In this Issue…
Will Most Consumers Participate in the Recovery? For businesses waiting for consumers to come off the bench and get into the economic recovery game, the wait will be a while longer. According to Thomas Hinton, president of the American Consumer Council, a non-profit consumer education organization with over 138,000 members, “consumer engagement in the recovery is a mixed bag and doesn’t bode very well for business in 2013.”
According to a recent survey by the American Consumer Council, results show that 42.4% of consumers who responded (based on a sampling of 1,100 consumers) indicate they “do not think they will participate in America’s economic recovery during 2013 by spending more money this year.” Some 41.2% of the respondents indicated “they would participate in the recovery by spending more money this year,” while 16% indicated they “didn’t know” or were “unsure.”
ACC’s Hinton added, “It appears the consumer optimism experienced in the final months of 2012 was short-lived and is not continuing with the same level of enthusiasm we had hoped for in 2013. While this could be a seasonal adjustment, our most recent survey results reveal a dampening of enthusiasm among consumers because of a jobless recovery and the fact that, economically speaking, things are just not that much better in 2013 than they were last year.”
The survey also found over 55% of consumers responding to a survey question about “the responsibility of businesses to boost the economic fortunes of consumers…” critical of businesses for not hiring more people to fill jobs and alleviate the over-worked, under-paid workforce.
Congress was also severely criticized by 61% of respondents for their “inaction and irresponsibility” to put America back on stronger economic footing. The Obama Administration received negative ratings from only 31% of consumer respondents.
When asked if consumer optimism would continue to increase, Hinton noted that “Consumer confidence is fluid. It will reflect the good times and bad times. Over the long haul, I’m confident the economy will get better, but it’s taking much longer than anyone had expected. Frankly, most consumers are frustrated because the recovery has yet to help them personally.”
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Ten Steps to Avoid Scams. Scam artists in the United States and around the world defraud millions of people each year. They use the phone, email, postal mail, and the internet to trick you into sending money or sharing personal information. DON’T! Here are 10 things you can do to stop a scam and avoid being a Victim.
1. Know who you’re dealing with.
2. Know that wiring money is like sending
3. Read your monthly statements.
4. After a disaster, give only to established
5. Talk to your doctor before you buy health
products or treatments.
6. Remember there's no sure thing in
What Not to Do:
If you think you’ve found a good deal, but you aren’t familiar with the company, check it out. Type the company or product name into your favorite search engine with terms like “review,” “complaint,” or “scam.” See what comes up — on the first page of results as well as on the later pages.
Never pay fees first for the promise of a big pay-off later — whether it’s for a loan, a job, a grant or a so-called prize. It’s always a Scam!
8. Don’t agree to deposit a check and wire
9. Don’t reply to messages asking for personal
or financial information.
10. Don’t play a foreign lottery.
If you get unsolicited email offers or spam, send
the messages to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Transamerica has an outstanding track record of supporting credit unions and other financial institutions. Transamerica is also a corporate sponsor of the American Consumer Council.
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ACC’s Friend of the Consumer Award Recognizes Outstanding Businesses.
Is your business consumer-friendly? Does your business deserve greater recognition for its service to consumers? If so, you should apply for the American Consumer Council’s Friend of the Consumer Award.
Throughout the year, ACC presents its "Friend of the Consumer" Awards. This prestigious award recognizes manufacturers, retailers, and other businesses that produce or sell products in the United States that meet or exceed federally-mandated standards and are touted by consumers as “consumer friendly.”
Each year, ACC awards numerous "Friend of the Consumer" Awards to deserving companies and organizations because they have "demonstrated a commitment to American consumers by providing a specific product or service that fosters consumer confidence and market acceptance."
To apply for the "Friend of the Consumer" award, complete the online application and return it to ACC with the application fee. Applicants will be notified within 5 days of receipt of their application. Thereafter, a panel of independent judges will review your application and make a formal recommendation within 45 days of receipt of your award application.
For more information, visit: http://www.americanconsumercouncil.org/awards.asp
ACC Annual Meeting Scheduled for June 21st in San Diego. The annual meeting of the American Consumer Council will be held on Friday, June 21, 2013 at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego, CA. the meeting will begin at 10:00 am PST. Members are invited to attend the meeting. There is no registration fee to attend the annual meeting which typically lasts one hour.
Guest rooms are available at a special rate at the Rancho Bernardo Inn. For information and rates, please call: 877.517.9340 or visit the Rancho Bernardo Inn website at: http://www.ranchobernardoinn.com/accommodations/
At the annual meeting, the election of new members of the Board of Directors will be announced and those new Board members will be seated. Also, the annual meeting will discuss business matters pertinent to the management and operations of the American Consumer Council.
Currently, the following members have qualified for nomination to the ACC Board of Directors for a three-year term. Malcolm Franks, Solana Beach, CA; David Romanski, Esq., Moraga, CA; Mary Schepkin, Tallahassee, FL; and, Margaret Loftus, Havertown, PA.
Retiring Board members include: Claudio
Stemberger; James Bastis and Gary Plantz. Current Board members include: Thomas
Hinton; Jean M. Greer, and Megan M. Hinton.
Green CSM Certification Accepting Applications for 2013 Spring Cycle:
If your company or organization would like to increase its credibility with consumers, you should consider applying for the Green CSM Certification. Applications for the 2013 Spring cycle are now being accepted through May 31, 2013.
It's a proven fact that consumers want to do business with companies that are eco-friendly and practice Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The process is straight-forward and all applicants are recognized by ACC and the Green USA Institute.
All applicants complete the criteria and submit their responses to ACC's Green Consumer Council for review, assessment and feedback. Program details and the Green CSM Certification criteria can be viewed at ACC's website located at: http://americanconsumercouncil.org/greenc.asp