Robocalls, car recalls, drug prices: A look back at 2018’s consumer stories

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News 12 reported on several major consumer alert stories for 2018.

RECALLS

There were several major car recalls for 2018 – including a recall due to cars spontaneously catching on fire.

Safety advocates tell News 12 that the government should do more to protect motorists, especially with federal defect inspections at their lowest levels.

“Recalls only happen for two reasons: There’s a defect on that car that’s dangerous or a violation of a federal regulation,” says Jason Levine with the Center for Auto Safety.

RELATED: 'These are cars fully engulfed in flames.' Safety advocates demand recall

ROBOCALLS

Consumer advocates say that Americans received more robocalls than ever before this year. A report found that scam calls to cell phones exploded from 4 percent in 2017 to about 30 percent this year. They say that by the end of 2019, scam calls could make up nearly half of all cell phone calls.

Congress is considering several bills to stop this.

“If you get a call on your landline or cell phone or whatever it is, and you don’t recognize the number, don’t pick it up,” says Melissa Companick with the Better Business Bureau.

RELATED: FCC fines 2 companies for ‘robocalls’

PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS

News 12 found that consumers could save as much as 96 percent on prescription drugs just by shopping around.

“The prices do vary tremendously between [pharmacies,]” says Dr. Derrick DeSilva.

Pharmacists weren’t allowed to tell consumers about the potential savings due to a gag order imposed by drug companies. But President Donald Trump signed two bills earlier this year that should increase the transparency on drug prices.

RELATED: Shop around for cheaper prescription drug prices

 

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