CONSUMER CATCH-UP: How much Americans spend on Halloween candy, a simple way to cut your water bill by 13 percent, and Congress urged to reevaluate airline 'family seating' policies

ByMichael Finney and Simone Chavoor via KGO logo
Friday, September 27, 2019
EMBED <>More Videos

CONSUMER CATCH-UP: A new survey reveals how much Americans spend on Halloween candy, a simple way to cut your water bill by 13 percent, and Consumer Reports urges Congress to reevaluate airline 'family seating' policies.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth can cut your water bill by 13 percent

The average American wastes about 900 cups of water every week by leaving the water running while brushing their teeth.

According to a survey conducted by Red Fuse Communications, about 42 percent of people admit to leaving the faucet on. Each round of tooth brushing with the water on can equal four gallons of water wasted. However, by just turning off the water, the savings can add up. A family of four can conserve about 11,000 gallons per year -- saving up to 13 percent on their water bill, says David LaFrance, CEO of the American Water Works association.

How much are Americans spending on Halloween?

According to the National Retail Federation's annual survey, U.S. consumers are expected to spend $2.6 billion on Halloween candy, or, about $25 per person on average.

With other Halloween purchases like costumes, decorations and greeting cards, spending for the holiday is expected to be $8.8 billion, down from $9 billion last year; an average $86.27 per person.

Out of more than 7,400 polled by the NRF survey, 68% of Americans said they plan to celebrate with 69% saying they will hand out candy, 49% decorating homes and 47% dressing in costume. The survey also found that up to 25% of Americans' holiday plans are influenced by social media, such as Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

"Spending hasn't changed much over the past few years, but we are seeing a noticeable increase in consumers whose Halloween purchases are inspired by their friends, neighbors and even celebrities on social media," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

Consumer Reports urges Congress to reevaluate airline "family seating" policies

Consumer Reports wrote a letter to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure this week, urging Congress to reevaluate the airline industry's "family seating policy" regulations.

What consumers may not know is that parents are not guaranteed a seat next to their child during a flight. To ensure they'll be seated next to their child, parents often must pay an extra fee to reserve seats.

Consumer Reports uncovered more than 100 consumer complaints in documents from the Department of Transportation. In the complaints, parents express concern for their child's safety while seated next to a stranger on a flight. In 2016, Congress directed the Department of Transportation to review airline family seating policies to ensure that young children can sit with their families on airplanes at no extra cost.

Three years later, the Department of Transportation still has not asked airlines to make changes to their family seating policies; instead they added a section to their website offering advice to families about sitting together. DOT claims this is not a serious issue because it is only 1% of complaints, but parent disagree.

In the meantime, Consumer Reports advises parents to read the fine print, call the airline, and appeal at the gate to ensure parents get a seat next to their children.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.


CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Chevy recalls Trax SUVs due to suspension flaw, reports of scam 'smishing' texts increase, and Iceland is rated the best place to retire

    CONSUMER CATCH-UP: San Francisco sues travel websites for deceptive practices, major broadcasters drop e-cigarette ads, and authorities warn of new Venmo scams

      CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Amazon allows shoppers to pay cash for online purchases, WalletHub ranks the best California cities to retire, and consumers cite high TV costs as the reason for cord-cutting

        CONSUMER CATCH-UP: AT&T sued for allegedly creating fake DirecTV Now accounts, people would rather drive than use self-driving cars, survey says

          CONSUMER CATCH-UP: GPS trackers found to leak location data, Galaxy Fold pre-orders canceled, and the 3 things to shop for in September

            CONSUMER CATCH-UP: AT&T declared 'best network' by testing firm, Target releases list of hot toys, and Amazon reportedly testing hand-scan checkout systems

              CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Prep for phones before Hurricane Dorian, stem cell therapy company warned by FDA, and 24,000 pounds of beef recalled

                CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Ford recalls 10 vehicle models for multiple issues, dental offices crippled by ransomware attack, and RH recalls chairs due to lead paint

                  CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Travel companies announce Hurricane Dorian plans, new scam purports to be from U.S. Marshals, and pill bottles recalled due to child safety risk

                    CONSUMER CATCH-UP: United Airlines' frequent flyer miles no longer expire, Toyota recalls cars for airbag issues yet again, and Tesla to offer its customers car insurance policies

                      CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Carriers, state Attorneys General form anti-robocall coalition, DoorDash changes tipping policy, Amazon carries banned products, and consumers make better decisions when angry

                        CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Smart speakers may connect consumers to scammers, Google announces 'privacy sandbox' initiative, and Apple's new credit card requires serious care and cleaning

                          CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Toyota recalls RAV4s over backup camera issue, YouTube shuts down in-app messaging, and an unprotected server exposed MoviePass user data

                            CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Facebook adding controls for data accessed by third parties, wireless carriers found to throttle video streams, and Spotify to allow parents to filter explicit content

                              CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Tesla to rent solar panels, 2019 on track to set record for most data breaches, and the Tooth Fairy's leaving kids less cash

                                CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Mercury ordered to pay largest-ever insurance fine, Tyson recalls chicken patties, and Palm offers $5 phone plan

                                  CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Credit Karma exposes user data, and WalletHub lists cheapest, most expensive cars to insure

                                    CONSUMER CATCH-UP: FAA bans recalled MacBooks from U.S. flights, FCC Chairman recommends approving Sprint, T-Mobile merger, and clothing retailer Avenue to close

                                      CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Motorized awnings recalled after injuries, death, lawmakers ask for transparency in 'Amazon's Choice' program, and Domino's to deliver via e-bike

                                        CONSUMER CATCH-UP: CFPB delays rule to make car title loans less risky, Chase forgives Canadians' debt, and robocall-blocking apps may violate user privacy

                                          CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Ford recalls SUVs with rollaway risk, IRS may revoke passports of those with major tax debt, and Consumer Reports urges FTC action over hotel 'resort fees'

                                            CONSUMER CATCH-UP: FCC and FEMA to test emergency alert system, finances seen as one of the most taboo topics, and Google outlines efforts to go carbon-neutral

                                              CONSUMER CATCH-UP: CFPB rule change might make it harder to get mortgages, Poshmark hacked, and AirPods get a new sharing feature

                                                CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Audi recalls cars with faulty airbags, researchers list the most- and least-stolen new cars, and more scooter companies will be permitted in SF

                                                  CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Retailers sued over 'Edison' lightbulbs, FTC warns of fake Equifax claim websites, and Impossible Burgers to hit grocery store shelves

                                                    CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Next steps for consumers after Capital One hack, FTC's new interactive robocall website, and almost a third of delivery drivers eat customers' food

                                                      CONSUMER CATCH-UP: IRS warns Bitcoin users to pay their taxes, Regal Cinemas offers 'unlimited' movie program, and Acura recalls cars over driveshaft issue

                                                        CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Samsung's foldable smartphone to launch in September, FitBits may not work on darker skin tones, and Mazda recalls cars over headrests

                                                          CONSUMER CATCH-UP: DoorDash changes controversial tipping policy, Nintendo offers repair for 'Joy-Con drift' on Switch, and Trek recalls Kickster bikes

                                                            CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Boppy recalls infant accessories, FTC urged to investigate Amazon over paid endorsements, and GNC to close 900 stores

                                                              CONSUMER CATCH-UP: P&G launching 'smart diapers,' online searches for canceling Prime membership peaked on Prime Day, and Twitter tweaks its design again

                                                                CONSUMER CATCH-UP: CVS recalls eyedrops, Apple warns of spoofed calls, and Tesla could become part of Walt Disney World

                                                                  CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Toyota tests new car roof solar cells, Apple redesigns MacBook keyboards, and teen employment rates stagnant

                                                                    CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Summer toy dangers, drugmakers push back against including prices in ads, and Frito-Lay recalls select barbecue-flavored chips