Your new car is a lemon, the contractors improperly installed your new bathtub and debt collectors are calling at all hours of the night.
Congratulations! You’ve hit the top three consumer complaints as compiled by the Consumer Federation of America and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators.
In a report out this week, the agencies listed the Top 10 complaints submitted to 37 consumer agencies from 21 states during 2014.
The Top 10:
1. Automobiles: Misrepresentations in advertising or sales, faulty repairs, leasing and towing disputes.
2. Home Improvement and Construction: Shoddy work, incomplete work.
3. Credit and debt: Billing and fee disputes, mortgage fraud, predatory lending, abusive collection practices.
4. (Tie) Retail Sales: False advertising, defective merchandise, problems with gift cards and coupons. Utilities: Service problems and billing disputes with phone, cable, satellite, Internet, and electricity and gas services.
5. Services: Misrepresentations, poor work, failure to perform, lack of licensing.
6. Landlord-tenant disputes: Unhealthy or unsafe conditions, lack of maintenance, disputes over rent or deposits, illegal evictions.
7. Home solicitations: Misrepresentations or failure to deliver in telemarketing transactions; do-not-call violations.
8. (Tie) Health products and services: Misleading claims, unlicensed practitioners, failure to deliver. Internet Sales: Misrepresentations, deceptive practices and failure to deliver.
9. Fraud: Bogus sweepstakes and lotteries; work-at-home schemes, imposter scams.
10. Household goods: Misrepresentations, failure to deliver, faulty repairs to furniture and appliances.
Among other data reported this week, a “new consumer problem” concerned businesses that close then reopen under the same name but with new owners who refuse to honor original agreements.
C.R. Roberts: 253-597-8535