To be the trusted and relentless advocate for all Georgia consumers.
To protect and empower Georgia consumers on matters that impact their quality of life through education, advocacy and policy development. We focus our attention on communities that need a champion, particularly those most affected by predatory business practices, the high cost of utilities and healthcare, and restricted access to the civil justice system.
We work to influence public policies to positively impact consumers, safeguard consumer protections in the area of personal finance, promote access to safe and affordable healthcare, encourage fair utility rates and renewable energy options, and protect consumers’ right to seek redress in a civil court of law when they’ve been harmed in the marketplace.
Founded in 2002, Georgia Watch is the state’s leading consumer advocacy organization, focused on issues that impact your wallet and your quality of life. Georgia Watch is a non-profit, nonpartisan 501(c)3 organization that utilizes education and advocacy to help give consumers a strong ally to level the playing field with powerful special interests in the state. We work every day to create a Georgia that is a model for consumer protection.
While we serve all Georgia consumers, we are particularly dedicated to ensuring that the most vulnerable of our population have representation and access to necessary resources, and are aware of their rights in the consumer marketplace. To fulfill our mission, Georgia Watch works closely with the public, coalition partners, legislators, regulators, and the media to serve as an advocate as well as a trusted resource for information and guidance.
Ultimately, Georgia Watch is a voice for the voiceless, supporting Georgians who may feel their interests are not represented on the floor of the legislature, in state courts, or before the Public Service Commission. Georgia Watch shares its bullhorn with the powerless so their voices may be heard.
As a tax-exempt organization, Georgia Watch does not engage in partisan political activity. No organizational resources are used in connection with political campaign activities, or in support or opposition of any candidates for public office.
Georgia Watch does not provide legal advice or representation. If you need legal advice or assistance, please contact a licensed attorney.
In 2016, we:
- Stopped legislation that would make title pawn loans even more costly for Georgia consumers and urged federal agencies to help Stop the Debt Trap;
- Protected consumers from higher medical bills by supporting legislation to ban surprise out-of-network medical bills;
- Educated consumers on important patient safety matters, including how to background check their doctors and choose safer hospitals;
- Teamed up with the Georgia Attorney General’s office to produce a comprehensive Military Consumer Protection Guide to provide essential tools to protect those who protect us;
- Stood up for consumers against higher energy bills at the Georgia Public Service Commission more than 20 times throughout the year and worked to make energy efficiency more accessible for all;
- Worked to bring to light the harm that unlicensed tax preparation is doing to some of Atlanta’s most vulnerable communities through a mystery shopper research study;
- Led a collaborative effort with employers, public health and fellow advocates to improve community health;
- Spent significant time in rural Georgia to deepen our understanding of rural healthcare challenges and educate residents on how to identify, prevent and report scams;
- Called on the Georgia Supreme Court to stop the erosion of existing accountability for Georgia’s public hospitals by filing an amicus brief in a high-profile hospital open records act case.
In 2015, we:
- Released a policy report that took an in-depth look at the first round of community health needs assessments for nearly half of Georgia nonprofit hospitals. Our report has been used as an improvement tool by hospitals across the state;
- Launched an initiative alongside Attorney General Sam Olens and Holly Petraeus of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Office of Servicemember Affairs to protect Servicemembers from abusive practices in the financial marketplace;
- Produced a report examining the bylaws and compliance of Electric Membership Cooperatives throughout Georgia that consumers can use to hold EMC boards accountable;
- Released a report examining practice barriers for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses that impede Georgians’ access to care;
- Educated more than 1,000 consumers on ways to protect themselves from marketplace scams through our Financial Protection Program.