints. They collect thousands of customer reviews a day from across 2,300 websites. 
Website
  • Yelp: User reviews and recommendations of local top restaurants, shopping, nightlife, entertainment, services and more. Users can write reviews on local establishments and connect through social networks.
Website