Consumer Catch-up: Proposed ban on drinking straws, FTC mailing refund checks, Men's vs. women's financial regrets

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Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side have consumer stories you should know about for Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (KGO-TV)

CA lawmaker plans to ban plastic straws

One state lawmaker plans to introduce a bill banning plastic drinking straws in restaurants. The planned move is an effort to cut down pollution on state beaches and lakes.

The measure would make plastic straws only available upon request by a customer.

Some critics say the move is unnecessary. The California Restaurant Association has not yet taken an official position - but notes the proposal is better than a complete ban.

FTC mails out $2.2 million in refunds

The Federal Trade Commission is mailing out thousands of refund checks to consumers, totaling more than $2.2 million. The checks will be sent to people who fell victim to a telemarketing scheme offering business coaching services.

The FTC claims the scheme promised consumers they could make high earnings from online businesses after they used the coaching services.

The defendants operated under various names: Professional Learning Institute, Pinnacle Learning Institute, Advantage Education, and Discover Education. They are now banned from selling coaching services or work-at-home offerings.

Refund checks from the FTC are worth $295. They must be deposited or cashed within 60 days.

Financial regrets differ for men and women

A new study of finances found the biggest financial regrets differ between men and women.

Financial website GOBankingRates surveyed 5,000 adult across the country. They chose biggest regrets among seven options: Falling into debt; Living above my means; Not investing in the stock market; Not saving enough money; Paying for college; Spending money on non-essentials; Other.

The most common regret of all: not saving enough money. 36% of Americans listed it as their top regret for 2017.

Men and women differed in their choices. Men were almost twice as likely to regret not investing in the stock market. 15% chose this option first, as compared to 9% of women. Another GOBankingRates survey found men were also more likely to fear losing money in stocks.

Women were more likely to report that not saving enough money was a top financial regret. 41% of female respondents chose this, compared to 33% male. Women were also more likely to have only a small amount in savings. 62% say they have $1,000 or less, compared to 52% of men.

Click here for a look at more stories by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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