Equity and justice for all Georgia consumers.
To protect and inform consumers so all Georgians prosper and communities thrive.
We endeavor to achieve health equity, close opportunity gaps, promote economic mobility, and protect financial wellbeing for all Georgia consumers. We advocate for policies that reduce the energy burden of struggling families, expand access to quality, affordable healthcare, open doors to the financial mainstream, and improve access to the civil justice system. We educate consumers so they know and assert their rights, and we equip communities with the tools to advocate for their own best interests. We strive to be a relentless consumer advocate and to ensure equitable outcomes and justice for all Georgians.
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 supports Georgians who may feel their interests are not represented on the floor of the legislature, in state courts, or before the Public Service Commission. Through education, we seek to help Georgians harness their own power to become effective advocates for themselves.
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 2017, we:
- Stopped the title pawn loan industry from weakening rules protecting consumers;
- Brought together advocates throughout the state to learn about financial planning, medical debt, and utility bills;
- Conducted 128 workshops, educating more than 2,300 consumers on financial planning, medical debt, and utility bills;
- Developed a consumer resource offering information about current options available for families struggling with high energy bills, as well as policy recommendations to expand access to energy efficiency and community solar to all Georgians;
- Produced a consumer guide on medical billing and debt that helped one consumer reduce $30,000 in medical bills to $0;
- Called on state energy regulators to hold Georgia Power accountable for costly overruns related to the construction at Plant Vogtle;
- Produced a comprehensive online resource with instructions on identity protection in response to the Equifax breach;
- Opposed the Affordable Care Act repeal bills to preserve access to affordable healthcare coverage;
- Supported surprise billing legislation that would protect Georgia consumers from unexpected out-of-network costs in an emergency or during a planned procedure;
- Produced a report on our Intersectoral Community Health Improvement Collaborative (ICHIC) project that brought employers, advocates and public health together to learn and strategize about improving population health in rural Georgia.
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.