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  • Renter's Rights | WISPIRG Students
    a mutual agreement In most cases the handwritten modification will be more effective and will be enforced by a court of law in spite of what the printed form says Be certain that both parties initial any modification Have you carefully inspected the unit This will avoid future disputes about breaks damages or cleanliness Did you get a copy of the signed rental agreement The landlord is required to give you a copy of the rental agreement and it is best to get the copy in person at the time you sign it If there is any later dispute the first thing you need is the agreement If you lose your copy of the lease you may request that the landlord make you a copy Your Rights as a Tenant Responsibility for maintaining a decent dwelling and a good rental relationship is shared by the landlord and tenant Tenants must Use the unit only as a dwelling and not as a business unless the landlord agrees in writing and not for illegal activities Use the parts of the unit kitchen bath etc as they should be used Keep areas under their control clean sanitary and free from accumulation of debris garbage and filth Use facilities such as electric heat and plumbing in a reasonable manner Not deliberately or negligently damage or remove or knowingly allow others to damage or remove any part of the premises Conduct themselves and visitors in a manner that will not disturb the neighbors tenants are responsible for the actions of their guests and parents for the actions of minors You have a right to live in an environment free from harassment If you are upholding your responsibilities your landlord should do the same You have a right to be treated with respect and dignity as does your landlord The landlord must keep the rental habitable at all times Habitable generally means A weatherproof and waterproof exterior roof walls doors and windows Approved plumbing facilities in good working order Hot and cold running water from an approved water supply connected to an approved sewage system and maintained in good working order Safe drinking water if the water is under the landlord s control Adequate and approved heating facilities in good working order Electric lighting wiring and equipment approved and in good working order Clean and sanitary buildings and grounds free from accumulation of debris filth rubbish garbage rodents and vermin and safe for normal and reasonable uses these obligations only apply to common areas after the tenant moves in Adequate garbage receptacles It may be the tenant s responsibility to pay for garbage collection if specified in the rental agreement Floors walls ceilings stairs and railings in good repair If provided ventilation or air conditioning elevators or other facilities and appliances washers dryers stoves refrigerators etc in good working order Safety from fire hazards Working locks for all outside doors except doors to common areas and keys to locks that require keys Working latches for all

    Original URL path: http://www.wispirgstudents.org/page/sp/renters-rights (2016-04-29)
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  • Credit Cards | WISPIRG Students
    period or pay as large a portion of the remaining balance as possible making the largest payments toward the card with the highest interest rate Always pay more than the minimum if possible 5 Reduce the number of direct mail credit card solicitations you receive by calling 1 888 5 OPTOUT This will remove your name from pre screening lists at the three major credit bureaus 6 Seek credit counseling as soon as financial problems arise To locate a free or low cost credit counseling agency near you call 1 800 388 2227 or visit www nfcc org For one on one counseling over the phone call 1 800 680 DEBT or visit www myvesta org on the Internet 7 If you believe you are the victim of unfair interest rate charges late fees or other penalties or deceptive marketing and the credit card company fails to address your complaint file complaints with your state Attorney General s office and the national Office of the Comptroller of the Currency E mail Customer Assistance occ treas gov fax 1 713 336 4301 or by mail Customer Assistance Group 1301 McKinney Street Suite 3710 Houston Texas 77010 8 Know your financial means and limitations and don t spend beyond your means Create a budget that takes into account your average credit card payments each month and stick to it 9 Free Credit Reports from One Source Consumers can get a free copy of their credit reports once every 12 months from the three major national credit bureaus Experian Equifax and Trans Union visit www annualcreditreport com or call 877 322 8228 or write Annual Credit Report Request Service P O Box 105281 Atlanta GA 30348 5281 10 Look out for Errors When you get a copy of your report review it carefully for errors According to a recent PIRG study one in four credit reports surveyed contained serious errors that could result in the denial of credit employment or insurance If you find inaccurate information dispute it with both the credit bureau and the person or company that provided the information to the credit bureau Visit www occ treas gov customer htm or call 1 800 613 6743 M F 9am 3 30pm CST How to Get a Copy of Your Credit Report It s important to check your credit report at least once per year for errors Your credit report and credit score can determine whether you qualify for insurance or loans the price you pay for credit and can even impact your ability to get a job How to Dispute Errors Once you have notified the credit bureau of any mistakes in your report the bureau will have 45 days to investigate the disputed items if you obtained a free annual copy of your report from the new centralized source it will have 30 days to investigate in all other cases but may extend this time period to 45 days if it later receives additional information from you that is

    Original URL path: http://www.wispirgstudents.org/page/sp/credit-cards (2016-04-29)
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  • Spring Break and Travel Ripoffs | WISPIRG Students
    and accommodation plans at their discretion Companies also require travelers to sign contracts in which they must waive or limit their legal rights to file disputes with the travel company Here are some common hidden fees to watch out for International Departure and Arrival Taxes Processing Fees Peak Week Surcharges Late Booking Fees Departure City Surcharges Travel Insurance Fuel Surcharges How to Avoid a Spring Break Rip off Read ALL of the fine print carefully This is by far the best step you can take to protect yourself Companies need to tell you how your trip will operate Even if they make their policies difficult to read smart consumers will look them over before sending any money If you can t get answers to your questions or are misled or deceived you should avoid using that company Avoid any company that mandates arbitration for disputes Don t give up your legal rights Read your invoice You should understand the purpose and amount of each fee Research a company before sending money Do not assume that a company is legitimate based on its flyer Ask friends if they know anyone who has used the company before If you re unsure contact your Attorney General s office to find out if any complaints have been made against them File a complaint if you have a dispute In most states you can do this through the Attorney General s office This calls attention to the company so that future travelers will not repeat your experience Also the attorney general may mediate your dispute to help resolve it Be aware of cancellation policies Before sending any money you should know how much you will lose if you need to cancel About Us Our Leadership Our Mission Accomplishments Local Chapters UW Madison UW Stevens Point

    Original URL path: http://www.wispirgstudents.org/page/sp/spring-break-and-travel-ripoffs (2016-04-29)
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  • Cell Phone Plans | WISPIRG Students
    certain number of minutes of calls each month for a set price Calls made outside of that calling plan can carry an extra per minute long distance charge Tip To pick the best plan for you figure out whether you will be making most of your calls locally or outside of the carrier s local or regional areas Roaming Roaming refers to calls that you make or receive either when you are outside of your home calling plan or on another carrier s network Some cell phone plans charge high fees for roaming others do not Several carriers reserve the right to terminate service if over half of your calling time is used while roaming Tip Be aware that even nationwide plans can include roaming fees Some carriers define nationwide as anywhere in that carrier s service network not anywhere in the country Once outside of that network subscribers will have to pay roaming fees that can be as high as 79 cents per minute Included Minutes Most carriers offer different calling plans that include a set amount of minutes for use each month This is often called a basket or bucket of minutes Generally if you use more than that specified amount of minutes you will have to pay additional charges Many carriers will offer a limited amount of daytime or peak minutes and unlimited off peak minutes In addition some carriers offer plans with additional minutes that can be used for calling other subscribers to that carrier s network Tip Carriers can define peak and off peak minutes differently Read the contract terms carefully to understand the bucket of minutes included in a particular plan Exceeding your allotted minutes can be costly Service Contracts The national carriers all require that new customers sign a one to two year contract for service unless they sign up for prepaid plans While many carriers will allow you to move from one of its calling plans to another while you are under contract making this kind of change will often extend the length of your contract with the carrier Most contracts carry a high termination fee if you decide to cancel the service early Tip Read the service contract carefully Most providers contracts include clauses that allow them to modify the contract at any point in the future and that prohibit you from resolving any disputes through court or class actions Consider striking out these kinds of clauses The carrier ultimately may not agree to your suggested contract changes but at the very least you can express your dissatisfaction with the terms of its form contract Monthly Billing Some carriers will provide you with detailed billing itemizing each call you made or received during a billing cycle at no cost others will charge a fee for this information Tip Billing mistakes are the largest source of complaints about cell phone companies reported to the FCC When you get your first bill read it carefully to verify that the cost and terms of

    Original URL path: http://www.wispirgstudents.org/page/sp/cell-phone-plans (2016-04-29)
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  • Student Consumer Action Network | WISPIRG Students
    Tax Breaks Credit Cards Spring Break and Travel Ripoffs Cell Phones Health Insurance Private Student Loans Thank President Obama for Protecting Consumers Issue updates Report Consumer Protection Higher Ed Student Debt The Campus Debit Card Trap Banks and other financial firms are taking advantage of a variety of opportunities to form partnerships with colleges and universities to produce campus student ID cards and to offer student aid disbursements on debit or prepaid cards In addition to on campus services such as student ID functions offered on the card some cards offer traditional debit card services linked to bank accounts other cards provide additional reloadable prepaid card functions The disbursement of financial aid and university refunds is the most significant partnership identified Keep Reading Blog Post Consumer Protection Higher Ed Student debt It could get worse Hi This July students will see their federal student loan interest rates DOUBLE unless Congress acts If rates double some of us would pay almost 5 000 more to repay our loans Tell Congress Stop Student Loan Interest Rates from Doubling Keep Reading Resource Consumer Protection FAILbook Summary Facebook makes it pretty tough for you to control who gets to see your personal information This guide will walk you through step by step how to adjust your settings to control who can see your information on Facebook Keep Reading Media Hit Consumer Protection Higher Ed Textbooks Groups target textbook prices to rein in college costs A push to create free or inexpensive textbooks is gaining momentum as educators philanthropists and policymakers nationwide search for new ways to rein in college costs Keep Reading Blog Post Consumer Protection Corporate Democracy Energy Energy Service Corps Foods Health Care Higher Ed Hunger Oceans Other Parks Sustainability Textbooks Transit Waste Water Spring Kickoff this Wednesday Matt Kozlowski WISPIRG Kickoff

    Original URL path: http://www.wispirgstudents.org/campaigns/wi/student-consumer-action-network?page=1 (2016-04-29)
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  • Student Consumer Action Network | WISPIRG Students
    to some specific consumer issues Online Privacy Identity Theft Renters Rights Student Tax Breaks Credit Cards Spring Break and Travel Ripoffs Cell Phones Health Insurance Private Student Loans Thank President Obama for Protecting Consumers Issue updates Resource Consumer Protection Student Consumer Action Network Project Packet Summary Download this resource for everything you need to know to organize the consumer campaign on your campus Keep Reading Blog Post Consumer Protection Corporate Democracy Energy Foods Higher Ed Hunger Oceans Parks Sustainability Textbooks Transit Waste We couldn t have done it without you Matt Kozlowski Hi Thanks for being part of WISPIRG and helping make 2011 such a success Check out some of our highlights from the year Keep Reading Add new comment Report Consumer Protection Big Banks Bigger Fees A National Survey of Bank Fees and Fee Disclosure Policies A survey of more than 350 bank branches reveals that fewer than half of branches obeyed their legal duty to fully disclose fees to prospective customers while one in four provided no fee information at all The report also includes a shopping guide which will compare banking options direct consumers to free and low cost checking choices and provide a list of fees that consumers should look out for when picking a bank Keep Reading Report Consumer Protection Toward Common Ground Bridging the Political Divide to Reduce Spending Our nation faces unprecedented fiscal challenges as the commitments we ve made now and into the future far outpace our fiscal capacity Congress the President s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and citizens across the country must grapple with very difficult decisions about how we can put our fiscal house in order Keep Reading Blog Post Consumer Protection Trouble in Toyland 26th Annual Toy Safety Report Matt Kozlowski Trouble in Toyland 26th Annual

    Original URL path: http://www.wispirgstudents.org/campaigns/wi/student-consumer-action-network?page=2 (2016-04-29)
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  • Student Consumer Action Network | WISPIRG Students
    build the support it takes to pass consumer protection legislation in our states and in D C As students we re particularly vulnerable to some specific consumer issues Online Privacy Identity Theft Renters Rights Student Tax Breaks Credit Cards Spring Break and Travel Ripoffs Cell Phones Health Insurance Private Student Loans Thank President Obama for Protecting Consumers Issue updates Blog Post Consumer Protection Protecting Internet Freedom Meghan Ford Reposted from Ed Mierzwinksi on USPIRG s Consumer Blog Consumer groups join opposition to over reaching web anti piracy bill SOPA Keep Reading Add new comment Blog Post Consumer Protection Corporate Democracy Energy Foods Higher Ed Hunger Oceans Parks Sustainability Textbooks Transit Waste Tuesday Kickoff Meeting Meghan Ford Hi WISPIRG Kickoff Meeting Tuesday September 27 7pm 103 Psychology RSVP Our Kickoff Meeting is Tuesday night I hope you can come hear what we have planned and get involved in our fall campaigns Keep Reading Add new comment Blog Post Consumer Protection Corporate Democracy Energy Foods Higher Ed Hunger Oceans Parks Sustainability Textbooks Transit Waste Kickoff Meeting Jessie Mauser Hi WISPIRG Kickoff Meeting Thursday September 22nd 6 00 CPS Building Room 229 RSVP on Facebook Our Kickoff Meeting is tomorrow night I hope you can come hear what we have planned and get involved in our fall campaigns This fall we ll be volunteering in local soup kitchens cutting wasteful spending on unhealthy foods protecting Wisconsin s lakes and more We d love your help Keep Reading Add new comment Media Hit Consumer Protection Higher Ed Textbooks Textbook Rebellion WISPIRG at UW Madison hosted a stop of the Textbook Rebellion a national tour to promote open source textbooks Keep Reading Blog Post Consumer Protection Higher Ed Textbooks Textbook Rebellion hits Madison Matt Kozlowski Hi Keep Reading Add new comment Pages first previous 1

    Original URL path: http://www.wispirgstudents.org/campaigns/wi/student-consumer-action-network?page=3 (2016-04-29)
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  • Student Consumer Action Network | WISPIRG Students
    Jessie Mauser Hi During tough budget negotiations this spring and summer we protected student aid for nearly 10 million students by stopping aggressive cuts to Pell grants Together we saved student aid Now we re working to cut the billions in wasteful government subsidies that make junk food cheaper than healthy food As a WISPIRG intern you can help us win learn skills and get valuable experience working on a campaign Keep Reading Add new comment Blog Post Consumer Protection Corporate Democracy Energy Foods Higher Ed Hunger Oceans Parks Sustainability Textbooks Transit Waste Come to an Information Session Meghan Ford Hi I m eager to get to work on our fall campaigns and it s a great time for you to get involved as an intern or volunteer Stop by Tuesday to hear what we have planned and how you can help WISPIRG Info Session 12pm 3pm 6pm Student Activities Center suite 4430 RSVP Keep Reading Add new comment Blog Post Consumer Protection Corporate Democracy Energy Foods Higher Ed Hunger Oceans Parks Sustainability Textbooks Transit Waste Come to an Info Session Jessie Mauser Hi I m eager to get to work on our fall campaigns and it s a great time for you to get involved as an Intern or volunteer Stop by Thursday to hear what we have planned and how you can help WISPIRG Info Sessions 11 30 3 00 and 5 00 Brewhaus Workshop in the DUC RSVP Keep Reading Add new comment Blog Post Consumer Protection Corporate Democracy Energy Foods Higher Ed Hunger Oceans Parks Sustainability Textbooks Transit Waste Internships Meghan Ford Hi During tough budget negotiations this spring and summer we protected student aid for nearly 10 million students by stopping aggressive cuts to Pell grants Together we saved student aid Now we re working

    Original URL path: http://www.wispirgstudents.org/campaigns/wi/student-consumer-action-network?page=4 (2016-04-29)
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