History of the Oregon Consumer League

The Oregon Consumer League (OCL) has worked to protect consumers’ rights for nearly 50 years. We work to educate consumers, to promote fair and ethical business practices, and to advance consumer protection laws in the Oregon Legislature. Our organization was founded in 1966 when Senator Don S. Willner called together 30 representatives from statewide organizations to form a new consumer group.

The OCL’s first projects included protecting consumers’ interest in disclosure-of credit terms, interest ceilings, unlawful trade practices, poultry and meat inspections, and the labeling of dairy products and frozen foods.  In 1971, with momentum created by the Oregon Consumer League, Oregon adopted an Unlawful Trade Practices Act. Part of that act included the Department of Justice establishing a Financial Fraud Division, transferring the enforcement of consumer laws from counties to the State.

Oregon has been a leader nationally as well.  The Oregon Consumer League took the cause of consumer justice to the nation in 1967 when the OCL became a co-founder of the Consumer Federation of America.

In 1984 The Oregon Consumer League took the plight of elderly consumers to the United States Senate, testifying before the committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. The issues the OCL presented at this time included new and used car sales and repair, Medicare Supplement Insurance, private company and government intimidation of people with complaints, mail order fraud, health spas and clubs, hearing aids, oral contracts, home repair fraud, second-mortgage scams, mobile-home-park profiteering, labeling of warranties, refund policies, food and drug labeling, and credit card surcharges.

In recent years the Oregon Consumer League has been working with our coalition partners to focus on issues that include mortgage and student loan servicing, payday and car title loans, and the protection of Oregon consumers’ online personal and financial data.

To learn more about what the Oregon Consumer League is doing for you and to find out about upcoming consumer workshops, sign up for our quarterly newsletter.

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