Business

Here’s what bothered American consumers in 2013

Telemarketers remain a major bugaboo.

Violations of do-not-call regulations and other abuses by telemarketers were the fastest-growing complaints in 2013, according to a report out Wednesday from the annual survey of state and local consumer protection agencies conducted by Consumer Federation of America and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators.

Forty agencies from twenty-three states responded to the survey about the complaints they received last year, according to a CFA release Wednesday.

Among the Top 10 complaints in 2013:

1. Auto: Misrepresentations in advertising or sales of new and used cars, lemons, faulty repairs, leasing and towing disputes.

2. Home Improvement/Construction: Shoddy work, failure to start or complete the job.

3. Credit/Debt: Billing and fee disputes, mortgage modifications and mortgage-related fraud, credit repair, debt relief services, predatory lending, illegal or abusive debt collection tactics.

4. Retail Sales: False advertising and other deceptive practices, defective merchandise, problems with rebates, coupons, gift cards and gift certificates, failure to deliver.

5. Services: Misrepresentations, shoddy work, failure to have required licenses, failure to perform.

6. Utilities: Service problems or billing disputes with phone, cable, satellite, Internet, electric and gas service.

7. Landlord/Tenant: Unhealthy or unsafe conditions, failure to make repairs or provide promised amenities, deposit and rent disputes, illegal eviction tactics.

8. (tie) Home Solicitations: Misrepresentations or failure to deliver in door-to-door, telemarketing or mail solicitations, do-not-call violations.

8. (tie) Internet Sales: misrepresentations or other deceptive practices, failure to deliver online purchases.

9. Health Products/Services: Misleading claims, unlicensed practitioners, failure to deliver.

10. Fraud: Bogus sweepstakes and lotteries, work-at-home schemes, grant offers, fake check scams, imposter scams and other common frauds.

The top five fastest-growing complaints in 2013 were:

1. Violations of do-not-call rights and other telemarketing abuses

2. Home improvement and construction

3. Used car sales

4. Utility billing issues

5. Internet sales

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